Something for the Weekend: Wearing a Face Mask

Ian Morris explores some of the confusion over, and objections to, wearing a face covering as the Government’s new guidance comes into effect.

 Wrap a face mask round your dial…

After all, it isn’t difficult is it? I often use the phrase ‘it’s as difficult as putting on a hat’, but it would seem my faith in the great British public is somewhat misplaced – that is, if I believe what I’ve read on social media on the complexity of applying cranial apparel. 

‘I will be breathing back in CO2!’ 

No you won’t. Well, not unless you cover the lower half of your head in cling film, and if you think this is a good idea then it is probably for the best that you proceed with Operation Cling Film. CO2 molecules are very, very small. They will whistle unimpeded through your face covering and allow sweet nourishing oxygen to go back the other way. Has it not struck you how surgeons have managed to ply their trade so well without passing out from  Copoisoning? 

‘The medical advice is confusing, why does it keep changing?’

This is how science works, chums. Initially, there was a bit of doubt, the fear was that when wearing a face mask it would get wet over time from your breath, you would fiddle with it, get a viral load on your hand and then dab it about on hard surfaces and transmit the virus that way. So the good scientists did some experimentation and concluded on balance its better to wear a mask when in an enclosed space. 

They are uncomfortable…’ 

Yes, a bit, but after a while you get used to it. I can’t be certain as it hasn’t happened to me, but I am prepared to wager a £1 coin against an acre of swedes that it’s more uncomfortable being intubated, and not being able to breathe at all. 

‘Why, if it is so important, did the government wait 12 days, eh?’

Because so many folk are complete squinnies and selfish planks that they needed to give people enough time to  source their own masks. What it didn’t mean is that you had to wait 12 days before you started, although the folks in Iceland – the frozen food purveyor, not the country – clearly felt that, although there would be benefits for others, it was all too soon for them to sport the mask. We were the only folks in there rocking face coverings earlier this week. 

And finally,They don’t work you know, this is all about mind control.’ 

It does concern me how many people are willing to believe conspiracy theories: 5G phone masts frying your brain, Chemtrails in the sky (I know these are dangerous and a sign of something portentous but I am not sure what), the anti-vaxxers brigade (I could write a whole column on these but my beloved Editor would have to chop the life out of it to remove all the sweariness), and now this happy band of conspiracy theorists have opted to view face coverings with the same levels of suspicion.

Their story is quite hard to follow if you are keen on logic and not howling at the moon but it goes along the lines of:  

‘The virus isn’t real.’ 

‘The requirement to wear face coverings is so that the Government can make us into passive obedient slaves that will follow instructions like sheep…’

I say the government, but it is more likely to be some shadowy figures behind the government who actually control everything. They may be lizard people but I am not sure [licks own eyeballs and scuttles across the keyboard].

So whatever your reason for railing against the face coverings, shut your noise. If you don’t want to wear one that’s cool and dandy – just don’t go into enclosed spaces breathing your spiteful, fetid, selfish breath over those that are trying to do their bit.

If it helps you, memorise my little poem below. 

If you are not crass and vile,  

Wrap a  face mask round your dial, 

If you don’t want to, I’ll be blunt, 

Just stay home you selfish person…

Some of the best poetry doesn’t rhyme. 


Editor’s note: The new guidance on wearing a face mask was released by the government on 23rd July, including a list of exemptions ‘where people are not expected to wear face coverings.’ Read the full guidance, and the list of exemptions here

Something for the Weekend will be back next Friday, tackling national issues from a local perspective. In the meantime, you can check out all of Ian’s writing for S&C, here, along with past editions of the Pompey Politics Podcast.

Image by Gabriele Lässer from Pixabay.

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