Face masks just aren’t ‘normal’ writes Andy Mitchell

The arrival of a new Health Secretary after the unsavoury shenanigans of last week, appears to have brought a new optimism, and for the first time, the use of the word “normal” in plans for the immediate future.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 12:30 pm
Masked woman
Masked woman

This came as a spark of renewed hope for those who still believe we’ll be in a zombie like state of living for the foreseeable future.

One of the aspects of “normality” must surely centre on the abolition of face masks.

These cloth and paper barriers have become a way of life for many, but also a source of anxiety for others. I’ll be honest with you and say I’ve never taken to them. In the early days of the pandemic, they made me anxious. I can’t stand scarves over my face in winter because of the itchiness, and so when ordered to wear a mask, I found it very difficult to adapt.

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Time goes by, and of course, we become used to anything thrown at us. But I don’t believe it’s in our British way of thinking to continue wearing them, once the perceived risk is over.

Now with freedom on the horizon, how many of us will be just as anxious to ditch the masks and get back to the smiles and facial expressions on which our way of life is built?

Some, of course, will cling on to their masks, even after Government guidance changes, and that’s fine. It will take time to wean some people off them, like babies with comforters. In some settings, maybe people might feel more confident with them, though I question the perceived wisdom of walking alone along the cliffs at Bispham wearing one. We spoke about fresh air last week. Maybe that’s what the doctor would have ordered rather than masks.

I believe we won’t get our normality back until we can once again, confidently meet our friends with a big smile, our glowing happy faces exposed for all to see. That’s what our way of life is all about.

Once those with confidence and courage unmask and set the example, then I believe others will have the courage to follow.

We must guard against something that has become a way of life through imposition, changing our character, because that isn’t “normal”.

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