Royal Society president Venki Ramakrishnan urged every one to wear facemasks because the “new normal” before coronavirus disappears, comparing the refusal to do this with antisocial behaviors like driving without seatbelts or drunk.
No one should leave their property without a face covering inside their possession, and they should be worn “particularly indoors in enclosed public spaces” where social distancing is difficult, Venkatraman ‘Venki’ Ramakrishnan, a Nobel Prize-winning biologist and head of the UK scientific academy, said on Tuesday.
It used to be quite normal to own quite a few drinks and drive home, and it also used to be normal to operate a vehicle without seatbelts. Today both of those would be considered antisocial, and perhaps not wearing face coverings in public areas should be regarded in the same manner.
Ramakrishnan described face masks as “another item of clothing that is part of the new normal” and should be worn because it’s “the right thing to do.”
Quarantine shaming: the mask of discord
Wearing masks would lower the chances of virus resurgence and the need for future lockdowns, Ramakrishnan argued, adding that would protect everyone from National Health Service staff to one’s grandparents.
Protecting the NHS was the pretext for the initial lockdown in the united kingdom, as experts pointed to models showing intensive care wards getting overwhelmed by dying Covid-19 patients otherwise.
“The UK is way behind many countries in terms of wearing masks and clear policies and guidelines about mask wearing for the public,” Ramakrishnan added, pointing with their widespread adoption in Italy, Spain and France. He blamed inadequate messaging by the government, noting that “If guidance is inconsistent people will follow their own preferences.”
He failed to address the fact the government’s credibility in the matter was chipped by the discovery that mcdougal of the lockdown model, Imperial College Professor Neil Ferguson, had stepped down in May after the media revealed he’d violated quarantine to meet along with his married lover, possibly infecting her family with Covid-19 in the process.
While governments around the world are now mandating face masks as a way of coping with the coronavirus, in the early days of the pandemic most people – such as the World Health Organization – insisted they certainly were either useless or harmful. As it later ended up, that was designed to suppress civilian demand to make sure there were enough in stock for medical workers.
Another credibility hit originated from the disparate treatment of mass gatherings. Protests contrary to the lockdowns were deemed unacceptable and dangerous to public health, even though demonstrators wore masks and practiced social distancing, while mass gatherings focused on demands for racial justice – lacking either and frequently devolving in to violence – were praised as right and proper.
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