Wearing masks in Palma

People walking wearing face masks in the Plaza Major in Palma.

15-07-2020ATIENZA

Since the global outbreak of Covid19, the wearing of face masks has become a subject of much debate, as to whether or not they offer unquestionable protection against the invasion of this despicable virus. Some people have been very much ‘for’, whilst a completely different rebel camp, for some reason or other, have become decidedly ‘against!’

From Monday, July 13, the Balearic Government, in accordance with Spain, has ruled that face coverings are obligatory, and must be worn at all times in public places, apart from beaches, swimming pools, bars and restaurants while eating, or whilst participating in a sporting activity. So, irrespective of which side you are championing, or whether you support the science behind this decision, the simple fact remains that face masks in the foreseeable future are currently part of the new norm.

Some people insist, quite vehemently, that the virus can easily pass through some masks, therefore the ‘ruling’ in some cases (depending on the type of mask you are wearing) is not completely100% effective. However, the idea behind the current protection protocol of mask wearing is not necessarily or solely to protect the wearer from infection, but to considerately protect others from the possibility of your own potential to spread the killer virus! Not everyone comprehends that little gem of information! So in a nutshell, if everyone wears a mask, then surely the air between us that we all share has got to be filtered to some degree? Add to that a continued respect for safe distancing, and perhaps, any personal views aside, if we all gave it a decent chance then things, hopefully, will improve again. After all, what have we really got to lose?

But this current situation is not just about wearing a face mask, it’s about people’s general attitude at being told to do something they don’t want to do, and their willingness (or not) to consider others who might have different, or valid concerns of their own.

Even if face masks aren’t proven to be 100% effective, complying and wearing one at least shows commitment to the concept of a cure, and a willingness to demonstrate that you are at least trying, and doing your individual best towards ridding the world of this horrific pandemic.

I find it almost incomprehensible that some individuals actually believe and support the conspiracy theory that Covid19 is nothing but a global hoax. And all the hype we hear about the pandemic is nothing but cheap scare mongering! These people seem to think the W.H.O. is some kind of Disney Channel and the tragedy of worldwide catastrophe is simply some unknown ‘power’s’ imaginative propaganda! Quite an extravagant joke to employ world-wide, considering the fall-out!!!

Some of the inane comments I have read on-line from certain numskulls backing this theory are astonishing! We have seen Covid19 creeping across the world, systematically devastating countries and bringing world economy to its knees. Here in Majorca we have witnessed the disastrous collapse of tourism, the destruction of a cruise industry and the crippling of airlines. Thousands upon thousands of jobs have been lost never to be recovered. Careers have been ruined. Families have been destroyed by the loss of loved ones. Valued NHS workers and medical professionals who have dedicated their entire lives to the study of medicine and saving others have lost their own in this heartless battle. Yet still, certain individuals insist the pandemic is being falsely reported and over exaggerated despite evidence to the contrary.

I can only conclude that lockdown has obviously affected some people’s reasoning a lot more than others, and perhaps some form of therapy might help staunch cynics to see the reality of a very clear picture that the world is presenting!

As individuals, all we are being asked to do is wear a face mask in public and continue to respect social distancing. OK, it’s summer, it’s hot, and you’re not alone, it’s uncomfortable for everyone. But any slight discomfort is nothing compared to nurses and doctors who suffer masks on 8/10 hour shifts trying to save the lives of those who have caught the virus , possibly through no fault of their own, or possibly because of ignoring the correct protocol!

If you are a teenager or young enough to feel you can cast any caution to the wind regardless of consequence, it’s not really such a big ask is it to join in? It’s not exactly like you are all being sent to fight on the front line in the trenches! And we all know what happens if we just ignore this instruction and give up!

In a civilised attempt to restore some kind of sanity along with rescuing a string of sinking economies, countries which have worked so hard in trying to contain and control the virus have relaxed and re-opened their borders, only to realise that relaxation too soon cases ‘spikes’, and brings with it ‘outbreaks’ and a return of the virus which thrives on people’s mistakes.

The Spanish people along with Majorca had one of the toughest lockdowns on record, and worked tirelessly with endless self sacrifice in support of the government’s advice to stay home. Being a socially gregarious culture it was extremely difficult for Majorcans to isolate themselves from families and circle of friends.

Over the past few weeks, during a more relaxed programme, group gatherings and small fiestas have been allowed, and unfortunately for many across Spain and the Balearics, this translated that things were simply back to normal. Street and private parties sprung up everywhere. People quickly took advantage and stopped social distancing. Friends started hugging and kissing their greetings instead of keeping a safe distance. Needless to say protocol quickly went out of the window. Servers in bars immediately stopped wearing masks, although some never even took up the option in the first place! And all the progress we made since March was swiftly undone by a minority, allowing the virus to tragically start sneaking back again. And to think, we were all doing so well!

The good news is that Spain has recognised this failing and is trying to do something about it ahead of the game, without imposing the threat of a second draconian- style lockdown, by insisting on the wearing of face coverings in public. Admittedly, every aspect of our lives has changed irrefutably, and we all yearn for a miracle return to how things were before this nightmare grabbed the world by its balls and shook us all up. But we are never going back to those halcyon days without compromise, and a good result won’t come about through ignorance fed by a bad attitude. A better life will come through compliance and commitment, regardless of whether you believe in the validity of face masks or not.

Ironically, this is not a good shout for the 5 million tourists heading our way through July/August, but defeating this virus is much more important than any random holiday, getting wasted or acquiring a transient killer tan! And judging by the disrespectful drunken behaviour we have seen so far in the media, no wonder alarm bells are ringing across the island community! However, although can’t tar everyone with the same brush, it seems to be the majority winning notoriety over the minority!

Your own personal view might be that wearing a face mask won’t make any difference to our future. But then again it just might! And until we try we shall never know. So isn’t it worth our best shot? This situation is totally unprecedented, so don’t be a whinger, don’t play the rebel card with no real intelligence to back up your own theories. Just do it! Strap on that mask with pride. But do it with a good heart along with the right attitude. And above all . . . do it for Majorca!

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chris / Hace 6 months

Sweden: no lockdown, no masks. The pandemic has gone by itself. Death toll like with any severe flu season.

You write: "After all, what have we really got to lose?" Well, we already lost the economy, and as things stand we won't win it back either.

You whine a lot about people not wearing masks. Your reason for waering masks is not the death rate of the covid19 disease, because it is the same as in any other severe flu season. You just write it must be bad, because of the draconian measures the governments have taken. That is very poor reasoning. Just give me the numbers, the scientific studies that prove the severeness. I would recommend to look at the official death numbers at euromomo.eu. and scientists and Sweden habe proven the lockdowns haven't influenced how sars-cov-2 travelled through the population.

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Georgi / Hace 6 months

Such opinion can only be written by the kind of person who will gladly advocate implanting chips in people "for the common good". It is indoctrinating and completely wrong as one could have written a well argument fact checked article on the harmful side effects of the prolonged use of masks both oh the person physical and psychological condition. Some limited usage of masks indoors does makes sense, but it's naive even harmful implying that although that we should blindly accept a regulation which can end up hurting the citizens of a country. Not a whole country per se as for the majority of Spain and the world as a whole the obligation to wear masks when outside is non-existent.

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