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No Dilemma Anymore – Face Masks Are Mandatory!

Posted by Thomas Bynde on July 14, 2020

On May 29 we published a news article examining whether we should be wearing a face mask or not.

The jury was certainly out in May, however now, middle of July 2020, it’s been made mandatory not only to wear a face covering on public transport but also when out and about in shops (from 24 July). If you don't then you could risk a fine of £100. (Children under the age of 11 and people with certain conditions will be exempt.)

It isn’t standard practice in the UK, to wear a face covering, However, looking back in history we can see the emergence of face coverings and masks, particularly when highly infectious diseases were rampant.

In the 17th Century, the Black Death was running wild and in Italy the doctors started wearing scary-looking headdresses made of leather. These covered the whole face and had long pointed bird-like beaks. This provided a cavity which could be filled with herbs, spices and dried flowers. These sweet-smelling additions provided a respite from the foul smell of the surrounding infectious air. Some even believed that they would help to ward off the disease itself.

In the 19th Century, many fashionable ladies started wearing pretty, lacy face masks to help protect themselves from dusty air, which many believed had become polluted by fine particles of deadly bacteria.

And in 1905, a doctor in Chicago, Alice Hamilton, recommended the wearing of face masks when treating patients during surgery, after she had noticed how rapidly scarlet fever was spreading simply by having speaking to someone who was already infected.

Masks are commonly seen in hospitals and clinical settings, but not when out and about shopping.

That is all about to change! No doubt there will be a race to compare patterns and styles and, of course, designer labels!

We need to remember that wearing a mask not only helps to protect us but also protects those around us. It’s important that the mask fits correctly and that we wash a reusable mask each time it has been worn.

Always remember to wash your hands in warm water and soap or, if water isn’t easily available then why not pop a bottle or tube of hand sanitiser in your pocket or bag alongside your face mask? And, of course, before donning your mask, don’t forget to ensure your hands are squeaky clean!

Have a peek at our PPE section where you’ll find a range of disposable facemasks, reusable/washable face masks, disposable gloves, disposable aprons, hand sanitiser and disinfectant spray.