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Opinion: No need to ask, this is why I’m wearing a face mask

Washed Up column by Sarah Juggins

I am not a huge fan of wearing a face mask.

The one I use most frequently is a fabric mask that tends to clog up my nostrils and mouth if I breathe too deeply.

Washed Up by Lynn News columnist Sarah Juggins
Washed Up by Lynn News columnist Sarah Juggins

However, I always do put my mask on when I enter a shop or somewhere where face-masks are required because I think that is part of taking collective responsibility.

When Dominic Cummings drove to Durham and blatantly flouted the government’s restrictions, he laughed in the face of everyone else.

When someone walks into a shop without wearing a face mask – unless they have an exemption – they are blatantly disrespecting every else around them.

Not for a second do I think that wearing a mask is knocking our civil liberties or asking us to conform to rules for the sake of it.

If by wearing a mask, I can stop catching or spreading some germs, great. If it turns out that masks are no barrier at all to the virus, well, what have face-mask wearers all over the UK lost? Nothing at all.

I heard from a friend the other day whose father is spending his last few weeks or even days in a care home.

She told me that it was breaking her heart because her father just couldn’t understand why his daughter couldn’t give him a hug.

He has dementia, along with many other illnesses, and he doesn’t have a clue what is happening in the world right now.

All he wants is to feel his family close to him as he departs the world.

I asked her why she didn’t just break the rules and hug her father. He is dying so she could do no further harm to him. Her reply humbled me. “What if, by doing that one thing, I was the person responsible for the death of more people in this care home. That is just selfish.”

For me, that is the ultimate in putting aside one’s own personal feelings and doing something for the greater good.

It also makes the wearing of a mask seem like the most ridiculously small and totally insignificant inconvenience.

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