Boris Johnson has announced from 24th July, face coverings will be compulsory in shops. If you are caught without a mask from that day forward, expect to be fined £100.00. By Nicholas Bishop
The issue of whether to wear a mask or not has been quite controversial in the UK. Some do not question the idea of wearing a mask. Many of those advocating wearing a mask are from high-risk groups such as the BAME community, the elderly and those with underlying illnesses. It is of course understandable why these groups in our society have taken such a stand on the issue of masks.
However ,it seems Mr Johnson has made a U-Turn on his rather confused policy of face coverings. Earlier, the government had left it up to the public as to whether to wear masks whilst in shops and other confined places. Now all of a sudden Mr Johnson wants us all to wear face coverings whilst we are out shopping. The question has to be asked, what evidence has Mr Johnson seen to make him change his mind? Maybe Mr Johnson is falling in line with Scotland, where face-coverings have been mandatory. Compared to Westminister, Nicola Sturgeon’s handling of the COVID crisis has done her no harm in the polls. Certainly, many Scots, when comparing, her handling of the COVID crisis, to Boris’, it is a no brainer. Scots, on the whole, it would appear prefer Ms Sturgeon’s handling of the pandemic, which has been precise and efficient, compared to Boris’ bumbling and stumbling approach. This will certainly, strengthen the case, for Scotland, to go it alone, in any indyref 2.
Compared to Westminister Nicola Sturgeon’s handling of the COVID crisis has done her no harm in the polls. Certainly many Scots when comparing her handling of the COVID crisis to Boris has been far greater. Scots on the whole would appear to prefer Ms Sturgeon’s handling of the pandemic which has been precise and efficient compared to Boris’ bumbling approach.
At the outset of the COVID-19 crisis when lockdown began, all the UK nations were as one on how to deal with the pandemic. Now as we emerge from lockdown, each nation is going its own way. The introducing of a compulsory face-covering policy in England is an example of such divergence (it has been the law in Scotland for some time). England, compared to the other UK nations in implementing the face-covering law is late as per usual.
So where would evidence suggest that face masks have curtailed the virus .You have to look farther a field .Many far-eastern nations such as South Korea and Japan have low infection and death rates. Why? Simply put , they believe the wearing of face-coverings minimises the spread on infection and looking at the numbers it the level of infection and death has been kept to a mimimum. Japanese people have been wearing face coverings for years before COVID-19 came on the scene. As a nation they haven inherrent danger of infection whether air born or in enclosed spaces. Their culture of respct is a factor in this instance when comparing to Western nations. The wearing of masks is an automatic consideration Japanese people don’t think twice about. It is based on a moral attitude of not giving their fellow citizens any infection they are carrying hence the universal wearing of masks. There is strong evidence that face coverings do protect the wearer and those around them from infections from countries like Japan and Korea.
However nations like Brazil where President Jair Bolsonaro did not wear a mask and told his people not to either . Bolsonaro has been compared to Trump, and like Trump, refuses to wear a mask. This, despite the fact that in Brazil there is a record number of deaths and infections due to Coronavirus. The irony is not lost on the world that 65-year-old Bolsonaro has now become infected with the disease. A man who said, he was so fit and strong the disease would not touch him. Mr Bolsonaro must now feel a little foolish ,as he comes to terms with having Covid 19. Politics aside, let us hope Mr Bolsonaro makes a full recovery and emerges a more humble man although given Mr Bolsnaro’s high opinion of himself eating humble pie in fornt of his own people is highly unlikely .
So why now as the virus is hugely declining is Boris implementing this policy now?
Is it about the actual visurs or is it about control? There has been opposing evidence in the media form both the CDC and the WHO that has shifted their messaging from telling people pre-lockdown that the masks were not very preventative in the spread of the disease to the propaganda that is being put out by the MSM in the last two weeks that it does exactly the opposite. Who to believe is the big issue and who is the most trusted source ? There is also the question on why do people in restaurants and bars do not have to wear masks where as in shops you do . Surely this is just inept policies or is it designed to help the help the hospitality industry get back to normal ?Confusion and lack of leadership or is just part of instilling some of control over the population ? some would suggest this is the case. It is hard to decipher what the governemnt are trying to do as these new rules on face masks simply do not make sense.
There will no doubt be members of the public who will rebel against this new law. Many experts on their side will produce counter-evidence that masks are ineffective against infection and vice versa. Members of the public have already flouted social distancing, so will they do the same with or without fines.
Even with the wearing of masks in shops now becoming law, the debate about the pros and cons of mask protection will still carry on but surely it has come too little too late.