The Mask Debate or Honest Political Waffle

On Monday morning Government press conference was taken by the Minister for the Environment, Sustainability, Climate Change, Heritage and Culture John Cortes.

Towards the end of his address the minister reminded the public that ‘as we unlock, we are gaining our freedom. But with freedom comes responsibility. We now have to make our own choices as to how we behave.

Please let’s make sure we make the right ones. Because if we don’t we are still risking life. We don’t want to go through lockdown again, and therefore we must follow the guidelines and cooperate fully with contact tracing; keep to the 2m distance, wash hands; wear masks where advised to do so, download the app’.

The advice from the minister was nothing new, we have heard his colleagues report the same information for months, many have taken note and adhered to this advice and others have plainly ignored it. Particularly, the wearing of masks or face coverings as they are also termed.

But despite experts recommending people wear face coverings in public to prevent the spread of the virus a majority of people in Gibraltar seem to be going into shops, parks, restaurants and other locations every day without wearing a mask.

So why do some of the people cover up, some not so much — and why do so many of us continue to argue about how real the threat of the disease is?

The mask wearing comments or advice by the Minister did not receive the expected response on social media. The negative comments were not at the advice itself, but the fact because the advice was more akin to encouraging the public not to wear a face mask which most people were ignoring as the advice, was just that, ‘advice’; and not backed up with any legal instrument or law that would be enforced.

The social crowd, pointed out that encouragement was not enough, it must be followed through. And that if masks have to be worn on public transport, they should also be worn in other areas of equal risk. Highlighted was the fact there was a lot of confusion on the subject of mask wearing. Which is absolutely true, a lack of education and information.

ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Jackie Canessa

It’s advised that people wear masks, in enclosed spaces, where social distancing is not possible. Even in Mainstreet when it gets crowded. Again, leaving it up to the common sense of the people when we all know common sense is lacking; Chatham, BBQs, hardly any social distancing in shops etc. What a wishy washy statement. Some leadership please! If health experts conclude masks are advisable, then enforce such? If not; don’t say anything.

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26-06-2020 PANORAMAdailyGIBRALTAR