Throughout this whole crisis, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve been a little sceptical of most of the government’s advice and rules.
There have been so many contradictions and I couldn’t always see the logic. But I complied, feeling that taking precautions was surely protecting others who were more vulnerable than me, and that has to be a good thing.
However, the thorny issue of facemasks probably tested me the most.
The inconsistencies were stark, in April 2020 we were told they weren’t effective and yet by July they had become mandatory. I took it all with a pinch of salt.
Except, I started to look towards those who care for people in acute medical situations for inspiration. Each time they see a sick patient, they wear a mask not to necessarily protect themselves, but to shield the person they are caring for.
My guiding principle, just like Hippocrates is “First do no harm” and I feel this situation is no different.
So I began wearing a mask knowing and understanding that when I do, I’m protecting you.
For me to be protected, you must wear one too.
Armed with this knowledge, I’m vigilant and avoid as many situations as possible where I might find myself with others who choose to behave differently.
Last weekend, I found myself on a train hurtling towards Euston Station. As we got nearer to our destination, the carriages became overcrowded, there was no room to socially distance and I was alarmed at the almost complete absence of facemasks.
There was no room for me to move and with people either side, across and next to me all completely mask-less; I was trapped until we reached the station.
The concourse at Euston was much the same and the station staff looked on with a weary complacency.
A full 47 hours later, I tested positive for Covid-19.
I don’t think so, and speaking to the script reading people at ‘Track & Trace’, I struggled to identify anywhere, other than the station, where I had felt exposed. Everywhere else I’d felt looked after and cared for.
As a result of my experience, I’m now convinced of the need for facemasks.
There are so many unknowns about this virus that I think it would be foolish of me to assume that being asymptomatic does not mean that I couldn’t still pass the virus on to you.
Given that my positive test was less than a week ago, I’m not fearful of the virus as my immune system is clearly functioning very well as I have no symptoms, other than tiredness, at all now. But your immune system might not be quite so healthy.
So, my gift to you will be that I shall continue to use hand sanitiser before and after I’ve come into contact with public touch points, I shall remain vigilant, I will always be at a courteous distance from you and, I will wear a facemask in public.
I will continue do my very best to protect you and your loved ones, I believe it’s the least I can do to ensure that as many of us as possible, stay fit and healthy during these continuing uncertain times.
Will you do the same for me and my family?