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Supermarkets and Covid-19

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nedchester

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An interesting article in the Guardian. This quote from a security guard is concerning.

“Some customers wear the flower lanyard [to signify hidden disabilities], others will produce medical papers as evidence. But with people who seem relatively young, healthy and able-bodied, it can be very difficult for us when they have no proof that they are exempt,” said one member of staff. In these cases, however, they are asked to leave, he said.

As I understand it the law says that you do not have to provide proof and should not be routinely challenged. In any case doctors are not giving out proof. So if like me your relatively young (mid 30's) have no apparent dyabilities, based upon my appearance and no proof am I not allowed to go shopping?

It's a sad situation that we are in when people are being discriminated against like this and a large part of the population is stood behind cheering them on. People would do well to think that one day they may have a hidden disability themselves and think how they would want to be treated. 10 years ago I was in good health and believe me a disability can happen to anyone, with no warning and nothing you can do about it.

Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
We may well be in a (temporary) situation where the current high infection rate has to trump legislation covering disabilities for the greater.

To be blunt letting people in without masks could lead to the death of someone. Not allowing a few people who won't declare an exemption won't kill them. They could get someone to the shopping for them or shop online etc.

I hate masks but am happy to go along with them during the current legislation. I also find those that kick off about masks and refusing to wear them are generally those without any real reason except belligerence.
 
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RomeoCharlie71

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To be blunt letting people in without masks could lead to the death of someone.
So could driving to the supermarket.

We had a high infection rate (R was estimated to be around 6 in March, iirc) in March, we suppressed the virus successfully in the initial lockdown with very little use of face coverings.
 

nedchester

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So could driving to the supermarket.

We had a high infection rate (R was estimated to be around 6 in March, iirc) in March, we suppressed the virus successfully in the initial lockdown with very little use of face coverings.

The situation is worse now than it was in March, just look at the numbers in hospitals.

A good rule of thumb about those who 'claim' to have exemption and are not willing to wear sunflower lanyard, show some sort of exemption etc is they just don't want to wear one.

My view is that I'm happy to wear one now in the hope that I won't have to wear one in a few months time.
 

takno

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We may well be in a (temporary) situation where the current high infection rate has to trump legislation covering disabilities for the greater.

To be blunt letting people in without masks could lead to the death of someone. Not allowing a few people who won't declare an exemption won't kill them. They could get someone to the shopping for them or shop online etc.

I hate masks but am happy to go along with them during the current legislation. I also find those that kick off about masks and refusing to wear them are generally those without any real reason except belligerence.
To be blunt, nobody is talking about people who "won't declare an exemption". The concern is that the guard is requiring proof which isn't obtainable. Being denied access to food for six weeks could kill someone, and not everybody has access to online deliveries or someone to do the shopping for them.

You say you hate masks, but by even saying that you make it clear you can wear them. There's already plenty of people trying to invent rules that only affect people other than themselves, without us having it on here.
 

Bikeman78

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We may well be in a (temporary) situation where the current high infection rate has to trump legislation covering disabilities for the greater.

To be blunt letting people in without masks could lead to the death of someone. Not allowing a few people who won't declare an exemption won't kill them. They could get someone to the shopping for them or shop online etc.

I hate masks but am happy to go along with them during the current legislation. I also find those that kick off about masks and refusing to wear them are generally those without any real reason except belligerence.
Almost anything could lead to someone's death. Over half a million people died every year in the UK before Covid. I find it utterly bizarre that people are so fixated on one cause of death. Far more people have died in the past nine months from causes other than Covid.
 

Butts

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Only speaking from personal experience, but I can't remember the last time I saw someone in my Local Supermarket(Tesco Falkirk) without a mask on .

Perhaps it's because I'm an early bird (in before 7am)normally. However I had a mid-afternoon visit yesterday and didn't see anyone without a mask on.
 

nedchester

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Almost anything could lead to someone's death. Over half a million people died every year in the UK before Covid. I find it utterly bizarre that people are so fixated on one cause of death. Far more people have died in the past nine months from causes other than Covid.

Yes but at the moment there IS an issue with a disease where infection rate is causing an increase in deaths well above what is normal. I'd be quite happy if 2021 allows a normal death rate. Wouldn't you?

Above all though I'd be a little worried if I was suffering from Heart disease / Cancer / Stroke and whether my local hospital could treat my condition at the moment.

So if you pop a mask on what harm does it do?

And yes I'd like to hope that by May/June they won't be required?
 

island

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As I understand it the law says that you do not have to provide proof and should not be routinely challenged. In any case doctors are not giving out proof.
The law is in fact silent on the matter. Government guidance, which, as this forum is fond of pointing out, is not the law, does say that proof should not be routinely requested.

Although some posts I have seen – I cannot remember whether they were here or elsewhere – make the rather far-reaching claim that asking for proof that one is unable to wear a mask constitutes victimisation, I’m unaware of anyone succeeding in a legal case regarding this.

I do feel for shop staff who are caught between a rock and a hard place, probably not getting a lot of support from their employers, and putting their own health at risk daily to keep people fed.
 

bramling

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We may well be in a (temporary) situation where the current high infection rate has to trump legislation covering disabilities for the greater.

To be blunt letting people in without masks could lead to the death of someone. Not allowing a few people who won't declare an exemption won't kill them. They could get someone to the shopping for them or shop online etc.

I hate masks but am happy to go along with them during the current legislation. I also find those that kick off about masks and refusing to wear them are generally those without any real reason except belligerence.

If that approach were to be taken, at the very least it should be subject to a full and proper debate in parliament.

How would it work on transport though? That could mean people with exemptions can’t, for example, get to hospital. Likewise a proportion of important workers, possibly specialist in their field, could potentially be unable to get to work.
 

takno

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So if you pop a mask on what harm does it do?
On past experience it causes me rapid and mounting discomfort, and is likely to lead to a panic attack. At the very least that's extremely unpleasant and inconvenient for me and the supermarket, and if an ambulance is called again then it causes a waste of NHS resources.

Estimates of reduction in transmission from masks range from actively harmful to about 50%. Pretty much nobody is claiming they're more effective than that. I've cut down on my shop visits by more than 90%, so that much more effective than wearing a mask would be anyway. I've already done more than my bit, so why should I be forced to magic up an unobtainable proof of my medical condition or be denied access to essentials?
 

farleigh

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Yes but at the moment there IS an issue with a disease where infection rate is causing an increase in deaths well above what is normal. I'd be quite happy if 2021 allows a normal death rate. Wouldn't you?

Above all though I'd be a little worried if I was suffering from Heart disease / Cancer / Stroke and whether my local hospital could treat my condition at the moment.

So if you pop a mask on what harm does it do?

And yes I'd like to hope that by May/June they won't be required?
I think it is nice that you believe that masks have made a positive difference to the Covid situation.

We have been wearing them for a long time now.
 

Hadders

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Couple of points:

Supermarket staff are very, very nervous about their own safety especially considering the 'project fear' agenda that seems to be running in the media. Supermarkets need to be seen to be doing something to support their staff.

Government is threatening further restrictions, I suspect these are just threats but all of the large supermarkets have come out with the same message on face masks over the last couple of days. The rules haven't changed at all, supermarket staff and their security teams cannot enforce them, and the police do not have the resources to do so. In my view it's just a way of sending a stronger message to the general public.
 

initiation

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Not a supermarket but probably fits best in here as it is a highstreet shop... HSBC threatens account closure of those who don't wear masks.


Interestingly they say "Sadly, some people are failing to protect themselves [...] by refusing to wear a face covering inside our branches"

I thought masks were only supposed to be about protecting others?
 

bramling

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Couple of points:

Supermarket staff are very, very nervous about their own safety especially considering the 'project fear' agenda that seems to be running in the media. Supermarkets need to be seen to be doing something to support their staff.

Government is threatening further restrictions, I suspect these are just threats but all of the large supermarkets have come out with the same message on face masks over the last couple of days. The rules haven't changed at all, supermarket staff and their security teams cannot enforce them, and the police do not have the resources to do so. In my view it's just a way of sending a stronger message to the general public.

It’s a bit of a farce, as - like you say - nothing has actually changed. Except presumably that supermarket staff are going to get inundated with “excuse me, there’s someone in aisle two not wearing a mask, why haven’t you done anything about it?”.

Personally I’d much prefer an emphasis on physical distancing rather than masks, as I think that’s rather more important.

Has any consideration been given to closing supermarkets for brief(ish) periods whilst shelves are replenished, or is this simply not viable from a logistical point of view?

I’ve always thought the small “express” type supermarkets are a bit of a liability. There’s barely room to swing a cat in some of them at the best of times, especially some of the London ones.
 

Hadders

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Has any consideration been given to closing supermarkets for brief(ish) periods whilst shelves are replenished, or is this simply not viable from a logistical point of view?
It does happen in some smaller convenience stores and isles sometimes get closed off in larger stores. Replenishing shelves isn't really the biggest problem as (in large stores) most of it happens overnight, it's other tasks like date code checking, price changes etc.
 

asharpe

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The chain I work for has seen quite a few stores have entire departments or leadership teams knocked out by test and trace, but worst of all colleagues do die.

Face masks don't protect the wearer but do massively reduce spread.

If anyone can wear a mask when in close proximity to others then they should. Sunflower Lanyards don't provide any protection.

Also I'm also not convinced that mask intended for dust protection for construction workers with a vent for exhaling are fit for protecting from the spread of covid.

Even if someone meets one or more of the mask exemption criteria then I think it's fair to ask them every time they enter a shop whether they could at least try to face mask for a few minutes. And if they can't then it would be good to be able to advise them on what they need to do to avoid spreading covid - everyone must assume they are infected and spreading.
 

bramling

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It does happen in some smaller convenience stores and isles sometimes get closed off in larger stores. Replenishing shelves isn't really the biggest problem as (in large stores) most of it happens overnight, it's other tasks like date code checking, price changes etc.

I see. I really do feel for supermarket staff, they’ve had a right year of it - quite a bit of which (particularly the panic buying) wasn’t really necessary. Like many other “key workers” they’ve had naff all thanks from the government.

The chain I work for has seen quite a few stores have entire departments or leadership teams knocked out by test and trace, but worst of all colleagues do die.

Face masks don't protect the wearer but do massively reduce spread.

If anyone can wear a mask when in close proximity to others then they should. Sunflower Lanyards don't provide any protection.

Also I'm also not convinced that mask intended for dust protection for construction workers with a vent for exhaling are fit for protecting from the spread of covid.

Even if someone meets one or more of the mask exemption criteria then I think it's fair to ask them every time they enter a shop whether they could at least try to face mask for a few minutes. And if they can't then it would be good to be able to advise them on what they need to do to avoid spreading covid - everyone must assume they are infected and spreading.

In my experience most maskless people tend to be pretty good with distancing. It possibly helps that they know they don’t have that layer of so-called protection on their face.

In my work I’d rather a maskless person keeps a respectful distance rather than a masked-up one comes right up to me, which is what seems to happen.
 

farleigh

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The chain I work for has seen quite a few stores have entire departments or leadership teams knocked out by test and trace, but worst of all colleagues do die.

Face masks don't protect the wearer but do massively reduce spread.

If anyone can wear a mask when in close proximity to others then they should. Sunflower Lanyards don't provide any protection.

Also I'm also not convinced that mask intended for dust protection for construction workers with a vent for exhaling are fit for protecting from the spread of covid.

Even if someone meets one or more of the mask exemption criteria then I think it's fair to ask them every time they enter a shop whether they could at least try to face mask for a few minutes. And if they can't then it would be good to be able to advise them on what they need to do to avoid spreading covid - everyone must assume they are infected and spreading.
What do you base that upon?
 

devon_metro

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Also I'm also not convinced that mask intended for dust protection for construction workers with a vent for exhaling are fit for protecting from the spread of covid.

Interesting one. Dust masks will still likely be far superior to a piece of cloth or scarf (which is acceptable). However a surgical mask may be better for an infected person at preventing spread. Arguably supermarket staff should be wearing FFP2 or 3 masks if at all concerned, since these can filter coronavirus when breathing in. I suspect most shoppers are unlikely to be in the supermarket long enough to catch the virus from general breathing so such high grade masks are not necessary.
 

takno

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Even if someone meets one or more of the mask exemption criteria then I think it's fair to ask them every time they enter a shop whether they could at least try to face mask for a few minutes. And if they can't then it would be good to be able to advise them on what they need to do to avoid spreading covid - everyone must assume they are infected and spreading.
I think most people who could manage them for a few minutes will sensibly refuse. They might manage a few minutes, next thing that would happen is that they'd find themselves having to take them off. People would see them doing this and assume that they were just avoiding wearing them. Not worth the hassle.

As to further advice, I think it's safe to assume that they've been presented with the same advice as everyone else, and don't need it from every security guard on every door of every shop.
 

Hadders

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I see. I really do feel for supermarket staff, they’ve had a right year of it - quite a bit of which (particularly the panic buying) wasn’t really necessary. Like many other “key workers” they’ve had naff all thanks from the government.
You're right about supermarket staff getting naff all from Government, supermarket staff really do seem to be the forgotten key workers of this pandemic, they work long hours for not a lot of pay.
 

asharpe

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In my experience most maskless people tend to be pretty good with distancing. It possibly helps that they know they don’t have that layer of so-called protection on their face.

In my work I’d rather a maskless person keeps a respectful distance rather than a masked-up one comes right up to me, which is what seems to happen.

I've no problem with people who are aware and maintain the require 2m+ distance. And wearing a mask or not we should be aiming to keep our potential covid dose as low as reasonable achievable.

What do you base that upon?

https://www.gov.uk/government/publi...ngs-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

Interesting one. Dust masks will still likely be far superior to a piece of cloth or scarf (which is acceptable). However a surgical mask may be better for an infected person at preventing spread. Arguably supermarket staff should be wearing FFP2 or 3 masks if at all concerned, since these can filter coronavirus when breathing in. I suspect most shoppers are unlikely to be in the supermarket long enough to catch the virus from general breathing so such high grade masks are not necessary.

NHS and other care staff looking after covid+ people obviously need the highest possible protection for themselves and are not a risk to their patients.

I'm quite possible wrong and the leakage from a vented mask is nothing compared to a regular face covering. If there are any studies on the effectiveness on different masks I'd like to know.

I think most people who could manage them for a few minutes will sensibly refuse. They might manage a few minutes, next thing that would happen is that they'd find themselves having to take them off. People would see them doing this and assume that they were just avoiding wearing them. Not worth the hassle.

As to further advice, I think it's safe to assume that they've been presented with the same advice as everyone else, and don't need it from every security guard on every door of every shop.
People who don't wear masks in enclosed spaces are endangering the the lives of everyone else and there should be no harm in reminding them of that.
 

takno

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People who don't wear masks in enclosed spaces are endangering the the lives of everyone else and there should be no harm in reminding them of that.
On a factual level that's simply wrong. Even the most gung-ho assessment of the effectiveness of masks suggests a 50% reduction in risk of infection in any given contact. I've reduced my contacts in enclosed spaces by much more than 50%, so by anybody's definition I've done as much to save lives as anybody wearing a mask. The constant reminders that I can't "do my bit" by wearing a mask and am therefore some kind of wicked deviant are extremely unwelcome and make me feel uncomfortable and rejected in society.

If you treat people like their disabilities are nothing then don't be too surprised if they aren't entirely sympathetic to you and your delusions about risk
 

Yew

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The situation is worse now than it was in March, just look at the numbers in hospitals.

A good rule of thumb about those who 'claim' to have exemption and are not willing to wear sunflower lanyard, show some sort of exemption etc is they just don't want to wear one.

My view is that I'm happy to wear one now in the hope that I won't have to wear one in a few months time.
I hope nobody ever shows you the same intolerance you show others.

People who don't wear masks in enclosed spaces are endangering the the lives of everyone else and there should be no harm in reminding them of that.
As are people who are wearing masks, as no high-quality study has ever proven that they have any effect.
 

londiscape

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Masks. Don't. Work.

I'm surprised anyone with any grasp of scientific inquiry still believes that they do. The relentless propaganda, fear-mongering and behavioural manipulation given out by government and broadcast media does not constitute proper scientific data.

There are so many proper scientific papers explaining that masks are of no use, the following summarises most of them: https://swprs.org/face-masks-evidence/
Including the Danish study which is the only proper randomised controlled study of cloth masks in general community among healthy people.

And the moral case against them: https://www.coronababble.com/post/five-good-reasons-not-to-wear-a-mask

5. No evidence masks reduce community transmission;
4. Masks may do harm;
3. Masks signal compliance with the ongoing public health tyranny;
2. Masks are de-humanising;
1. Masks perpetuate the elevated levels of fear.
 

charley_17/7

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Why can't all these people who refuse to wear masks wear one of the plastic face shields instead? As long as it is covering the face, that is what matters!

I wear a face shield, but wear a mask in addition whenever in a shop, at work (12 hour (key worker) shift), or on public transport, despite having a special lanyard (to highlight being 'at risk').
 

bramling

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Why can't all these people who refuse to wear masks wear one of the plastic face shields instead? As long as it is covering the face, that is what matters!

I wear a face shield, but wear a mask in addition whenever in a shop, at work (12 hour (key worker) shift), or on public transport, despite having a special lanyard (to highlight being 'at risk').

Is it not pretty much universally accepted that visors are pretty much pointlessly ineffective? My work stopped giving them out a while ago for that reason.
 

charley_17/7

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Is it not pretty much universally accepted that visors are pretty much pointlessly ineffective? My work stopped giving them out a while ago for that reason.
If it's good enough for Marcus Rashford.....

Personally I much prefer them as people can still hear you, lip read, see your smile, etc. Much better than a mask, although not much good in the rain, but when does it rain indoors?
 

Bantamzen

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We may well be in a (temporary) situation where the current high infection rate has to trump legislation covering disabilities for the greater.

To be blunt letting people in without masks could lead to the death of someone. Not allowing a few people who won't declare an exemption won't kill them. They could get someone to the shopping for them or shop online etc.

I hate masks but am happy to go along with them during the current legislation. I also find those that kick off about masks and refusing to wear them are generally those without any real reason except belligerence.
To be brutally blunt, at any given interaction our actions could inadvertently lead to unintended consequences, including someone's demise from pretty much the very moment we draw breath to the very last. If we go around assessing every single time this may have been a possibility, we probably would never leave our homes again. That is why this narrative is not only wrong, but actually unhealthy both to the individual and the society we live in. The government have been highly irresponsible for not only starting the "you might kill / murder" someone, but to perpetuate for the entire year.

As for masks, there is literally no proof that walking into a store with a mask will stop you killing someone. Next time you are in a store, take a look around you and ask "Are people using masks as if they were in a disciplined medical environment?", because the only slithers of evidence that masks might have any effect are taken from studies of their use in strictly controlled medical environments. Then when you get home look at the data, in particular the data after the various mask mandations in many countries around the world. Spoiler alert, you'll find in many infection rates go up after. That doesn't exactly say "masks prevent spread in public settings" does it?
 
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