Not wearing a face mask for the sake of it is selfish | Annie Lewis

At the weekend, I caught the train from Rowlands Castle to Southsea.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 4:00 pm
Those exempt from face coverings wear this badge. Picture: Shutterstock

I found my seat, face mask on (obviously) and settled in for the short journey.

Suddenly, I was approached by a short woman waving her phone at me. Coming a bit too close, she said: ‘You don’t have to wear one of those if you don’t want to, love. All you need to do is show this.’

Simultaneously, she shaked her phone in my face where I caught a glimpse of a blue and white notice which read ‘I am exempt from wearing a face covering for a valid reason’.

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‘I screenshotted it off Facebook,’ she said, gleefully. ‘Shall I send it to you?’

I just looked at this woman, who was clearly proud of her Facebook discovery from the wide smile on her unmasked face. I replied saying I was quite happy to wear a face covering.

Disappointed at my reluctance, she approached every other person on the carriage, asking if they wanted to also take advantage of the rules and not wear a face mask thanks to her screenshot.

Thankfully, they all declined. Faith in humanity was slowly restored.

Whether the screenshot was legit or not, I was shocked someone would go so far out of their way to break a very simple rule. To screenshot this on social media is one thing, but then to try and enforce others to do the same is quite baffling.

Yes, face masks aren’t very comfortable but they are not necessarily used to protect yourself, but others around you. What this woman was doing was incredibly selfish and I was baffled at why she would break the rules just simply for the sake of it.

Perhaps she had an underlying health condition which I obviously did not know about. However I doubt anyone who was exempt and was issued such a badge would flaunt it in the way she did.

Face masks became mandatory in shops and public transport on July 24, 2020. Nearly a year later, some still break and bend the rules – put in place to protect everyone – simply because they feel like it, with absolutely no regard for others around them.

Sadly, I think the ‘we’re all in this together’ attitude faded months ago.

Sunshine and a new sense of normality made me smile

Alongside the rest of the UK population, I have spent the bank holiday weekend socialising, within the rules, and absorbing the sunshine.

Dinner at the Woodmancote, Emsworth; a stroll along the seafront; breakfast at Southsea Beach Cafe; a trip to Pigeon Books, Albert Road; and taking home a plant from Rose Clover at Elm Grove summarises my weekend nicely.

Dare I say it, life almost felt normal. Perhaps it was because of the glorious sun; cheery faces on the seafront; and bustling streets and eateries which made me nostalgic. I think there is an overwhelming sense of happiness and relief in the air. It is so strong you could almost smell it.

NHS continues to pioneer treatments despite Covid​​​​​​​

Our NHS never fails to amaze me, especially with what they have had to battle during the past year.

Five-month-old Arthur Morgan is believed to be the first in the UK to receive a gene therapy thought to be the world’s most expensive drug.

Less than three weeks ago, he was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) – a muscle wasting disease caused by a faulty gene. If untreated, he would not have seen his second birthday.

The drug called Zolgensma – which costs £1.795m per dose – will hopefully prevent further deterioration. The NHS negotiated a confidential discount which means many more can be treated each year. What an incredible breakthrough.