Mask Exemptions in enclosed environments

Fairygodmother

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How do you feel about being in the same enclosed space, for instance a shop, with people who are not wearing masks because they’re exempt?
It seems to me that we have a clash of two needs: protection of those who may be very adversely affected if they catch COVID-19, and support for those who have certain conditions that make them exempt.
 

Fairygodmother

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I’m an ‘elderly’ T1, @bulbiker. I shopped online or a neighbour shopped for us, and we walked in places where it was possible to distance. The two times that I visited a pharmacist I wore a mask.
 
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Rachox

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The irony is that those that are exempt from masks are just those who maybe adversely affected by Covid. I have asthma as well as type 2. I have invested in an FFP3 mask which has a degree of protection for me as well as protecting others from me. I saw a quote on Facebook which was designed to make people think whether they really can’t wear a mask, it went something like this “if you find breathing with a mask on difficult, you should try a ventilator!”
I fear some people are just making up excuses not to wear one just because it’s hot and sweaty. Like a lady I saw being stopped at a supermarket entrance who didn’t have a mask on. She reluctantly put it on then proceeded to rant at length at the security guard, that she couldn’t breathe with a mask on. She certainly was breathing during her rant!
 

Fairygodmother

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I feel my new-found freedom has been compromised by people not wearing masks and apparently badges saying you’re mask exempt are already being touted. If I lived in parts of the Midlands I’d be very very concerned about shopping; I’m still concerned even though I live in a place that, if we can believe the figures, currently has a low incidence of Covid.
I, too, have invested in a few FFP3s @ Rachox, and wear them if I do go to shop. They’re quite expensive though so it’s very possible not all vulnerable people will be able to afford them.
 

Chook

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I noticed at the weekend that those who didn't wear masks were getting pointedly stared at by other shoppers and one brave woman in a checkout queue who had an unmasked male in the queue behind her had a real rant at him for getting too close and not wearing a mask. Eventually he abandoned his trolley and left the store. Other people without masks seemed to be staff.

My husband has started emailing companies to complain when their staff don't wear masks and/or don't socially distance.


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Japes

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I'm giving a wide berth to those I do not know without masks, when I can, both for their sakes and mine. but I am still pretty much avoiding enclosed places for any length of time as far as possible. I'me well aware there are those just being awkward (bit like when seatbelts were introduced! Half my family, for logical reasons I understood, refused to wear them for ages.) but I'm not wanting to make it harder for those who genuinely cannot wear masks or face coverings and who are likely to be getting grief from those making snap judgments and wading in with vocal abuse. (Not in any way saying anyone here is doing that, just expressing my thoughts.)

I did pick up a few masks for my local food bank as I am aware that if you can't afford food, affording PPE is also a tough one. Sanitary protection is something I also add in from time to time - the organiser of the food bank knows I'm good for things like that which are needed and contacts me if need be!

However, the sight of my 2nd most used shopping area, with the closure/imminent closure of several shops I used to use is also making me "catch up" on some kinds of shopping I've been unable to do for the last 150 or so days. I shop online very little, and want to keep it that way.
 
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Fairygodmother

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I have a friend who has a compromised larynx and says she gets attacks of breathlessness when she wears a mask in a shop, but apparently she’s ok if she’s outside a shop. I feel sorry for her as it seems to be a mental health issue, but I don’t feel sorry enough to be sympathetic to her ‘need’ not to wear a mask if she shops knowing that people who are vulnerable and/or have been shielding could also be shopping. I suppose this is partly what prompted me to ask you all how you felt about it. I’ve been feeling slightly unkind, since she’s a friend, and wondering if I’m being nasty when I emphasise that her actions could so adversely affect others. I know she has contact with quite a few people. The area she lives in has a relatively high rate of Covid.
 
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Andydragon

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I noticed at the weekend that those who didn't wear masks were getting pointedly stared at by other shoppers and one brave woman in a checkout queue who had an unmasked male in the queue behind her had a real rant at him for getting too close and not wearing a mask. Eventually he abandoned his trolley and left the store. Other people without masks seemed to be staff.

My husband has started emailing companies to complain when their staff don't wear masks and/or don't socially distance.

Staff don't have to wear masks do they?
Social distancing I understand although most issues I am seeing is mask wearers suddenly seemingly invulnerable and losing the ability to keep their distance

Whilst I understand there are very few people who can't wear masks and a large proportion probably could, I wouldn't like to be one of the people who can't.

I also feel sorry for those as a previous poster mentioned who have money issues. So many companies are ripping people off with face coverings.


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lovinglife

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I have no problem with those not wearing a mask for whatever reason, it’s not my business and after seeing people wearing cloth and disposable masks taking them on and off and putting them in their pockets between shops then pulling them out waving them about and touching them everywhere without sanitising their hands then putting them back on I’m of the opinion they can be far more dangerous at spreading the virus rather than protecting us as opposed to someone not using one at all. At least you can safely distance if you so desire if you encounter a non mask wearer

- I do wear a disposable one but keep it on don’t touch it. If I do have to take it off I put it in a plastic bag sanitise my hands and put on a new one
 

Andydragon

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I have no problem with those not wearing a mask for whatever reason, it’s not my business and after seeing people wearing cloth and disposable masks taking them on and off and putting them in their pockets between shops then pulling them out waving them about and touching them everywhere without sanitising their hands then putting them back on I’m of the opinion they can be far more dangerous at spreading the virus rather than protecting us as opposed to someone not using one at all. At least you can safely distance if you so desire if you encounter a non mask wearer

- I do wear a disposable one but keep it on don’t touch it. If I do have to take it off I put it in a plastic bag sanitise my hands and put on a new one
Agreed with how people wear them, must admit I probably do the same. There was some discussion I recall about mask wearing not helping and yet here we are?

Wearing a mask steams my glasses, nearly made me have a panic attack due to the heat and difficulty breathing but I will do it cause it's the rules. I'm just not currently convinced they are doing much except create a false sense of security

But hopefully I am wrong and they are making some difference
 
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Japes

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I have a friend who has a compromised larynx and says she gets attacks of breathlessness when she wears a mask in a shop, but apparently she’s ok if she’s outside a shop. I feel sorry for her as it seems to be a mental health issue, but I don’t feel sorry enough to be sympathetic to her ‘need’ not to wear a mask if she shops knowing that people who are vulnerable and/or have been shielding could also be shopping. I suppose this is partly what prompted me to ask you all how you felt about it. I’ve been feeling slightly unkind, since she’s a friend, and wondering if I’m being nasty when I emphasise that her actions could so adversely affect others. I know she has contact with quite a few people. The area she lives in has a relatively high rate of Covid.

I have some friends/students in a similar vein - they do have genuine needs, but it's hard work being sympathetic when they are inconsistent about those needs!

I am very much an urban dweller, though lucky enough to be on the edge of the city, but also on the edge of one "Area of Concern" and am fully aware if it tips over into local lockdown it will affect my work place, both staff and students. Balancing all this there is a logistical nightmare I really am trying not to think about as we will be dealing with all of this all the time.
 
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Japes

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I noticed at the weekend that those who didn't wear masks were getting pointedly stared at by other shoppers and one brave woman in a checkout queue who had an unmasked male in the queue behind her had a real rant at him for getting too close and not wearing a mask. Eventually he abandoned his trolley and left the store. Other people without masks seemed to be staff.

My husband has started emailing companies to complain when their staff don't wear masks and/or don't socially distance.

I will ask people to move who are too close, mask wearers or not! But, I've been doing that since I was old enough to express an opinion at people invading my personal space.... in some ways, I'm a very natural social distancer and haven't found it difficult at all!! :)


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Fairygodmother

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Employers who care about their staff have put in screens for them to work behind.
 

Chook

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If they are shop staff then so far as I am aware there is zero compulsion for them to wear a mask.

Yes, I know there is no compulsion - but that doesn't give them immunity from contracting it and passing it along.

Just so people understand where I'm coming from - so far I have had five friends die of this thing. That's five families that have lost a much loved parent/ sibling / spouse / child.
 

Japes

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Yes, I know there is no compulsion - but that doesn't give them immunity from contracting it and passing it along.

Just so people understand where I'm coming from - so far I have had five friends die of this thing. That's five families that have lost a much loved parent/ sibling / spouse / child.

That's really hard.

I realised I'm currently naturally gravitating to places where staff are being more vigilant all round and are also wearing good face coverings. I accept there's no compulsion - but I like it when they can and do.
 

Fairygodmother

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