Stifling. Itchy. Dehumanizing. Oppressive. Deeply anti-British. Just a few of the terms used to describe the experience of wearing a mask.
Despite the discomfort, we put up with it for the health of our nation and so we are told to do what we can to end this nightmare as quickly as possible.
And last week, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, argued that we should extend the annoyance outside – into our main streets – to protect our fellow Christmas shoppers.
Owen predicts the next wave of pandemic hysteria.
The World Health Organization (WHO) urges us to wear masks around the Christmas table.
But does all that wearing a mask help? Surveys show that three-quarters of Britons wear masks in mandatory areas – public transport, offices, pubs and restaurants when not seated at a table, and most indoor spaces.
Yet the infection is still spreading at a rate that is forcing 38 million Britons to ban mingling indoors with anyone outside their homes.
Over the past week, cases have increased in all parts of England except Yorkshire and the Humber, and in some areas the infection rate has climbed to twice what it was in April .
So are they unnecessary after all? If Mr Khan’s logic is to be believed, maybe the problem is that we don’t wear them outside – surrounded by crowds of people. But studies show that only one in 100 cases is transmitted externally.
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