A Mask Is Not A Talisman

By Bernie Bell

Readers of TON might have noticed that I have strong concerns about the Government’s hurry to ease Covid restrictions in Britain. 

At the same time, I very much appreciate what has been done and what is being done – a strong vaccination programme – people (mostly) being prepared to be careful – not only for themselves, but of others safety too.

My oldest friend lives in Japan, and having seen something of how things are in Japan, I asked him how things are with him and his family. He replied that things are much the same – he’s mostly at home as he’s what was known as a ‘house husband’ ( is the acceptable term something like ‘home maker’ these days?) – the kids go to school and his wife works from home these days, but goes out and about as needed. He then added………

”Actually I think people have got a bit lax. Mainly because nothing seems to be changing, but that’s not true. Cases of Covid-19 are increasing. 

I am booked in to have my vaccination on the 7th of July?!?

The government have been very late on this. I am at the front of the queue due to my age.”

And I thought, again, that things aren’t too bad here, if only people would pay attention. I answered him….

“That’s what’s happening in Britain, too – laxity – conveniently ignoring ‘clusters’ of high infection rates in certain areas and among certain groups.


I get the impression that people have got the idea that a mask is some kind of talisman, which will save you from the ‘bug’.  Like in past times – wearing a talisman to ward off evil or infection.  I see them on the telly, boarding ‘planes ( think about it – lots of people – crammed together – on a ‘plane – madness), smiling, waving, wearing their masks, like some kind of talisman.


And that’s why I’m writing this – A MASK IS NOT A TALISMAN! 

It’s A GOOD THING to wear one, but wearing a mask when among other people should still be just one part of a generally cautious approach, until things are very different indeed.  As I’ve said before – you don’t know where they’ve beeeen!

Please, people, mind theesen’ – and mind those around you.  With continuing caution and care, we can all open up more. 

Mike and I went into Kirkwall on Saturday – went to Wellpark and went to visit a friend we haven’t seen for over a year. We’ve all had our jabs – we live here, in Orkney – we felt it was OK to do so.

It was the nearest to ‘normal’ that my life has been since March 2020.

We are fortunate, and can ease up a bit – but – we have the holiday season ahead of us.

I don’t want to be a harbinger of doom – but – a mask in not a talisman, and the jabs – even both of them – are not 100 % protection.  Though, by putting them together, with some sensible behaviour, and we could get to a more relaxed way of living.

Or – up and down, up and down. Restrictions – lifted – restrictions – lifted.

The choice is ours, when it comes down to it. 

Beware of laxity.

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