For nearly a year now, we have been getting used to life in lockdown, living under tight restrictions that were completely unimaginable at the end of 2019. In the United Kingdom, the wearing of face masks first became mandatory in shops on 10 July when Scotland first brought in the law, which was soon adopted by England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Long before a face mask became a legal requirement, it became a common sight to see members of the public covering their faces to not potentially spread Covid-19. Although some parts of the population object to wearing a mask, the vast majority have supported the new legislation and have been wearing coverings when out and about in public spaces such as shops.
Since the pandemic started, fashion retailers have been jumping on the bandwagon to produce more stylish forms of masks, making these essential items more attractive to the wearer. Now, most of us understand the benefits of wearing a face mask and even feel uncomfortable being near someone not from our household who isn’t covering their face.
So, does this mean that face masks are here to stay even after the pandemic is over?
The Science Behind it
According to scientists, behavioural changes take around 60 days to set in - a considerably shorter time than we have all been wearing masks for now. In theory, that means that the wearing of face coverings should now have become almost second nature to us, along with maintaining a social distance from anyone you do not live with.
Asia had longed to embrace the culture of wearing face masks before the current outbreak. Since the 1950s, as a means of protection against air pollution and through the courtesy of others if they have a cold to stop bacteria from spreading when they sneeze. There are other non-medical reasons behind this, too, which further demonstrates how engrained the wearing of masks has come in Asian culture.
The other train of thought behind why the wearing of masks won’t fizzle out is because there won’t be an exact end to the pandemic as we know it. As Christos Lynteris, a social anthropologist at the University of St Andrews is quoted as saying in Discover Magazine, “Throwing your mask away [could be] like you're unshackling yourself from the epidemic, which is over.” As the virus is likely to have seasonal resurgences, even after the vaccination has been rolled out, pinpointing an exact end to the pandemic will be difficult, which means that many may well feel safer continuing to wear their masks long after legislations have been relaxed.
Should You Continue to Wear Your Face Mask?
In short to medium-term future, you should continue to mask up. In the long-term, once all this is finally over (and it is no longer mandatory to wear them), the choice is completely up to you. We suspect that face masks will be around for a few years yet, even if voluntarily, but should not be seen as a bad thing. Remember, anyone who chooses to wear one is doing it to protect you and not them, so it should be regarded as a polite gesture.
Face masks will likely continue to be worn in areas where people are most likely to be cramped together, such as on public transport (like buses and trains) - after all, these were the first services to require its users to wear a face mask. While it may not be a legal requirement, and therefore not enforceable, you might find that you continue to get disapproving looks by others if you choose not to wear one, especially if you are coughing and sneezing.
Buy Your Face Masks from Need Undies
Here at Need Undies, we are one of the many fashion retailers providing customers with a stylish means of protecting those around them. The Blackspade 3D Spacer Face Mask is a non-medical grade three-layer face-covering available through our website in a range of sizes to suit both female and male users, for just £5.
If you would like some more information on the face masks available from Need Undies or on any of the other products you can purchase online, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team today by giving us a call on 01977 703369.