How Long Will We Have to Wear Masks?
Reflecting on a year of lockdowns...
It’s something that has touched everyone’s lives over the last year and of course, as we start to work through the roadmap out of lockdown, lots of people are wondering how long we will have to wear masks for and what circumstance it will be required in as we welcome back some freedoms!
While mask wearing has been common in many parts of Asia for years, we’ve never experienced regular or mandatory masks here before the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and despite it looking like we’re be in for a Great British Summer, perhaps even a beer garden or two, there are many places and circumstances where masks are here to stay for some time yet.
Why are face masks needed in the fight against COVID-19?
Face masks are recommended to protect against COVID-19, because they help to minimise the small droplets and airborne aerosols known to spread respiratory illnesses like this one. When we cough, laugh, talk and sneeze, these droplets can travel and easily land on surfaces or be transmitted from person to person; by wearing a face mask, especially a face mask with a filter, we can significantly limit the spread of those droplets, limiting opportunities for the virus to spread.
Fun fact: Our AB Mask was actually developed, pre-pandemic to support one of our own, Production Manager, Aden, who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. The AB Mask was specifically created to help him feel safe and confident when attending hospital appointments.
Are masks a legal requirement?
Mask wearing in most enclosed public spaces is now a legal requirement, meaning you cannot visit/utilise common indoor areas or indoor, shared public spaces without a face covering (unless you meet specific medical exemption criteria).
Why do I need a mask if I have been vaccinated?
The UK’s impressive vaccination programme has started a new conversation about mask-wearing, as those already protected are wondering why they need a mask after their vaccines? Well, the simple fact is, despite being incredibly good at protecting you from serious illness and death, none of the vaccines are 100% effective in stopping you from contracting, and or spreading COVID-19. This means, even with both vaccines, you could contract the virus, with or without some (milder) symptoms and pass it on to others - so people are still vulnerable, especially at this stage, when vaccinations are ongoing.
Will I have to wear a mask after June 21st?
On the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, June 21st is pitched as the date we will see an end to almost all restrictions, including social contact rules - so it’ll finally be time to hug our friends and families again. But, masks will likely be here to stay in at least some spaces such as shops and public transport.
Not only will it likely be required for some time, but there is a case to be made for wider-spread mask wearing as part of our lives for the simple benefits it can bring for other reasons such as:
- Less other common ailments like colds and coughs
- Masks can be used as an allergy aid, especially reusable face masks with filters
- Confidence - not everyone will come out of the pandemic feeling completely secure and confident, so mask wearing, now it is more common, may act as defence against some health-related anxieties moving forward.
It’s estimated that approximately 129 billion single use masks are being put into the environment every month; with mask-wearing here to stay, we all need to do our part to minimise this problem and either recycle our masks, at a scheme like the one Wilko stores are now running, or invest in a reusable face mask (like our antiviral, reusable face mask with filter, the AB Mask Plus)!
Find out more about our AB Mask Plus here.