The other day I took my first ride in an Uber. I got “ride ready” as it asked my to on the app, made sure I sanitised my hands and donned my mask like a good girl before I got in. To be fair, even it didn’t ask me to, there was never any chance that I would not wear a mask.
As you do, I got in conversation with the driver and he told me that in the last four weeks I was only around the 10th person to wear a mask in his car.
Errrr….hold the phone, seriously?! But why?
Apparently most people sheepishly just moaned that they didn’t have a mask. Some just said they would cover their hands with their face. Oh yes please do and then go and touch everything in the car to spread you germs while you’re at it! Pffffft.
So what exactly is the psychology going on here? Please tell me, because to me it’s not that much of a bit deal to do the right thing.
For starters, it’s really not hard to get a face mask. You could go to eBay right now and pick one up for as little as a couple of quid, as I did many months ago. You wouldn’t say, “sorry, I didn’t wear any underpants because I didn’t have any”, would you now?
Just like we wear pants to keep everything nice, contained and hygienic down there, same goes for masks up on your face. It’s just that when it comes to wearing masks, actual lives are at stake…not so much when it comes to knickers.
If you can’t be bothered to wear a mask because you don’t think Covid is a big deal, or maybe you just think you’ll be fine if you get it, or maybe you think you will look like a prat in one – then here’s the thing.
This isn’t about you.
This is about all the vulnerable people out there who we no longer hear about in the media but are still very much at risk. This is about the grannies and grandpas who could lose their lives to this and leave grandchildren grieving.
This is about the Uber driver that could get really sick because he had was exposed to a high viral load because all the people that didn’t wear a mask in his car.
Is it really so hard?
Right now, things might seem under control but with the prospect of a second wave gloomily peering over us, and the challenge of cold and flu season only a matter of months away, is it really such a Herculean undertaking to just buy and wear a mask?
I think not.
Despite claims earlier on in the media that masks had little impact on preventing Covid from spreading, research by Oxford University now shows otherwise and that actually – they work. Simply put, cloth face coverings, even homemade masks made of the correct material, are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 – for the wearer and those around them (study from Oxford’s Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science).
So please – to the people getting on a bus, train or Uber without wearing a mask, then please think about the other people who you could be hurting by doing so. The people who might not just breeze by without any symptoms, the people who could end up on a ventilator fighting for their lives, the people who could lose their parents or grandparents as a result – like me and my daughter.
Do the right thing. Face masks and coverings work. Act now.