Are you still wearing a mask in shops?

Poll ended at Mon 18 Oct, 2021 17.13

Total votes: 27
Posts: 696
Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2005 23.10

It's too late to un-cancel now regardless, but after having more hostility aimed at me today (directly, not just a generic "look at these idiots" tweet), even when trying to explain my severe anxieties, it's just re-inforced my feelings. The complete lack of any empathy or compassion and the anger coming from them really does get to me. When you try and calmly explain yourself, but you're still told you're a selfish murderer (paraphrasing, but that's basically the gist of it) who should get over themselves and wear one anyway, it makes you feel terrible.

Even if it does seem I'm being irrational, these people are only in a minority and they'd likely lack the bravado in real life they have online, and many of them think they're acting out of concern and doing the right thing, the "wear a damn mask" brigade do genuinely frighten me. Just the fear of one of them having a go at me causes panic attacks, regardless of the likelihood of it actually happening.

Also, one of the people who was berating me earlier was claiming that they love mask mandates. Agreeing with them and feeling they're necessary, I understand, but loving them? I genuinely think the last couple of years has made some people irrational and lose all sense of perspective. I think some people are going to struggle to accept any sort of return to normality.
Posts: 1265
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

james2001 wrote:I think some people are going to struggle to accept any sort of return to normality.
Terms like 'new normal' as if the world as we knew it prior to March 2020 has gone forever and is never coming back certainly doesn't help (nor shockingly, that there is apparently no point at which a line can be drawn as long as Covid remains a threat which I find absolutely insane).

The government has played a blinder in social engineering and coverup here with their latest restrictions (or 'protections' as Nicola Sturgeon has rebranded them to). We're all back to debating the merits of masks, and at the review in 3 weeks regardless of whether masks stay or masks go again in England there will be fury amongst those with strong views on masks whichever way the decision goes. It's somehow all become about masks. And yet whilst everyone's having a mask argument, travel restrictions which will cause further damage to an industry already on it's knees and which had only just started to recover have quietly slipped through with an end date in March 2022 and it's not even being discussed because everyone is arguing about bloody masks. They knew exactly what they were doing.

And at the 3 weekly review, whichever way the mask mandate goes, what other restrictions are they going to slip through at that point under cover of a mask debate?
Posts: 696
Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2005 23.10

Another thing I dislike right now is the outright negativity. Every time there's some sort of good news, people seem to rush to scramble to find any way to twist it into something negative. At the moment it seems impossible for anyone to try and say there's promising signs with omicron in relation to vaccines and serious illness without people piling on to put a downer on it. Even the scientists who are researching this thing get piled on when they try to post something optimistic, I think there's far too many people who want bad news and doom.

And indeed as long as the focus remains on raw case numbers, and not the numbers of seriously ill and deaths, we're likely to never get out of this. That's one of the few things I think this government got right, other countries have been rushing to re-impose restrictions in a panic as soon as case numbers rise, even if hospitalisations and deaths remain at low levels. It's just going to be a constant yo-yo of dropping and re-imposing restrictions as long as that continues. Even with the high case numbers we've had since dropping restrictions in July, hospitalisations and deaths have never come close to the numbers they reached in the pre-vaccination waves even though cases have, and that's the sort of metric that should be applied.

So if it does turn out that Omicron can potentially bypass antibodies and spread faster, but doesn't make people as ill as past variants, then we really shouldn't jump up and down and panic and bring back restrictions... but I think we can be pretty sure that's exactly what's going to happen unfortunately. The fact the "omicron bypassing immunity" stories are based purely on antibodies and ignore T and B cells doesn't help either- T and B cells are very important, especially when it comes to long term immunity, preventing serious illness and recognising new variants and are likely the key to stopping us getting seriously ill from covid and ending the pandemic, the way they're almost practically ignored in reporting and it's treated as if our bodies are defenceless if the virus can get past antibodies, or the antibodies have waned, it's frustrating. The fact that antibodies waning is treated as if it's something worrying and scary and unique to this virus is also irresponsible reporting, it's exactly what antibodies are meant to do. Your B cells make new ones once you encounter the virus again.

I do think at times we're victims of knowing too much. When you properly look into it, there likely isn't anything hugely different here to past pandemics and novel viruses that we've always got through in the past. It's just because we're looking at it so deeply, finding out about every variant and countless minor infections we'd never in the past have even known about, and it and gives the impression of a scarily mutating virus and pandemic we'll never get over, when the reality is most similar viruses we've encountered in the past, and continue to encounter, likely behaved the exact same way, we just didn't have the means to realise it.

Sadly, I think so much fear has been spread over the last couple of years, that I wonder if we'll ever truly get out of "the new normal". Covid's such a scare word now, I don't think some people will ever be prepared to accept it as an endemic disease, or something that's not likely to be a serious threat once we've all got a decent level of immunity to it (preferably by vaccination- get your boosters!). The reality that covid's always going to be around, we're likely to all catch it several times in our lives but it likely won't make us seriously ill, and we can't keep endlessly testing, worrying about every case, making people isolate or restrict our lives to try and suppress the virus is something that I think it's going to be very hard to make many people (including those in authority) accept.

And I agree with what you say about the travel industry, there's no way me or most people I know will think about going abroad until expensive travel testing and masks on planes are a thing of the past. The tests often cost more than the flight (especially now they've bought back PCR tests), pricing people out, and even most people I know who don't get anxiety about wearing masks still can't face the idea of having to wear one for hours on end on a flight. Travel testing in particular is such a money making racket I imagine there's going to be a lot of resistance to scrapping it.
bilky asko
Posts: 1294
Joined: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 19.48

You've posted (a lot) about fearmongering and a lack of optimism, then you say:
james2001 wrote: Thu 02 Dec, 2021 23.33Sadly, I think so much fear has been spread over the last couple of years, that I wonder if we'll ever truly get out of "the new normal".
You cite historical precedent of other pandemics and how there's no evidence that Covid is any different and will go by like previous pandemics of that kind (let's not forget the other pandemic we're not out of by any means - HIV/AIDS), and yet in the same post make out this is some sort of exceptional time where we won't ever get back to normal. Surely that's the very sort of fearmongering you're railing against, isn't it?
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