Like most people, I am not used to wearing a face mask. Nor do I enjoy it. However, I can see the point in it now we are all mingling more, and at not such a social distance in many cases.
This is the government info on face coverings:
- Face coverings must be worn in shops from 24th July. Under the new rules, people who do not wear a face covering will face a fine of up to £100, in line with the sanction on public transport and just as with public transport, children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt. The liability for wearing a face covering lies with the individual.
- In the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, a face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face.You must wear a face covering at all times on public transport or when attending a hospital as a visitor or outpatient. Hospitals will be able to provide a face covering in emergencies.
- If you can, you should also wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas.
- You should be prepared to remove your face covering if asked to do so by police officers and staff for the purposes of identification.
- Evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you. However, if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with.
- Face coverings do not replace social distancing. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, and/or high temperature, and/or loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste – anosmia), you and your household must isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19.
- A face covering is not the same as the surgical masks or respirators used by healthcare and other workers as part of personal protective equipment. These should continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace, such as health and care workers, and those in industrial settings, like those exposed to dust hazards.
- Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 3 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly.
- It is important to use face coverings properly and wash your hands before putting them on and taking them off.
- You can make face-coverings at home. The key thing is it should cover the mouth and nose.
I have done two supermarket shops in recent weeks, wearing a face covering, just to try to get used to them.
One was a hygge band which kept slipping down so I kept fiddling with it, the other a disposable one which was better but still not tolerable for long. It’s made me a faster shopper, anyway!
Alas, I am one of those people who tends to fiddle with my face/hair (did so even as a child) so I think my response will be to keep shopping/travelling on public transport, etc., to an absolute minimum, and realise I am lucky to live in a low-population area. Luckily, so far, my material needs while under reduced social interaction, have been few.
For those seeking a comfortable mask, I believe you can buy them at the Sea Pool Shop in Summerleaze car park and at the 2-Minute Beach Clean shop at Crooklet’s near Rosie’s. Any other outlet suggestions most welcome.