End of plan B and compulsory mask wearing on transport and in shops - how safe do you feel?

I don’t think it’s a black and white of people’s political leanings mean they supporting restrictions or not.
Most people will look at the situation, and take a view, considering the whole situation at the time, which means their view on restrictions will vary, depending on the overall situation, at that time, and also not just on themselves.
I supported the restrictions to begin with, however, I also think there has to be a balance for everyone, and an end to them.
I now look at the suffering all around, that lockdown and restrictions have caused, and I just can’t support restrictions on anyone else, anymore, just to keep people like myself (and my 91 year old mother, who has carers) safe - it’s also my mothers opinion, my mother used to be a matron, and definitely has her own opinions, and is also a great supporter of her MP, Luke Pollard.

This has nothing to do with politics,

My political view comes from a joke -
Q - how do you know when a politician is lying
A - their lips are moving
and that covers all flavours of politician

I don’t think all restrictions can be lumped together. Restrictions which impinge on people’s livelihoods are very different from the simple request to continue to wear a mask in a crowded indoor space for the sake of limiting the spread of the virus and protect people like us. How is the mask wearer harmed by that simple act of courtesy? If it can be continued in Wales and Scotland without too much protest and indeed many European countries what is so exceptional about the English? Anyway I try to believe that when they realise the difference it can make I think most people are considerate. I had to get an IT problem sorted and asked the very young man if he could wear a mask as the vaccines didn’t work very well for me and it was obvious we were going to have to have a long conversation to sort things out, he fished around for mask under counter and was very happy to comply. I felt safer he got the business win win.

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many people cannot hear others when they wear a mask, they tend to lip read a bit, when they listen, and also need clear speech,
when people wear masks, those people are completely isolated, that have no idea what is going on
but who cares - they tend to be the elderly, and are nearly always overlooked, they are the loose loose people

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It is difficult for people with hearing issues which is why i do not wear an FFP3 in seminar and not all people with hearing issues are old I have two amongst my students which is why I learned some BSL some years ago.

On balance I think it would be more unusual for a person with hearing difficulties to die or become extremely ill because they could not clearly hear a mask wearer than for a very vulnerable person to die or become extremely ill of the Covid they caught from a mask refusnik so until the Covid numbers decrease and I am allowed a fourth vaccine which actually works I shall not be afraid to ask for mask wearing when I think it appropriate.

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You miss the point, my mother is extremely vulnerable, and is also 91, and hard of hearing,
She definitely wants everyone to ditch the masks.
Don’t bother to ask my mum, to wear one, if the law doesn’t insist, you will get short shrift - if she actually can understand what you are asking her, from behind your mask.

My mum doesn’t do bsl, she has learned to read lips and listen, between the two she is fine, but muffle the sound, or remove the visibility, and she has no idea what anyone is saying.
Someone wearing a mask does both.

It’s quality of life, and it’s now fine to go without masks,
and if some people disagree, then they should wear their own FFP3, it’s much more protective to the wearer, than other people wearing cloth ones, or the disposable ones I’ve seen round peoples chins, or just over their mouth, not their nose etc etc

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While I am of course sorry for your mother’s difficulties I am sorrier still for those who have suffered badly from Covid and most of all those who have died they and their families are the real losers.
I am only speaking of what I do and the polite requests I make in specific circumstances others may disagree but I would never dream of telling people that they should wear FFP3s (which are too expensive for some) or that it is now fine to go without masks. In a free country when the mandate to wear masks has been abandoned but masks are still advised in crowded public spaces everyone is allowed to make up their own mind and advice on safety should be backed by expertise and evidence .

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You would not dream of telling very vulnerable people that they could wear FFP3 masks, and be more protected, than just relying on others wearing cloth masks , and also be very protected, when no-one else wears masks - that’s a pity.
Information is very helpful.

My mother is really not alone, there are very large numbers of people, who have a very limited life left, and don’t want to spend it in the real isolation that comes, not being able to hear what others are saying, and having any conversation with people.
In the over 55’s building where my mother lives (all of whom are over 75) they all abandoned the face masks as soon as possible, as there was no point having coffee mornings and afternoons, or going to the local cafe for lunch, when no-one could talk/listen to each other.
This is a real lifeline for all of them.

And I support them being mask free, to enjoy what is left of their lives, 100%

Hi @heatherthomas it must be so lonely and isolated for your mother, how does she spend her time?
It must also be a worry for you/

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The coffee mornings and afternoons are now back in full swing, and anyone who wants a chat with anyone else in the block, just goes to the communal area around 2.00pm, there is always someone there.
We have spent a lot of time on admin,
Mum now has an electric wheelchair - as she was getting too frail to manage a manual one, which also rises about 2 feet, so she can be at a better height if you are in a standing group of people… lots of research there, for the right one.
Mum has a new front door to her flat, (it has to autoclose due to fire regs), and pulling the door towards her, whilst trying to nagivgate an electric wheelchair is impossible, so there is now one which automatically opens, the same system as the new doors to the building, so only 1 fob needed… lots of research too, and letters to the building owners, for their doors, as well as mums - and it had to go to a vote, as the main doors come out of the general mtce budget everyone contributes too - but quite a few people have the “walkers” so nearly all were in favour, as it made it much easier for them too.
and the electric company stopped sending the big print bills , so mum had default/bailiff notices for a couple of quid, as she read a 5 as a 3
and it was a nightmare just getting her a booster, second jab April, booster not until 23rd Dec - as someone needs to come out, as mum can’t get herself in and out of transport to anywhere… the local MP did a sterling job.

And her hot water boiler went - so we needed a new one,
and the economy 7 wasn’t keeping warm enough, so we hand new ones put in
we needed to arrange dentist to come out, and optician, and some physio
The electric wheelchair was great for the dentist, because not only does it rise, but it can tip back!

So, there is always something to keep us busy

I am the emergency contact for the buzzer, and mum has one on her wrist, if anything happens, and if they can’t contact me for any reason, the the emergency services are called, so from that point of view, my mum is covered, so I don’t worry.
And they do look out for each other in the building, and there is a warden

hmmm, it looks a lot when written down, and I haven’t gone into the freezer debacle, or food deliveries, or doctors non-visits, or any of that!

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Oh @heatherthomas reading your post really made me feel what a very special, loving, caring daughter you are.
Your mum is so lucky to have you.

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As many here have stated, the early lifting of restrictions doesn’t help our situations even though we all knew they were going to be lifted eventually.

Personally - I would have like the wearing of face masks to have continued in shops and other areas of close contact such as transport but clearly the majority want to ditch them asap. I would also have liked the retention of the isolation period when testing positive whether or not symptoms existed. My problem is that 10% of the population hasn’t even had a single jab never mind the booster. So who can we trust to be protected so that we can begin to return to a sense of normality? I would have also liked us to have available the prophylactic antibody treatment (Evusheld) but since the JVCI haven’t approved it we will just have to wait. It’s approved in the USA!

Anyway since I had my booster 2 weeks ago I decided this weekend to return to what I enjoy doing - “mountain bike orienteering” where essentially you ride hard for 2 hours looking for as many controls as you can. Something I did before lockdown and something I was determined to return to when life after cancer allowed me. Part of the pleasure is since the event uses a pub as a base, we have a meal afterwards and talk about how we did and life in general. It was so good to be back in the fold and what helped was most of the “crowd” I’ve known for many years and are mostly either retired (like myself) or close to retirement and thus will most probably be fully protected.

I will continue to take precautions when out doing the weekly shopping and going to appointments and generally being aware of my surroundings and who is around me.

Covid hasn’t gone away and based on the reporting by the BBC this weekend Covid has become unimportant and not worth being an item. That’s life and it was going to happen!!

The best we can all do is look after ourselves as we see fit and take the precautions we feel are necessary to protect ourselves and try to carry on with life whilst the masses around us consider Covid to have gone away.

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Oh @Venus your pub based ‘mountain bike orienteering’ sound absolutely wonderful and encompasses everything - fresh air, exercise, comradery, challenge, friends, socialising, food and a beer - what more could you want and yes, staying safe, enjoy.

Hi all, hope you’re doing okay. As you’ll know, the Prime Minister is expected to outline a ‘plan for living with COVID-19’ in England. Blood Cancer UK and 17 other charities have produced this brief for the government, which sets out 5 tests the plan must pass to make sure people at highest risk from COVID-19 are well supported to live with COVID-19 now and into the future -
the 5 tests are,

  1. Directly address the concerns of people at highest risk and commit to improve communication with them
  2. Smooth, timely access to COVID-19 treatments
  3. Lateral flow tests remain free
  4. Improve employment protection and support
  5. Set out a plan for the use of preventative COVID-19 treatments and prioritise further research into treatments and vaccines

Here’s some more information -
5 tests for the Government’s plan for Living with COVID-19: the support required for people at high-risk | Multiple Sclerosis Society UK (mssociety.org.uk)

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Thank you for this information. You have covered the areas creating anxiety although I do wonder if the infection rates, or some knowledge around how much infection is about, would be useful. Surely they don’t intend not knowing this for themselves anyway? Nationally, it is stated that the count is steadying or going down, where I live this is not true.

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Thank you @Alice_BloodCancerUK and everyone else from Blood Cancer UK and the other charities who have produced this brief for the government. It’s so reassuring that there is a united voice I representing the immunocompromised and other ECV groups.

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I’m ok thanks for asking Erica, apologies for the delay.

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With the abandonment of restrictions I was pleased to learn about the DISTANCE AWARE badges and lanyards available thanks to the Welsh and Scottish NHS. . I have a couple of quick points to air…

  • In Scotland the badges are available in libraries and Asda stores but not available from Asda with my home delivery - can someone please tell Asda to add them to the product list ?? !!!

  • The badges are too small so please get the next batch made larger - in the meantime get the lanyard version if you can…

  • the badges develop rust spots when worn in the rain (is there any other time?!) so cheapest is not always best!!!

  • Posters are available on the NHS Scotland website and I printed them off and had them put up at the GP Surgery, the local Pharmacy and various shops in town. What a shame the NHS did not think to distribute them…

  • NHS England are lagging behind but will point you at some Charities and badge makers …

I am lucky enough to live in a rural area and avoiding people is not hard but I( wish all townies well and Good Luck :heart_eyes:

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Hi @UncleRoy a rusty badge is not a good look is it and the badges are not for the short sighted you say. I will copy this to @Alice_BloodCancerUK for information.
Take lots of care from a townie in England.

Hi
I just had to announce that TODAY I finally got a letter from The Chief Medical Officer of the Scottish Government confirming that I have been added to the Highest Risk (ex-Shielding) List !!!
It has only taken TWO YEARS+

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Wow, @UncleRoy what a well deserved celebration you are going to have.