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The case for and against the effectiveness of face coverings and the mandating of their use

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DustyBin

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LNER still trotting out the "WEAR A FACE COVERING" nonsense on Twitter. I'm seriously beginning to regret getting vaccinated now. I wish I hadn't bothered as appears to have been a complete waste of my time.

You’re not the first person I’ve heard say that. I think a lot of people believed the vaccines were our route to normality, which to be fair is how they were “marketed”. It does feel like a bit of a con at this stage!
 
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yorksrob

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To (hopefully) draw a line under it, taking precautions at that time and under your circumstances was perfectly sensible. There was a time (believe it or not!) when I was rather careful too as we didn’t know what we were dealing with.

People are free to choose to wear a mask and shouldn’t be abused for doing so. However I don’t wear one, and I’d prefer it if others didn’t either as I associate them with the government’s “unethical use of behavioural science” (to quote a letter I read yesterday). The frustrating thing for me is that there is no evidence they work, other than to act as a reminder we should be fearful, and yet people are hanging on to them long after they’ve abandoned social distancing for example. I also believe that the number of people who wear them to protect others is tiny. The vast majority wear them as they mistakenly believe they are protecting themselves, whilst quite a few seem to think they’re still mandatory and a vocal minority see it as an opportunity to virtue signal. They’re a complete farce and it’s little wonder they’ve never featured in a pandemic response plan, up until last year when it was decided some people weren’t taking the situation seriously enough….

The "unethical use of behavioural science" is a very good way of summing up the past few years of policy.
 

greyman42

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Like many others, people have felt that having a bit of protection helps them feel better about getting back to normal.
That sounds contradictory to me. Walking around with masks on is not normal in this country.

You’re not the first person I’ve heard say that. I think a lot of people believed the vaccines were our route to normality, which to be fair is how they were “marketed”. It does feel like a bit of a con at this stage!
Vaccines are one of our routes back to normality. LNER spouting a load of rubbish does not alter that fact so do not feel conned.
 

alex397

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That sounds contradictory to me. Walking around with masks on is not normal in this country.
We are never going back to ‘normal’ now. This will potentially be called the ‘post-corona’ era by historians, just like the decades after WW2 are ‘post-war’.

What I meant was near-normal. It still isn’t that long since we were in lockdown, and many felt more comfortable wearing a mask when going back to the shops, supermarket, public transport and so on.

Wearing masks is likely to still be a normal thing for some people in this country for years to come. I don’t think some people on this thread will be happy until absolutely everyone no longer wears them.

LNER still trotting out the "WEAR A FACE COVERING" nonsense on Twitter. I'm seriously beginning to regret getting vaccinated now. I wish I hadn't bothered as appears to have been a complete waste of my time.
Why would you regret getting the vaccine just because some organisations are still telling us to wear masks? That doesn’t really make much sense, and is verging on anti-vaccination territory.
 
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bramling

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We are never going back to ‘normal’ now. This will potentially be called the ‘post-corona’ era by historians, just like the decades after WW2 are ‘post-war’.

What I meant was near-normal. It still isn’t that long since we were in lockdown, and many felt more comfortable wearing a mask when going back to the shops, supermarket, public transport and so on.

Wearing masks is likely to still be a normal thing for some people in this country for years to come. I don’t think some people on this thread will be happy until absolutely everyone no longer wears them.


Why would you regret getting the vaccine just because some organisations are still telling us to wear masks? That doesn’t really make much sense, and is verging on anti-vaccination territory.

Because a lot of younger people considered that the risk statistics meant the personal benefit in taking the vaccine was comparatively limited, set against a background of the vaccine being novel and therefore potentially risky. One motivation was that if as many people as possible take it that it would offer us a route to normal life.

Instead the goal posts keep shifting.
 

43066

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We are never going back to ‘normal’ now. This will potentially be called the ‘post-corona’ era by historians, just like the decades after WW2 are ‘post-war’.

Ha! You’re speaking for yourself there. I’m already largely completely back to normal in terms of work, socialising etc. You come across as if you actively don’t want to see other people going about their lives and wish to see others being restricted in perpetuity.

Perhaps you enjoy never socialising with others and staying at home all the time. That’s entirely up to you but that’s not a lifestyle I or many others enjoy.

Wearing masks is likely to still be a normal thing for some people in this country for years to come.

Soon I suspect will be back to the same number wearing as were wearing before they were mandated.


Why would you regret getting the vaccine just because some organisations are still telling us to wear masks? That doesn’t really make much sense, and is verging on anti-vaccination territory.

It’s quite reasonable for people to think this when the pro mask lobby seem to want to talk down the effectiveness of vaccines as a justification for persisting with other restrictions. That’s despite the fact that there’s overwhelming evidence vaccines are highly effective and little to no evidence that these other measures have any benefit.
 

Yew

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We are never going back to ‘normal’ now. This will potentially be called the ‘post-corona’ era by historians, just like the decades after WW2 are ‘post-war’.
It's maybe worth clarifying the general sentiment of normal from most of us here. Think more "normal legislative environment, with no coronavirus laws", we don't mind about home working or a few more places having hand sanitiser.
 

Bungle73

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We are never going back to ‘normal’ now. This will potentially be called the ‘post-corona’ era by historians, just like the decades after WW2 are ‘post-war’.

What I meant was near-normal. It still isn’t that long since we were in lockdown, and many felt more comfortable wearing a mask when going back to the shops, supermarket, public transport and so on.

Wearing masks is likely to still be a normal thing for some people in this country for years to come. I don’t think some people on this thread will be happy until absolutely everyone no longer wears them.


Why would you regret getting the vaccine just because some organisations are still telling us to wear masks? That doesn’t really make much sense, and is verging on anti-vaccination territory.
Hardly. As I don't fall into any "vulnerable" category, what did I do it for if it wasn't for the return of normality that was promised? I absolutely hate needles, but I forced myself to go because I thought the end "reward" would be worth it. Now it seems that we've been conned.
 

MikeWM

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It's maybe worth clarifying the general sentiment of normal from most of us here. Think more "normal legislative environment, with no coronavirus laws", we don't mind about home working or a few more places having hand sanitiser.

And yet the fact that we are even contemplating comparing ‘post-covid’ to ‘post-war’ is perhaps the simplest summing-up I’ve seen to date of how utterly insane our response to this has been. In the end, this has been a historically rather unremarkable pandemic, not that you’d have guessed that from the way we’ve responded to it.
 

Mag_seven

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And yet the fact that we are even contemplating comparing ‘post-covid’ to ‘post-war’ is perhaps the simplest summing-up I’ve seen to date of how utterly insane our response to this has been. In the end, this has been a historically rather unremarkable pandemic, not that you’d have guessed that from the way we’ve responded to it.

Indeed - in the war we were fighting against oppression. In this pandemic we have just imposed oppression on ourselves all for a virus with a 99% survival rate.
 

seagull

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We are never going back to ‘normal’ now. This will potentially be called the ‘post-corona’ era by historians, just like the decades after WW2 are ‘post-war’.

Can I borrow your crystal ball when you've finished with it? Ta.
 

alex397

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Hardly. As I don't fall into any "vulnerable" category, what did I do it for if it wasn't for the return of normality that was promised? I absolutely hate needles, but I forced myself to go because I thought the end "reward" would be worth it. Now it seems that we've been conned.
So, surely the important thing about the vaccine helping you avoid getting a deadly strain of the virus?
The ‘getting back to normal’ thing just being the icing on the cake.

The vaccine has allowed us to come out of lockdown. Surely for now that is a big bonus? We are much nearer ‘normal’ than we were at the beginning of the year. It hasn’t been long since things started looking more positive, so give it time. There are still some restrictions in places, but they are slowly being eroded as we get used to going back to our normal lives.

Ha! You’re speaking for yourself there. I’m already largely completely back to normal in terms of work, socialising etc. You come across as if you actively don’t want to see other people going about their lives and wish to see others being restricted in perpetuity.

Perhaps you enjoy never socialising with others and staying at home all the time. That’s entirely up to you but that’s not a lifestyle I or many others enjoy.



Soon I suspect will be back to the same number wearing as were wearing before they were mandated.




It’s quite reasonable for people to think this when the pro mask lobby seem to want to talk down the effectiveness of vaccines as a justification for persisting with other restrictions. That’s despite the fact that there’s overwhelming evidence vaccines are highly effective and little to no evidence that these other measures have any benefit.
I think you’re misinterpreting me. When I talk about ‘normal’, it’s never going to be exactly like it was pre-Covid, as it has had a massive effect on the economy, transport, society and so on. I want most things to get back to the way they were (not everything, like our habit of going on short flights, but that’s another topic).
Where have I said I want restrictions to continue? Please quote. My only frustrations have been with people judging others for wearing a mask, to the point where they are actually offended by it.
Can you please not make assumptions about me? It doesn’t really help with a healthy debate really does it? There’s a few things I can assume about you but I’m not going to post that. I’ve been out socialising with friends, and travelling about the country doing different things.
Can I borrow your crystal ball when you've finished with it? Ta.
Very funny.
Surely it is obvious that historians will describe the few years from 2021 onwards as ‘post-Covid’ or ‘post lockdowns’ or something similar, with the huge affect it has had on the economy, transport, society and so on, and how the world adapts in those years.
 
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yorkie

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We are never going back to ‘normal’ now.
For the vast majority of people, we are.

This will potentially be called the ‘post-corona’ era by historians, just like the decades after WW2 are ‘post-war’.
It will be seen as a big event for sure, and it will be seen as the catalyst for certain changes but the idea that masks will be normalised from now on isn't likely to hold true. Mask wearing in the longer term will only continue for a minority of virtue signallers.

What I meant was near-normal. It still isn’t that long since we were in lockdown, and many felt more comfortable wearing a mask when going back to the shops, supermarket, public transport and so on.
I don't think many felt more comfortable wearing a mask, but for sure some were so mislead as to feel more comfortable. That doesn't mean it's going to be normalised.

Wearing masks is likely to still be a normal thing for some people in this country for years to come. I don’t think some people on this thread will be happy until absolutely everyone no longer wears them.
For a few people yes but it will not be normalised.

Why would you regret getting the vaccine just because some organisations are still telling us to wear masks? That doesn’t really make much sense, and is verging on anti-vaccination territory.
This demonstrates you fail to understand how other people are feeling about this.

So, surely the important thing about the vaccine helping you avoid getting a deadly strain of the virus?
Can you clarify what you mean by this?

The ‘getting back to normal’ thing just being the icing on the cake.
Getting back to normal is not icing on the cake; it is the cake.

The vaccine has allowed us to come out of lockdown. Surely for now that is a big bonus? We are much nearer ‘normal’ than we were at the beginning of the year. It hasn’t been long since things started looking more positive, so give it time. There are still some restrictions in places, but they are slowly being eroded as we get used to going back to our normal lives.
This sounds a lot more sensible, though many people are fustrated at how slow it is.

I think you’re misinterpreting me. When I talk about ‘normal’, it’s never going to be exactly like it was pre-Covid, as it has had a massive effect on the economy, transport, society and so on. I want most things to get back to the way they were (not everything, like our habit of going on short flights, but that’s another topic).
Where have I said I want restrictions to continue? Please quote. My only frustrations have been with people judging others for wearing a mask, to the point where they are actually offended by it.
I don't think many people are offended when someone wears a mask but what I would say is that the announcements, signage etc of some organisations is really grating for many of us and we are very keen to push back against such messaging. It is therefore great for us to see people taking matters into their own hands and getting back to normal.

Can you please not make assumptions about me? It doesn’t really help with a healthy debate really does it? There’s a few things I can assume about you but I’m not going to post that. I’ve been out socialising with friends, and travelling about the country doing different things.
When you make a statement like "We are never going back to ‘normal’ now" that is going to cause a reaction; further explanation was needed if you did not want to be misunderstood.

Very funny.
Surely it is obvious that historians will describe the few years from 2021 onwards as ‘post-Covid’ or ‘post lockdowns’ or something similar, with the huge affect it has had on the economy, transport, society and so on, and how the world adapts in those years.
Yes but that doesn't mean mask wearing will be normalised.
 

alex397

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For the vast majority of people, we are.
I’m glad. I’m also pretty much back to normal. You have also misinterpreted what I mean as ‘normal’.
It will be seen as a big event for sure, and it will be seen as the catalyst for certain changes but the idea that masks will be normalised from now on isn't likely to hold true. Mask wearing in the longer term will only continue for a minority of virtue signallers.
It’s your dismissal of mask wearers as ‘virtue signallers’ I have a problem with. As if you think people are only wearing them as some sort of boast to others.

For a few people yes but it will not be normalised.

Again, how do you know? I feel some will continue wearing them when they are ill. However I don’t know that for sure, and neither do you.
This demonstrates you fail to understand how other people are feeling about this.
It also seems to me you are unwilling to see other people’s point of view. Many of the very strong views I’m reading on this thread are not what I’ve been hearing in real life from most people.
Can you clarify what you mean by this?
Well some posters on here are saying they wish they didn’t have the vaccine because things haven’t returned back to ‘normal’. I can understand the frustrations, but the vaccine has saved lives which is more important. It seems a bit silly to wish they didn’t have it. Things are returning back to normal.
I don't think many people are offended when someone wears a mask but what I would say is that the announcements, signage etc of some organisations is really grating for many of us and we are very keen to push back against such messaging. It is therefore great for us to see people taking matters into their own hands and getting back to normal.
I can understand those frustrations, but we are seeing less of those announcements and signs now, and some demands have turned to advisory messages rather than demands. I accept some organisations have gone way over the top.
When you make a statement like "We are never going back to ‘normal’ now" that is going to cause a reaction; further explanation was needed if you did not want to be misunderstood.
Fair enough. But I don’t feel it is a healthy debate when people reply with assumptions and sarcastic remarks.
Yes but that doesn't mean mask wearing will be normalised.
Again, fair enough. At that point I was trying to explain what I meant by ‘normal’.
With mask wearing, time will tell what happens.
 

Green tractor

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To (hopefully) draw a line under it, taking precautions at that time and under your circumstances was perfectly sensible. There was a time (believe it or not!) when I was rather careful too as we didn’t know what we were dealing with.
Thanks to you, and the other posters for your constructive, supportive comments. I will leave it to others to draw their own conclusions from Yorkies repeated attempts to twist what I said, and his refusal to answer the question I asked.

Moving onto the debate in hand now, things will never 100% go back to the way they were in 2019. maybe 99.8%. Hand sanitiser will still be around. you will still see people wearing face masks, in very small numbers, but they will always be there, some shops will retain the plastic screens, face masks may continue to be required by visitors to certain medical facility's. The world has changed.
 

MikeWM

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Just bought a ticket from a GTR machine at Kings Cross. I had to dismiss a popup message saying that ‘face coverings are advised on our services at all times’ in order to do so.

Getting rather bored with this nonsense now.
 

DustyBin

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Well some posters on here are saying they wish they didn’t have the vaccine because things haven’t returned back to ‘normal’. I can understand the frustrations, but the vaccine has saved lives which is more important. It seems a bit silly to wish they didn’t have it. Things are returning back to normal.

Just to pick up on this point, there are people who have at least some reservations about the long term safety of the vaccines, whilst at the same time view the risk posed by the virus as negligible. Therefore, the main (and perhaps only) reason they took the vaccine was so that life could return to normal. Things are slowly returning to normal but we’re not there yet and many people, myself included, are concerned by the possibility of restrictions being reimposed. Coupled with the prospect of booster vaccines, personally I can understand why they may feel they’ve been conned. I don’t think it’s fair to dismiss their point of view as silly, however much you disagree with it.
 

43066

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So, the only reason you got the vaccine was to go back to normal, rather than helping you avoid getting a deadly strain of the virus?

Sorry but describing Covid (any of the current variants) as “deadly” is hysterical and factually incorrect. Even without the excellent protection offered by the vaccine Covid 19 is a minor respiratory viral illness for the vast majority of those who catch it. Healthy working age people have very little to fear from it.

Describing it in those terms means either you misunderstand the risks posed by the virus to most people, or you are deliberately engaging in emotive fear-mongering, which frankly we have all heard too much of over the last eighteen months.


I think you’re misinterpreting me. When I talk about ‘normal’, it’s never going to be exactly like it was pre-Covid, as it has had a massive effect on the economy, transport, society and so on. I want most things to get back to the way they were (not everything, like our habit of going on short flights, but that’s another topic).


It’s the general tone of your posts. You appear to be enthusiastic about restrictions, are continuing to wear masks voluntarily, and making bold predictions on here that “things won’t ever get back to normal”. That’s suggestive to me of someone who is comfortable with the current situation and perhaps wishes it to continue. Obviously I don’t know you and can only go by what you post on here, and that’s the impression that I (and clearly others) have formed.

Where have I said I want restrictions to continue? Please quote. My only frustrations have been with people judging others for wearing a mask, to the point where they are actually offended by it.

I agree with the points made up thread, masks have come to symbolise what has been a bad period for most of us. I would rather not see people wearing them. I also consider those who are still wearing them to be misinformed or making some kind of statement. That doesn’t mean I’m necessarily “offended” by it, but it’s certainly something that shouldn’t become normalised.

Can you please not make assumptions about me? It doesn’t really help with a healthy debate really does it? There’s a few things I can assume about you but I’m not going to post that. I’ve been out socialising with friends, and travelling about the country doing different things.

I’m glad to hear it. There certainly are some people who for various reasons were unhappy with life as it was pre Covid, and appear to want restrictions to continue and changes to become permanent.

The vaccine has allowed us to come out of lockdown. Surely for now that is a big bonus?

Indeed. The vaccines are meant to be a way out of this. That’s why it’s depressing to still be bombarded with hysterical nonsense about masks when booking train tickets etc. As I said upthread it’s also deeply worrying that certain factions clearly have an agenda to talk down the effectiveness of vaccines to continue other much less effective measures.

It’s certainly interesting to consider that we would have had to come out of lockdown eventually even if no vaccine had been developed.
 

yorkie

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I’m glad. I’m also pretty much back to normal. You have also misinterpreted what I mean as ‘normal’.
As I said, you made some comments which were - understandably - causing alarm. There are some people who really do not want normality to return and many of us are keen to push back against that.

It’s your dismissal of mask wearers as ‘virtue signallers’ I have a problem with. As if you think people are only wearing them as some sort of boast to others.
That's exactly what those who push mask wearing are doing. Those who are behind the drive to either mandate, shame, or encourage others to wear masks and who go round taking photos of themselves wearing masks to prove a point, and going on about how they are "protecting others" are quite frankly a disgrace.

In most settings I do not see many people wearing masks and it is clear that where there are higher numbers wearing masks, it's because many of those wearing masks have either been mislead by those who campaign for mask wearing or who do not want to stand out from others and/or be acting against instructions issued by the organisation whose premises they are visiting and/or acting against the strong messaging of the pro-mask campaigners.

Slowly but surely, as more and more people gain the confidence to ignore the diktat, more people will follow their lead and discard their masks.

For a few people yes but it will not be normalised.

Again, how do you know? I feel some will continue wearing them when they are ill. However I don’t know that for sure, and neither do you.
Because the number of people who feel compelled to wear masks is dropping constantly, entering settings such as pubs you hardly see anyone wearing a mask, and who can forget the scenes many months ago from the Isle of Man where people went maskless while we were experiencing heavy restrictions and people were saying how great it was to get back to normal.

Here in this country we are infested with virtue signallers who are desperately trying to normalise masks and to try to instill a sense of shame/wrongdoing on those who don't wear them and that is holding a significant chunk of people back from discarding their masks in certain settings. As soon as you get those people into a pub type setting they are happy to discard their masks. But not everyone likes being told they are making people "unsafe" by appallingly behaved authoritarian train Guards on virtue signalling TOCs like LNER.

It also seems to me you are unwilling to see other people’s point of view.
It also seems to me you are unwilling to see other people’s point of view.

Many of the very strong views I’m reading on this thread are not what I’ve been hearing in real life from most people.
Perhaps that is due to where you live or what settings you frequent. The strong views displayed by yourself and other pro-maskers are not consistent with what I'm seeing/hearing.

Well some posters on here are saying they wish they didn’t have the vaccine because things haven’t returned back to ‘normal’. I can understand the frustrations, but the vaccine has saved lives which is more important. It seems a bit silly to wish they didn’t have it. Things are returning back to normal.
I'm glad you now admit things are returning to normal however some people/organisations are still desperately trying to continue the charade.

I can understand those frustrations, but we are seeing less of those announcements and signs now, and some demands have turned to advisory messages rather than demands. I accept some organisations have gone way over the top.
And this going over the top is creating a backlash. It makes me more determined to expose the scam of mask wearing.

If the pro-maskers want to end this culture war (for that is what it has become) they need to accept that those who want additional protection are in the minority; those who actually want protection against viruses would need to wear FFP3 (or similar) masks to be effective and they need to accept that all organisations should either be silent on the matter of masks or, if they must put out messaging, it must be suitable to all e.g. "It is your choice to wear a mask or not; please respect each person's choice" or similar neutral wording. Until this is done, the culture war will continue.

Fair enough. But I don’t feel it is a healthy debate when people reply with assumptions and sarcastic remarks.
Sadly those who push for mask wearing make all sorts of invalid assumptions and the remarks they make can be highly inappropriate. I'm fed up of train Guards spouting misleading rubbish through PA systems.

Again, fair enough. At that point I was trying to explain what I meant by ‘normal’.
With mask wearing, time will tell what happens.
It's already happening, but certain settings such as shops and some trains are slow to adapt. Get yourself into a pub and you will see what people really think of masks.
 

Green tractor

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It's already happening, but certain settings such as shops and some trains are slow to adapt. Get yourself into a pub and you will see what people really think of masks.
A pub is hardly a reliable cross section of society in this instance. The more cautious type of person is unlikely to be found there in large numbers, and obviously you cant drink with a mask on. You need to look in places where people have no choice but to visit, like rush hour trains and supermarkets.

That's exactly what those who push mask wearing are doing. Those who are behind the drive to either mandate, shame, or encourage others to wear masks and who go round taking photos of themselves wearing masks to prove a point, and going on about how they are "protecting others" are quite frankly a disgrace.
There is a difference between pushing something, and just quietly doing it and getting on with life. I haven't seen anybody taking a picture of themselves wearing a mask, or going on about how wonderful they are for doing it.

If the pro-maskers want to end this culture war (for that is what it has become) they need to accept that those who want additional protection are in the minority; those who actually want protection against viruses would need to wear FFP3 (or similar) masks to be effective and they need to accept that all organisations should either be silent on the matter of masks or, if they must put out messaging, it must be suitable to all e.g. "It is your choice to wear a mask or not; please respect each person's choice" or similar neutral wording. Until this is done, the culture war will continue.
Where is this culture war? Please point me to some other references to it, as it is the first time I have heared this mentioned in relation to Covid.
 
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yorkie

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Thanks to you, and the other posters for your constructive, supportive comments. I will leave it to others to draw their own conclusions from Yorkies repeated attempts to twist what I said, and his refusal to answer the question I asked.
Nonsense; I did answer your question!

It's also false to claim I have twisted what you said! On the contrary; your perception of what others say is often very different to the reality, and we have seen evidence of this on multiple occasions.

@Class320 answered and I expanded upon it:
Better safe than sorry. If you are taking precautions to reduce the risk of infecting vulnerable people then I see absolutely no issue with doing so.
To be clear: in this context we are talking about "fit, healthy and active" people, who have been vaccinated, and are deemed "vulnerable" purely due to being 84 and 91 years old.

If anyone believes that it is important that such an individual is not exposed to a virus, then the wearing of those individuals or close family members of FFP3 masks would be an effective precaution that could be taken. Whether this is proportionate, given the effectiveness of vaccines, is something each individual can decide on. But there is no doubt that anyone wearing such an effective mask, in accordance with the instructions, is given additional protection on top of the already excellent protection provided by the vaccines.

But if the 'precaution' is the wearing of a standard flimsy loose fitting mask, then this offers no measurable protection against infection, as the study linked to in this thread demonstrated.

If we are talking about other precautions then that's really a debate for a different thread.

Can you please stop claiming people have not answered your questions, when they have? This has happened multiple times!

Meanwhile you regularly fail to answer questions; this is your right but it does undermine your argument.

Moving onto the debate in hand now, things will never 100% go back to the way they were in 2019. maybe 99.8%. Hand sanitiser will still be around.
Who cares if we see hand sanitiser around? What's the relevance here? (Note: these are rhetorical questions; the thread is about mask effectiveness)

you will still see people wearing face masks, in very small numbers, but they will always be there, some shops will retain the plastic screens, face masks may continue to be required by visitors to certain medical facility's. The world has changed.
Face masks won't be required indefinitely in medical facilities and we will continue to see a reduction in people wearing masks. If a small minority wish to stand out that's their choice but it will not be normalised.

A pub is hardly a reliable cross section of society in this instance. The more cautious type of person is unlikely to be found there in large numbers, and obviously you cant drink with a mask on. You need to look in places where people have no choice but to visit, like rush hour trains and supermarkets.
Pubs seem to be just as busy as ever and I was on a railtour the other day which was fully booked and hardly anyone wore a mask. I went to Saisnbury's in Preston and about 1 person was wearing a mask; no-one else was.

In some settings there are more people wearing masks (we have a dedicated thread for that) but this is almost certainly because you need to reach a critical mass before it reaches the point where people no longer feel self-concious at not wearing one in a place that is (wrongly) encouraging them.

There is a difference between pushing something, and just quietly doing it and getting on with life. I haven't seen anybody taking a picture of themselves wearing a mask, or going on about how wonderful they are for doing it.
They exist on social media but it is a small but highly vocal minority. A small number of people here had profile pictures depicting masks but very few (if any) remain now.

Where is this culture war? Please point me to some other references to it, as it is the first time I have [heard] this mentioned in relation to Covid.
You do lead a sheltered life! ;)

Here you go...

This has the potential to be worse than Brexit. Then, nobody could look at you and know whether you were a Leaver or Remainer. A fortnight from today, they might....

...just like the referendum on Scotland breaking with the UK in 2014, it has the potential to sunder friendships. But it might do something else too. Because the mask is such an obvious badge of affiliation, it will become assortative. Birds of a feather will stick together. Some workplaces will achieve a critical mass of maskers, others won’t.


The great mask debate is fast becoming the latest front on the culture war where everything is binary. Your entire character is now based on a mask. You’re either a saint for wearing one or masks are the most monstrous affront to human liberty. It’s making me yearn for the good old days of Brexit.



Whether or not to wear a mask in public spaces is set to become the next divisive “culture war”, a new poll for i has found, with fans of face coverings disapproving of the “reckless” behaviour of those who plan to bin them.

The public is evenly split on whether or not it is right to lift all remaining Covid-19 restrictions on 19 July in England and many believe it is unsafe to take advantage of their regained freedoms, according to the survey by Redfield & Wilton Strategies.


...the question of masks for children has become a partisan political issue, absorbed into a broader culture war between liberals and conservatives...


Face masks will be the next culture war – so which side are you on?​

So here it is, the next vicious skirmish in our culture war. As face masks are confirmed to be non-compulsory from July 19, self-declared defenders of freedom will lambast brainwashed “sheeple” who continue sporting theirs; self-righteous, self-appointed statisticians on Twitter will lash out at libertarian hicks who don’t.


The mask row is in danger of descending into a very British culture war​

On a bus in Hackney a week ago, I watched as a mother with two kids had a friendly tussle. The older lady next to her objected to the fact that she was sitting near her, with a child on her lap with no mask. The mother asked whether she’d been double-vaxxed, and when it had been established that all were adequately protected she asked what the need was to force her (admittedly rather boisterous) son to cover his face. It was an awkward, tense but necessary example of informal boundary-pushing - the old woman replied that she’d really rather everyone be wearing a mask. But to what extent do we let our inclination to be sticklers for courtesy override our common sense?

Why the mask culture wars may never end...​


The effectiveness of flimsy, loose fitting masks is highly questionable but one thing is certain: forcing, coercing or guilting people into wearing them is extremely divisive and not a positive thing for our society.
 
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Green tractor

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Most of those say masks WILL become the next culture war, not that they are currently, its just the press stirring things up again. One says they are IN DANGER of becoming a culture war.
To be clear: in this context we are talking about "fit, healthy and active" people, who have been vaccinated, and are deemed "vulnerable" purely due to being 84 and 91 years old.
And here is what I actually said
Also in terms of abuse, people getting angry I've been on the receiving end of some at work for being careful. My employer did nothing, I got abuse for sitting on my own at break times rather than sit in the non socially distanced mess-room, had people make fun of me for actually stating at home during lockdown. One chap got very angry with me shouting at me asking if I was high risk (2 members of my household are) turns out his girlfriend is at high risk for some reason, but following the crowd and putting on a macho front was more important to him than reducing his (and therefore her) risk. (This was before the vaccines had been rolled out)
I will once again leave it up to others to make up their own minds
 

yorkie

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Most of those say masks WILL become the next culture war, not that they are currently, its just the press stirring things up again. One says they are IN DANGER of becoming a culture war.
Real world examples have been given in some of those articles as well as in this thread; also see other threads.
 

Green tractor

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The effectiveness of flimsy, loose fitting masks is highly questionable but one thing is certain: forcing, coercing or guilting people into wearing them is extremely divisive and not a positive thing for our society.
The fact is most people are not bothered, those of us who wear them, just get on with it quietly, as do most of those who don't.
 

Huntergreed

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The fact is most people are not bothered, those of us who wear them, just get on with it quietly, as do most of those who don't.
Which is fine and I have no problem with.

What I do have an issue with is people and companies trying to guilt-trip me into wearing one because it's 'respectful to others' and 'not a big ask' (it is for many).

Since you supported the continuation of the mandate (and I imagine still do support the continuation in Scotland and Wales for the remainder of 2021) then it is clear that you aren't 'not bothered' by non-wearers. I will push back against this rising authoritarianism and unpleasantness we have seen recently.

The pro-mask side of the argument is considerably more aggressive than the anti-mask side, with many people demanding others wear masks, taking pictures of those who choose not to and sending these to train companies in protest, and even companies refusing service for not wearing a mask. There are also many people on social media regularly tweeting things such as 'WEAR A F*****ING MASK, IT'S NOT HARD', which makes me even more determined to rise up against this disgraceful attitude. Anti-maskers do not want to ban masks, we simply want the freedom of choice without coercion, which I don't think is too much to ask for.
 

Green tractor

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They exist on social media but it is a small but highly vocal minority. A small number of people here had profile pictures depicting masks but very few (if any) remain now.
That doesn't mean they are telling people anything, its just a picture. Some people have their baby as their profile picture, does that mean they are pressurising other people into having children?
 

yorkie

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The fact is most people are not bothered, those of us who wear them, just get on with it quietly, as do most of those who don't.
If there was no pro-mask messaging, no-one calling for mandates, no companies or individuals trying to make people feel guilty for not wearing them etc, the debate and 'culture war' would be over.

That doesn't mean they are telling people anything, its just a picture.
It's virtue signalling.

Here is a good example of Alice Perry virtue signalling, and getting well and truly called out for it:

Going to keep wearing my mask on public transport. Even when it’s just me on the tube.
But someone pointed out that Alice Perry was happy to get close to people not wearing a mask:

Alone on a Tube - Will wear a mask. With 2 other people taking a photo - Won't wear a mask.
Thus demonstrating that it's a classic case of virtue signalling.


Some people have their baby as their profile picture, does that mean they are pressurising other people into having children?
What a weird question. The answer is no. This is yet another false equivalence; you really are full of them!
 
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Darandio

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Meanwhile your making lots of noise on here about not wearing them, anywhere in the UK, is there really any difference?

Any difference between being a public figure taking a virtue signalling photo to show your followers on an empty carriage versus what are effectively anonymous posts on a railway forum? Big difference.
 
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