"It's better to be safe than sorry" - Star readers’ on wearing masks after July 19

The Prime Minister announced on 5, July (Monday), an end to many restrictions including the requirement to wear a face mask. From July 19, wearing a face mask will become a voluntary practice.

By Christopher Hallam
Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 9:58 am

Not everyone was happy with this though and many scientists and doctors disagreed with the decision, with the BMA saying that, 'it makes no sense to stop wearing masks.' The Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty also stated that he’d continue to wear his masks in a number of scenarios, a thought shared by many others across social media. But many others seemed to be elated at the fact, so we asked our readers if they’d continue wearing a mask after July 19, and here are a selection of their comments:

Olivia Smith is still going to continue wearing her mask, “in shops and crowded places, and on public transport. It helps slow down transmission, and honestly, what is so difficult about wearing a mask?!”

Richard Marsden responded to her, saying, “nothing Olivia, nothing. It's become second nature to me now.”

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Shoppers wearing a face masks in Sheffield city centre, as South Yorkshire is the latest region to be placed into Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions, which will come into effect on Saturday.. 21st October 2020 Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

And, Kev Shillitto said, “It doesn’t matter if it’s unpleasant or inconvenient, if it helps keep staff safe then businesses may have to keep the requirement for masks & social distancing or find themselves breaking health & safety law.”

Fran Holland said that she will not be, “taking any chances in public places, those who have chosen NOT to be vaccinated should be ashamed of themselves - many of us had to shield, lost our incomes and sense of being because of this pandemic - we have to live with it, but the thought of unvaccinated adults getting on long flights etc is pretty scary.... not just for fellow passengers but those other countries too who haven't been fortunate enough to have the NHS behind them.”

Rose Underwood replied, saying, “Yes. I will keep on wearing my mask in crowded shops hospitals and Dr. Surgery. It's better to be safe than sorry.”

Mellie Harvey is a definite, “Yes, in public transport, supermarket, malls, crowded places, it’s better to be safe rather than sorry... people must be aware that even if you are fully vaccinated you can still get the virus, so we have to be careful.”

Carolyn Wright was also in the ‘Yes’ camp, stating that, “With 27k cases each day, I will still wear mine if I’m in crowded situations.” and finally, Julie Swallow said, “Yes, in shops etc. I don't even want to catch the common cold again been 18 months without it long may it continue.”

But not everyone would continue wearing masks, with a number of the replies indicating that they were more than ready to dispense with masks from July 19, if they hadn’t done already.

Julie Bond says, “Nope, unless it’s absolutely vital.”

Denise Granger also said, “No, I’ve had covid and all vaccinated, just my opinion!”

Renars Simenovskis replied, saying, “Nop. Can’t wait to get rid of them.”

At least Mandy Mousa had a sense of humour about the changes, replying, “No, but I will have to train myself to stop swearing cos when the mask is off they can see what am saying” — that may well be a good idea, one that many may agree with.

Martin Roger Hydes set out his stall, saying, “No, had both jabs time to live our lives again.”

There were also a number of people who would be glad to have the choice once again, but their decision to wear masks going forward would be about respect for others, in certain locations/situations and when they may be feeling under the weather themselves as is the case in some countries already.

Gary Awdas had a very salient and sensible take on things, “Yes, and I think we should do what the Japanese do, if you have a cold just pop one on in supermarkets etc. stops everyone getting it, just good manners.” And, this was something echoed by Alison Claire, who said, “In places like hospitals and care homes i think it should be the norm anyway as there are lots of ill and vulnerable people that don't need additional illnesses spreading round.

I think I'll probably always carry one, but not wear it unless I'm feeling under the weather myself.”

Overall, the majority of people who responded said that they’d still continue to wear masks for a wide variety of reasons. But they were still cognisant of the potential risks. It is also worth noting that despite the Prime Minister’s announcement, both Proffesor Vallance, England’s chief scientific adviser, and Professor Whitty, the chief medical officer, made clear that it was their intention to keep wearing masks wherever appropriate. Maybe it’s still worth being cautious and following the science here?