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This opposition to wearing face masks is of great concern

23 July, 2020

Face masks: ‘refuseniks are forcing older people and others with health problems into a cruel choice’

• THE letters from Kieran Linnane (Shop workers may suffer harm from long-term use of face masks) and Clara Weiss (Cloth masks may put people at risk) opposing compulsory face masks in shops are a cause for great concern.

Yes, wearing masks at tills for hours on end may be uncomfortable, but the answer is to use the larger transparent masks or to install transparent shields at cash tills. These have the added advantage that deaf lip-readers can see what is said to them.

The evidence is clear that in all crowded environments (including busy footpaths) wearing face masks protects the population from catching the disease from those who are already infected, but do not show symptoms.

For Covid-19, this lack of early symptoms is common-place. For the young and fit, risks from the disease are minimal. But mask refuseniks are forcing older people and others with health problems into a cruel choice. Either they separate themselves from ordinary life for an indefinite period or they go out into the world at their peril.

AILEEN HAMMOND
Haverstock Hill, NW3

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