LETTER: We need to be rid of face masks now

A reader discusses face masks.

A woman wearing a protective face mask
A woman wearing a protective face mask

I was horrified to see Prof Susan Michie, a behavioural psychologist for SAGE, given more uncritical airtime to bizarrely suggest we should have to wear masks – forever.

Prior to June 2020, public health organisations and their experts did not endorse masking healthy people in the community as a means of reducing viral transmission.

There has been a lot of panic over Covid, but no good evidence suggests anything has changed. In the real world, mask mandates appear to have made not a jot of difference to the spread of coronavirus.

We only have to look at Texas for example – President Biden famously called their decision to drop mask mandates ‘Neanderthal thinking,’ but in fact cases just steadily declined ever since.

Masking the healthy is not, and has never been, a benign intervention. Human beings are social animals, evolved for thousands of years communicating via facial expressions well before spoken language. It is part of our human essence to interact and communicate with others using our faces. It sustains our wellbeing. We can’t do it in a world of masks.

Masks are also a crude reminder of a fear we really should be moving on from at this point, when virtually every vulnerable person in the UK must now have been offered a vaccine, and so much more is known about risk factors and effective treatments.

If people choose to wear face coverings, so be it, but this should be a personal decision for each individual, not one imposed by Government diktat.

The evidence simply is not there to support mandating masks, and it never has been. They need to go for good.

Fran Havard, West Midlands

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