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People who prefer the restricted things

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TPO

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I thought this article in the Guardian was interesting: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news...o-keep-masking-its-like-an-invisibility-cloak
Hartley Miller, a 33-year-old tech worker in San Francisco, said that the past year of constant, camera-on Zoom calls has seriously exacerbated her body dysmorphia, a mental health condition that involves obsessive thinking about a perceived flaw in one’s appearance.

“I just stare at that little box with my face in it and pick apart my appearance,” she said, noting that her distress is affecting her job performance. “My double chin seems six times larger, my eye bags are too deep of a purple, etc … Even when there’s a heatwave and my apartment is close to 90 degrees, I’ll wear a turtleneck that I can pull up. I pack on thick makeup that makes my skin peel.”

Going out in public with a black surgical mask that covers her chin and sunglasses that cover her eye bags provides Miller with an escape from that sense of scrutiny.

“I 10,000% plan on wearing it for the foreseeable future,” she said. “After a full work day of worrying and not being able to focus on my actual job, it just feels nice to blend in. Simply put, I’m sick of being perceived.”

People who like wearing masks so they don't have to deal with their personal hang-ups/anxieties (difficult to describe the paranoia of someone who states that "I’m short and fat and if I don’t moisturize compulsively, my face is constantly flaking" any other way).

I really don't mind if they want to do this, in the same way I don't mind if someone wears a face-veil as they feel that is a desirable part of their religion. Plus, if someone is brave enough to admit that they need a mask to cope with the social pressures of society, then fair do to them I guess.

Wonder though, will there be this level of honesty or will those with anxieties try force their maskivist ways on all of us so they don't feel marked out?

How many current maskivists are hiding behind "science" to justify their beliefs coming from deep anxiety?

TPO
 
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NorthOxonian

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I am bothered by it, and actively dislike the sight of masks in public - I still find it deeply unsettling particularly outdoors. I'll accept that I'm not the most tolerant of people but I really don't see why we should have to put up with this forever. Let's not forget that for many people masks will forever be associated with the last year. Will they want a constant visual reminder of what has been a terrible year in every way becoming the norm in society?

I will say that despite being in a UK newspaper, it does seem like that article is talking more about the US. I'd just warn that what happens over there isn't necessarily going to happen here. Masks have become essentially a religion over there with many considering them more important than vaccines and the only thing which is worth doing; these attitudes are far rarer over here. I'm in a group for students in various parts of the world and the majority are in North America - and I'm constantly staggered by how many seem to want masks outdoors forever. In contrast, very few seem to want thar over here.

Since this thread isn't strictly a mask thread (and wouldn't last long if it was!), it might be worth considering those who want to continue other restrictions. To an extent I'm fine with it - if someone wants to shut themselves away and never go to a pub again then that's fine and they probably weren't particularly good company. I am worried about a more general trend though, where more and more people only want to interact virtually and see real people as disease ridden scum. I don't think that's a healthy view of society.
 

Cdd89

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One problem with this is the assumption that preferring restricted things is a harm free choice.

I prefer:
  • Public transport being empty
  • Working from home whenever I feel like it
  • Restaurants having 1m+ between tables (as long as I can get a table)
  • Nightclubs being closed (since I didn't go to them anyway)
  • The rule of 6 (as I don't often go to events with 20 or 30 people)
  • Social distancing in queues (since it's nice to have more personal space)
As such I would be mostly 'happy' with no further easing after 17 May. However every one of those restrictions makes businesses unviable, or worsens people's lives. It's easy to think things are harmless if we are not personally inconvenienced by them. Ultimately we need to get into a position where nothing is restricted and then let people make their own choices, and that needs to happen as soon as possible.
 

Bishopstone

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Over the summer, when things (public transport, pubs, roads, beaches) get very busy again, as surely they will, I’m looking out for the complaints of those who’ve spent the last year bemoaning the restrictions:

’Couldn’t get a table at my favourite restaurant... it’s filled with those who’ve been on furlough getting money for nothing... why can’t they just stay at home... so selfish... too many tourists getting in the way... life was quieter and more civilised under lockdown!’
 

Freightmaster

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it might be worth considering those who want to continue other restrictions. To an extent I'm fine with it - if someone wants to shut themselves away and never go to a pub again then that's fine and they probably weren't particularly good company. I am worried about a more general trend though, where more and more people only want to interact virtually and see real people as disease ridden scum. I don't think that's a healthy view of society.

That reminds me of this Bruce Willis sci-fi Movie:

 

birchesgreen

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If people want to continue wearing masks after the mandate is over then that is their business no one else's.
 

yorkie

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These people are a tiny minority and are probably best ignored.
 

LowLevel

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Personally I might keep the "sports material" style ones that I have for cold days in winter as they keep my face warm without itching like every scarf I've ever worn seems to (I also have an issue with the texture of wool, it triggers all sorts of odd mental reactions, just the thought of it makes me grind my teeth) but otherwise I see no reason to persist. I suppose that's no different to people choosing to wear ski masks or balaclavas when it's cold though as some always have, albeit not in great numbers.

If other people want to wear a mask I don't have any issues with that though - I don't see why one person's hang up about masks making them feel uneasy should take precedence over another person's hang up in wanting to wear one for whatever reason. If you don't like them it probably seems an alien concept but I've heard people express the opinion that they're quite happy snuggled up in their mask. It seems to be a minority though.
 

Huntergreed

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I don’t want to turn this into yet another mask thread, but just a thought I had earlier;

With the way things are going, it seems very likely that, at some point in June, face coverings will be mandatory on public transport in Scotland and Wales but not in England. The enforcement of this will be an interesting one...
 

Ianno87

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One genuine point is the moving of conferences etc online, which makes them much more inclusive and accessible/easier to attend to those with mobility restrictions.

These people are a tiny minority and are probably best ignored.

A bit unfair to dismiss somebody's genuine anxiety (spoken as somebody with a facial disfigurement themselves, that teenage me had some anxiety/confidence issues around)
 

yorkie

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A bit unfair to dismiss somebody's genuine anxiety (spoken as somebody with a facial disfigurement themselves, that teenage me had some anxiety/confidence issues around)
I'm not in any way suggesting they shouldn't be entitled to get help for their anxiety if that's what you are suggesting.

But what I mean is that this is a really niche, bizarre way of thinking that really shouldn't be treated by the media or by individuals as any sort of 'new normal' nor as anything of any significance. I don't think we need to change our society or do anything different, nor do we need to fear that people are going to be wearing masks indefinitely in anything other than miniscule numbers.

For the people concerned, of course they need help for whatever is causing the anxiety but I see that as a separate issue and no different to any other anxiety really. Many more people are more anxious about things not returning fully to normal; that's a far bigger concern in my opinion.
 

bramling

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One genuine point is the moving of conferences etc online, which makes them much more inclusive and accessible/easier to attend to those with mobility restrictions.



A bit unfair to dismiss somebody's genuine anxiety (spoken as somebody with a facial disfigurement themselves, that teenage me had some anxiety/confidence issues around)

I’m not sure masks is a healthy solution to that. Addressing the anxiety, and addressing any negativity from others, is the solution to such issues.

It shouldn’t be necessary for people to cover their face to avoid feeling self-conscious in front of others.
 

Jamesrob637

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No "restrictions" for me after the 21st of June please. Apart from (which aren't "restrictions" per se, just cosmetic changes):

Sand hanitiser in shops/pubs etc. We can all learn to be a little more hygienic. Oh and stand a little way apart when queuing in not-too-busy places where you can spread out. That's all.
 

philosopher

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No "restrictions" for me after the 21st of June please. Apart from (which aren't "restrictions" per se, just cosmetic changes):

Sand hanitiser in shops/pubs etc. We can all learn to be a little more hygienic. Oh and stand a little way apart when queuing in not-too-busy places where you can spread out. That's all.
Personally I am hoping that after the 21st June there are no legal restrictions and the only guidance is to wash or sanitise your hands regularly, stay at home if ill and to spread out if possible (e.g don’t sit next to someone on a train if there are other seats available). In addition companies should allow home working if possible, however the advice to work from home should go.

Anything more than that should be up to the individual.
 

kristiang85

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Sand hanitiser in shops/pubs etc. We can all learn to be a little more hygienic.

Whilst there are some people about who can benefit from extra hygiene, most of us are fine only washing hands at critical times (eg after the loo, before cooking) - overly sanitising everyone will just dull people's immune systems and create further problems down the line.

(This reminds me - the other day I had a friend over, who teaches beginner saxophone in his spare time. He was telling me there was a little girl who's hands were so macerated by overuse of hand sanitiser that she couldn't bend the fingers properly to play the instrument.)

By the way, I totally agree with the overall sentiment of your post.
 
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Purple Orange

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I like the idea that there might be some aspects of life from the past year that may be considered worthwhile carrying forward. Number one for me is hygiene in public areas. This is a railforum afterall, and one of the most noticeable things I have seen on the railway during the pandemic has been how clean everything feels compared to how it was. Even 30+ year old trains felt new, clean and fresh. It didn’t feel like I was sitting on a seat with a decade of dust embedded in it, or seeing dead bugs trapped in the light fittings.

So with that, I hope the attitude that cleanliness continues. Shops to have hand sanitiser if you want to use it, surfaces cleaned regularly, perhaps we will all be more mindful of personal space but I doubt that will happen.
 

DelayRepay

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I like the idea that there might be some aspects of life from the past year that may be considered worthwhile carrying forward. Number one for me is hygiene in public areas. This is a railforum afterall, and one of the most noticeable things I have seen on the railway during the pandemic has been how clean everything feels compared to how it was. Even 30+ year old trains felt new, clean and fresh. It didn’t feel like I was sitting on a seat with a decade of dust embedded in it, or seeing dead bugs trapped in the light fittings.

So with that, I hope the attitude that cleanliness continues. Shops to have hand sanitiser if you want to use it, surfaces cleaned regularly, perhaps we will all be more mindful of personal space but I doubt that will happen.

On a similar vein, every public toilet I've used since March 2020 has been well stocked with soap, and has had running water and hand towels or a working dryer. This wasn't the case before - it was common to find no soap, no hot water or no way to dry your hands. I hope this continues too. I suspect it won't though.
 

Bantamzen

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I like the idea that there might be some aspects of life from the past year that may be considered worthwhile carrying forward. Number one for me is hygiene in public areas. This is a railforum afterall, and one of the most noticeable things I have seen on the railway during the pandemic has been how clean everything feels compared to how it was. Even 30+ year old trains felt new, clean and fresh. It didn’t feel like I was sitting on a seat with a decade of dust embedded in it, or seeing dead bugs trapped in the light fittings.

So with that, I hope the attitude that cleanliness continues. Shops to have hand sanitiser if you want to use it, surfaces cleaned regularly, perhaps we will all be more mindful of personal space but I doubt that will happen.
I would agree with this. All the money spent by councils, organisations & companies on marshals, sticky tape, labels and endless announcements would have far better been purposed in not only keeping a high standard for their toilets / cleaning facilities, but increasing capacity particularly in public areas. I hope that these lessons will be learnt, and that budgets currently allocated to the former measures are quickly redirected to the latter.
 

Purple Orange

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On a similar vein, every public toilet I've used since March 2020 has been well stocked with soap, and has had running water and hand towels or a working dryer. This wasn't the case before - it was common to find no soap, no hot water or no way to dry your hands. I hope this continues too. I suspect it won't though.
Perhaps people will be more demanding of cleanliness in future. Things we may have let slide before may not be socially acceptable.

As for masks, I’m not going to wear one once it is no longer mandatory but if some people feel safer wearing one, then they should be able to do so without finger pointing. Many Asian people would wear a mask when out and about prior to the pandemic, with many people making the sometimes wrong judgement it was due to road traffic fumes. Rather it’s used if the wearer has a cold etc and doesn’t wish to spread it, so perhaps more people will take that approach too.
 

Bantamzen

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Perhaps people will be more demanding of cleanliness in future. Things we may have let slide before may not be socially acceptable.

As for masks, I’m not going to wear one once it is no longer mandatory but if some people feel safer wearing one, then they should be able to do so without finger pointing. Many Asian people would wear a mask when out and about prior to the pandemic, with many people making the sometimes wrong judgement it was due to road traffic fumes. Rather it’s used if the wearer has a cold etc and doesn’t wish to spread it, so perhaps more people will take that approach too.
Well it wasn't exactly that in some Asian countries. In Japan for example masks were a means to allow them to continue to work with a cold or flu, as for much of Japanese culture, taking time off work is still seen as impolite at best & unacceptable at worst. It is one of the reasons Japan has a very severe mental health problem.
 

py_megapixel

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Prebooking and limited numbers inside facilities which are unpleasant when crowded can stay.
The example I often cite is swimming pools - yes, having to go online and book going swimming is a bit of a nuisance, but I'm willing to do it because the environment in the pool is far nicer without people occupying every inch of space.
However pre-booking for museums/libraries/etc. really needs to go.

People should feel comfortable wearing a mask if they feel a desire to do so, but it should not be considered the norm to the extent that one would be shamed for not doing so.

The convention of travelling halfway round the world for business reasons being replaced with videoconferencing is a good idea too, but full-time WFH is not.

I would be very happy to see more walking and cycling infrastructure built - but not in the haphazard way the "pop up" ones have been done.

Other than that, I can't think of much that I would like to keep to be honest. The lockdowns have worked, to an extent, but at huge expense both economically and in terms of mental health; they have served their purpose and need to be lifted (which, thankfully, they are being).
 

kristiang85

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Well it wasn't exactly that in some Asian countries. In Japan for example masks were a means to allow them to continue to work with a cold or flu, as for much of Japanese culture, taking time off work is still seen as impolite at best & unacceptable at worst. It is one of the reasons Japan has a very severe mental health problem.

And in many other big cities in South and SE Asia masks are more for pollution protection than virus protection.

On a similar vein, every public toilet I've used since March 2020 has been well stocked with soap, and has had running water and hand towels or a working dryer. This wasn't the case before - it was common to find no soap, no hot water or no way to dry your hands. I hope this continues too. I suspect it won't though.

Usually one of the most dreaded experiences of a weekend out in London is using the toilets at Clapham Junction if I have a long wait there after a few pub beers. However on Saturday they were very clean and pleasant to be in!
 

philosopher

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The convention of travelling halfway round the world for business reasons being replaced with videoconferencing is a good idea too, but full-time WFH is not.
Get on a 7 hour flight to New York for a 3 hour meeting even in the pre pandemic world did strike as a little bit wasteful.
 

Purple Orange

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Well it wasn't exactly that in some Asian countries. In Japan for example masks were a means to allow them to continue to work with a cold or flu, as for much of Japanese culture, taking time off work is still seen as impolite at best & unacceptable at worst. It is one of the reasons Japan has a very severe mental health problem.
The trend of masks in Japan, as far as I understand, kicked off after the spanish flu pandemic strangely enough. The link about not taking time off work is not the main reason, but no doubt one reason out of several, plus minimising how much time taken off sick is of course considered.

Even if mask wearing is completely ditched by most people, at least I’d hope that the stigma reported by people who wore masks before the pandemic goes away now. It is after all their choice and who is anyone to judge?
 

duncanp

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Prebooking and limited numbers inside facilities which are unpleasant when crowded can stay.
The example I often cite is swimming pools - yes, having to go online and book going swimming is a bit of a nuisance, but I'm willing to do it because the environment in the pool is far nicer without people occupying every inch of space.
However pre-booking for museums/libraries/etc. really needs to go.

People should feel comfortable wearing a mask if they feel a desire to do so, but it should not be considered the norm to the extent that one would be shamed for not doing so.

The convention of travelling halfway round the world for business reasons being replaced with videoconferencing is a good idea too, but full-time WFH is not.

I would be very happy to see more walking and cycling infrastructure built - but not in the haphazard way the "pop up" ones have been done.

Other than that, I can't think of much that I would like to keep to be honest. The lockdowns have worked, to an extent, but at huge expense both economically and in terms of mental health; they have served their purpose and need to be lifted (which, thankfully, they are being).

I agree with you about swimming pools.

I go swimming regularly, and it is much nicer when the pool isn't too crowded.

Usually each session has a few spare places left, and it is possible to turn up without a booking and get in. Or you can simply phone the pool to see which sessions have space and then book over the phone.

Museums could experiment with a pricing structure that has cheaper entry fees at times which are usually quiet, to encourage those that can visit at those times to do so.
 

Purple Orange

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Get on a 7 hour flight to New York for a 3 hour meeting even in the pre pandemic world did strike as a little bit wasteful.

I’m not sure how much of that has ever really gone on. I’ve heard plenty of anecdotes from people who did those sort of trips back in the 80s and 90s, but those very same people spoke of it like the ‘good-old-days’. Reasons for travelling abroad for work in my experience have principally been about building working relationships, meeting people face-to-face who either work for me, or I work for them, and spending more time together than we can normally. The result is a better maintained working relationship. Anyway, back to the post pandemic world...
 

Bantamzen

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The trend of masks in Japan, as far as I understand, kicked off after the spanish flu pandemic strangely enough. The link about not taking time off work is not the main reason, but no doubt one reason out of several, plus minimising how much time taken off sick is of course considered.

Even if mask wearing is completely ditched by most people, at least I’d hope that the stigma reported by people who wore masks before the pandemic goes away now. It is after all their choice and who is anyone to judge?
It very much is in places like Tokyo, I know people who have lived and worked there that have seen the pressure exerted on workers in the capital in particular to not take any time off, and masks although may have different historical reasons for their introduction, not being seen to be letting the company down is now a big reason (or at least was) for wearing them.

As for people wearing them here post pandemic, whilst it would be their choice, there will always be times when they would have to accept that either they would need to remove them, or accept that people around them be uncomfortable with them socially. As a society facial expressions are really important in communication for many, and of course being able to identify people in secure environments is vital.
 

Grecian 1998

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Hope this isn't too O/T but I have read before that one of the reasons Japan doesn't use daylight saving time in the summer is that the populace will feel pressured into working longer if it's light outside. This means that in Tokyo in mid-June sunrise is just before 4:30am (roughly the same as in much of England) but sunset is before 7:00pm (2.5 hours before most of England). The other main reason is simply because it was introduced during the American occupation so was seen as a foreign imposition. That said I don't know anyone who could verify this reasoning.

Back on-topic I would certainly like to see more joined-up walking and cycling infrastructure built as mentioned upthread. There are plenty of relatively short journeys around the country where more people might be willing to cycle if segregated from road vehicles, although this does of course work better in flatter areas. Clean public toilets are also no bad thing.
 

Darandio

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This means that in Tokyo in mid-June sunrise is just before 4:30am (roughly the same as in much of England) but sunset is before 7:00pm (2.5 hours before most of England).

Not sure why you are making the comparison with our times? Tokyo gets dark earlier in summer because it's further south in the northern hemisphere.
 

Grecian 1998

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Not sure why you are making the comparison with our times? Tokyo gets dark earlier in summer because it's further south in the northern hemisphere.

I realise that - I should perhaps have included that point for context. I was making the point that whereas we use BST to give more daylight in the evenings, the time zone used by the Japanese gives daylight in mid-June at 4.45am but not at 7.15pm. I don't know if they adjust their day to get up much earlier though.
 
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