Mike4 wrote:I think we are arguing with the people who "don't accept the need for masks", to quote you from earlier.
And in passing, could you perhaps clarify your own views on the need for masks, please? I'm a bit confused now.
Both your (88v8 and and yourself) seem to be arguing against the people who believe that masks don't work and/or are saying they should not be used at all...
To remind you, you said....
"There seems to be a tendency for people to say masks are not proven 100% effective so therefore should not be used. This makes no sense."
I've never argued that just because they are not 100% that they therefore should not be used.
I said it should be left to the population to decide if and when they feel the risks warrant wearing masks; as I've repeatedly said, some people may prefer to do other things instead. That doesn't mean they don't think masks work at all, nor does it mean those people aren't doing their bit (shopping at quieter times, being stricter about maintaining distance, etc).
At no point have I said that people should not wear a mask even if they want to wear one, and at no point have I been derogatory towards people who do choose to wear a mask if that's how they want to play their part. Like I say, I'm arguing for personal choice in the approaches we take in order to play our part.
"The merit of masks in suppressing transmission of an airborne disease is so bleedin obvious it barely needs stating.
If it were not so, why do hospital staff wear masks and other PPE ? Do they just enjoy dressing up?"
Again, this isn't addressing the question of need. It's arguing about effectiveness. These are two different things. I'm not arguing about effectiveness, I'm arguing about need / compulsion.
Mike4, you've asked for my views on the _need_ for masks, although I have already expressed them. But I'll repeat, if it isn't already obvious, I don't think they should be mandatory; I don't think they need to be worn by everyone to the degree mandated by law.
I have already pointed out that we got infections down in the first lockdown without mandatory mask wearing by the public, so there is clear incontrovertible evidence that masks worn by the public are not *critical*; without them being mandatory for the public we can still combat covid. So I stand by my view - with evidence - that masks are not an absolute necessity to be worn by everyone, and therefore I don't believe they should be mandatory.
Doesn't mean they don't have their place. Doctors, nurses, care workers, particularly when they've been trained in proper use and are expected to use them effectively because of their profession, absolutely masks have a role. I'm certainly not going to claim they're ineffective.
To repeat - I have no problem with people wearing them if they want - even the public if they want.
To be honest, before they became mandatory, I took someone wearing a mask as a sign that they had particular concerns more than others (for whatever reason, even if it was just nervousness on their part) and I respected that by giving them extra space, etc. Much like if you see someone walking down the street with a white stick, it being 'white' is all part of social signalling to let you know they are blind so that you can be mindful of that without having to make a fuss or embarrass them. I treated people wearing face masks before they came mandatory as a similar kind of social signal that told me the person had a higher concern than others about covid and I'd adjust my behaviour to respect that.
So I do believe there are even some arguments in favour of public mask wearing being a voluntary choice, rather than mandated on everyone.