Why it causes me “severe distress” to wear a mask

  • Covid-19 can be a very nasty disease for the elderly (median age of death is 85) and a very small proportion of the population. The median IFR is thought to be 0.26% as estimated most recently by the CDC.
  • For children and healthy adults under 60 the risks of Covid-19 are broadly irrelevant in the context of normal daily risks — note chart above is logarithmic.
  • The BBC and general media have been dreadful at communicating balanced, proportionate and factual news around Coronavirus which has led to a warped understanding of real risk.
  • Sensible guidance on staying at home if ill, washing hands, avoiding crowded enclosed spaces (tubes) and social distancing helped decrease the R-rate to where we currently stand and remains good practice.
  • For most humans we would prefer the oceans full of fish and not plastic
  • For most people around the world, seeing each others’ faces is not only important to communication, but important to our mental health, our social well-being. This is not an attempt to introduce a wolf-whistle political argument, but I think we rely on facial expression to interact, to feel comfortable with each other.
  1. Environmental — many masks are disposable and will end up further clogging up the seas and oceans.
  2. Effectiveness — as cited earlier they do very little to stop contraction of the disease and many wear masks incorrectly meaning they actively increase the chance of infection due to constant face touching, not washing masks properly etc.
  3. Over-confidence — will potentially encourage some, especially those more at risk, to relax social distancing guidelines. It might also lead those who develop symptoms of illness to believe they can venture into public spaces safe in the knowledge that the mask will “protect” others.
  4. Economic — perhaps I will be proved incorrect on this but I would expect this might lead to many shopping less due to the hassle of requiring a mask or put some off entirely. Furthermore it might lead to more spend online which will have more damaging long term implications given the retail infrastructure is currently more geared to offline shopping. More generally though I think it slows the ability for society to return to normal with a prevalence of mask wearing.
  5. Unpleasant — both for those trying to regain a semblance of normality but also for the wearer, especially those wearing for long periods of time.
  6. Mental health— this is a serious point but the inability to see smiling faces while out and about only contributes (in my eyes) to ongoing mental health anxieties of the population.
UK virus at bay — 111 online Covid symptoms journeys.

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