Face masks

I am interested to hear the thoughts of other immunocompromised members regarding the wearing of face masks particularly when there are lots of people around in an inside environment such as supermarkets, doctors surgeries etc.

I personally always still wear a face mask in these situations but am finding increasingly that I am in a very small minority of people wearing a mask.

I have to admit that I am finding it quite difficult being in such a minority situation and quite often feel as though I am now beginning to stand out and also that others are sometimes judging me in a negative way which makes me feel very uncomfortable. Having said that, I understand that it may well be my insecurity making me feel like this and truthfully others probably aren’t giving me a second thought and are just getting on with their lives which I completely understand, especially when they have no reason to fear this virus any more which unfortunately I still do even though I am fully vaccinated.

In truth, I am probably reasonably well protected and sometimes I find myself thinking that maybe it would actually be better to contract Covid, get over it and then I would be able to get my life back but the sad reality is that there is still uncertainty about the outcome and this is what makes me so cautious still when out and about, particularly in indoor settings.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I would very much like to hear how others are coping, and whether others are experiencing similar feelings to myself and also if others are able to offer some positive context perhaps in the way that they are dealing with things and moving on.

Regards

Elwyn

Comments

  • Fif
    Fif Member Posts: 73

    I still wear my mask in crowded places and am probably thick skinned enough not to worry what other people think. In fact, I've found some people give me a bit more space because I'm mask wearing. I would still prefer not to catch covid as even healthy people suffer long term consequences and with an autoimmune condition, it could be a lot worse. Here in Scotland, health centres, pharmacies and hospitals still expect people to wear a mask.

  • MrDJ
    MrDJ Member Posts: 240

    Hi @Elwyn

    Totally in the same boat as you.

    Me (imuno suppressed) and my 96 year old mum are both in suposed lockdown even though the rest of the world are carrying on as normal.

    Since the start of covid i was sent home on 16th March 2020 and been stuck here ever since especially as i work in the worst hit hospital in the UK

    The only time i venture out is for appointments and the odd tesco visit to get books for my mum to read as we cant order them with the shopping. when we do go out we both wear masks and like you you do feel like the odd one out and still get the odd stare now and then.

    I totally dissagree about the thought of getting it though. yes i think weve most probably all thought about it but that doesnt last long as i believe we only have one chance. i am a gambler big time but when its a 50/50 chance on my life especially having no imune system what so ever i just cant take that chance. i know its here for good now and new strains popping up all the time (new one just been announced this week) so i guess it is a total lifestyle change for us which we will have to get used too.

    My hospital sent a all user email out yesterday for every member of staff to book an appointment to have a face mask fit test which has not been done for almost a year so im guessing things are not as calm as everyone is making them out to be.

  • Elwyn
    Elwyn Member Posts: 14

    Hi @MrDJ

    Thank you for your thoughts, it definitely helps to have others who are in the same position & can sympathise.

    Hope everything goes well for you and your mum and and I agree that it’s looking like a permanent lifestyle change. I suppose we’ll just have to hope that some kind of guaranteed protection becomes available in the future or the virus burns out. I guess that’s unlikely but we can only hope.

    All the best.

    Elwyn

  • MrDJ
    MrDJ Member Posts: 240

    just posted a seperate message in the covid section on my 6th jab and my mums 5th.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,097

    Hi Elwyn,

    I, too, am in Scotland and we must wear masks in any medical serting. As someone who is immunocompromised and has already (pre-covid) graced re-sus twice, I'm very grateful to all who take precautions of any kind. I've just had my 6th jab. I knew it'd spike my BP as it always does but, if that's so, what would covid to to it? Thanks, @Elwyn

  • Elwyn
    Elwyn Member Posts: 14

    Hi @stickywicket

    Thank you for your comments, I have also recently had my 6th jab thankfully but continue to take all precautions that are possible. I sometimes wish that I lived in Scotland or Wales as I know the rules have been more stringent since the onset of the pandemic than here in England.

    Unfortunately our government have consistently been too quick to remove all restrictions and now seem to have cast the immunocompromised community adrift.

    I try to be as positive as possible but it is difficult at times.

    Stay safe, all the best.

    Elwyn

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 348

    Hi @Elwyn

    Personally I always wear a facemask in any populated enclosed place - hospital, shops, my dog's vet. I don't really care what others think - at the end of the day it's my health I'm concerned about. Having been hospitalised 3 times during 2020/2021 with pneumonia - after most probably having covid in March 2020 I really don't want that to happen again.

    @stickywicket

    Unfortunately the rules in hospitals in Scotland have changed. I attended physio on Friday in the 3rd largest hospital in Glasgow and the majority of people I came across in open areas - both staff and patients/visitors - were not wearing masks. In fact the physio I saw wasn't wearing a mask when he met me in reception and took me to the treatment area. It was only when I told him I was immunocompromised that he put on a mask. When I came home I checked the Scottish government website which had been updated the previous day. It now states that the wearing of facemasks is 'strongly recommended'.


  • Angel666
    Angel666 Member Posts: 39

    It is a difficult one isn't it... I personally do still wear a mask on buses, supermarkets, doctors, hospital ect previously because my husband who has many illnesses has always been vulnerable & my daughter has Chronic Crohn's & now myself having recently been diagnosed with RA I think it's important to take responsibility for our own safety & not worry too much what other people think & have learnt to not take notice of the strange looks I sometimes get 🙄 stay safe x

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,097

    @Elwyn stay positive. You are not alone.

    @Jamie78 oh #*&₩#*! Another layer of security gone. Thanks for letting us know, though.

  • Elwyn
    Elwyn Member Posts: 14

    @stickywicket Thank you, that’s really appreciated 😊

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 348

    Hi @stickywicket

    I totally agree it seems madness to reduce mask wearing in hospitals - the very place you find more ill people than anywhere else. There has been an increase in the numbers being admitted to hospital with covid in the Scotland throughout October. The ONS estimates that there is an increase in the community from approx. 100,000 a day in August of people infected in any one day to 159,000 a day in October.

  • Becky88
    Becky88 Member Posts: 81

    Good Morning,

    I too am immunosuppressed and have continued shielding since the beginning of the pandemic. I have had 6 vaccines but have been told to act as if I haven't been vaccinated due to being immunosuppressed. I wish that there would was more advice for the people in our situation. It really feels like we have been left behind while others move forward and refer to the pandemic in the past tense.

    So yes, I continue to always wear a mask when I go out, which is rare. I get looks and comments the majority of days that I have to go anywhere near other people, which can be upsetting, but I will continue to protect myself with a mask.

    It is always good to know that there are people who use this forum that are in a similar position and understand your concerns. We are lucky that we can share our views.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,071

    This is one of the few places where an awful lot of us are still wearing masks in crowded places @Becky88

    It just isn't 'normal ' anymore which I think is pretty stupid.

    I am also currently protecting myself to protect a friend who is having end of life care.

    You have every right to continue to wear your mask.

    Stay safe

    Toni xx

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,097

    Just for the record, I saw my podiatrist today at a local health centre and everyone was still wearing masks. Next stop the local hospital tomorrow for my ortho appt. We'll see what the protocol is there.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,619

    I'm in Cumbria and at least 4 vaccines done (I'm losing count) and all medical facilities I frequent, including my dentist, are still requesting mask wearing. To be honest, I still find myself reaching for a mask when I enter shops, but I don't usually go so far as to put one on. It's just an instinct now. I rather miss them, but mainly because I liked muttering behind them while wandering round the shop!

    I'm not currently immuno suppressed, (I was until a few weeks ago following a course of medical treatment) but have recently had a hideous time health-wise and it's left me feeling vulnerable. I did end up getting covid in September during a group holiday, courtesy of the huge petri dish that is Heathrow airport. The first member of the group to go down with it was one of the few who had been wearing a mask in transit (an NHS worker), but it was eventually passed round much of the group despite our very best endeavours to avoid it. Luckily I was entitled to antiviral treatment at that time, and my symptoms ended up as being little more than a really nasty cold. But during that time my greatest fear was passing it onto someone who may have been more vulnerable, eg my 93 yr old mother, so I kept away from her (and tbh, everyone else) until I was testing negative and symptom free.

  • Becky88
    Becky88 Member Posts: 81


  • Becky88
    Becky88 Member Posts: 81

    Thank you @frogmorton.

  • scotleag
    scotleag Member Posts: 68

    Like you @Becky88 I've had six vaccinations. After the fourth I had an antibodies test which came back negative - no Covid antibodies whatsoever. Whether the two subsequent ones have had any effect I don't know but I'm doubtful. My wife had her fifth vaccination last week. She is seriously ill which means a lot of trips to the hospital which is 25 miles away. We're reliant on public transport. Masks are a necessity for us for these journeys and are commonplace again at the hospital, though over the summer they weren't. But now I can't even sit with my wife while she waits for treatment or be with her during her treatment.

    We also mask up when going into shops or any crowded spaces. Anyone visiting us takes a test before coming round. We feel we have no alternative to this.

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 348
    edited 17. Nov 2022, 15:11

    I had a cardiology appointment this morning - having had a heart issue in the midst of my PsA and pneumonia issues last year. It was in a smaller hospital than my previous physio visit with really narrow corridors and small waiting rooms. A significant number of ancilliary staff and patients/visitors were not wearing masks. Thankfully the consultant and nurses I was seen by all wore masks. Interestingly the cardiac consultant I saw didn't think the amitriptyline and methotrexate I was on at the time were to blame for my atrial fibrillation and tachycardia. He said he was seeing more and more people who had had covid and now have heart issues.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,097

    Re the last sentence, @jamieA , this is from the ultra-reliable Johns Hopkins University in USA https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/heart-problems-after-covid19

    I'm pleased to report that, when I went to ,my local hospital for orthopaedics on Wed, they had the now-usual masks, sanitiser and request to use them in the doorway. I think everyone was complying.

  • MoiraA
    MoiraA Member Posts: 7

    I’m also one of the few to wear a mask and feel quite self-conscious tbh so venturing out even less since restrictions lifted in Scotland in April. Even if people are less concerned about covid than before (although can’t understand why as 1:55 having the virus is still high in my book), I’d expect people to keep wearing them to keep the cold virus at bay which is very prevalent at moment not to mention the expected flu epidemic.

    Should we start a movement to bring back mask wearing in all indoor public spaces🤷‍♀️?

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 348
    edited 21. Nov 2022, 17:21

    The strange thing is I had my eyes tested on Friday and had a dental appointment today and in both the opticians and dental practice strict mask wearing of staff was in force. There were also notices up requiring all customers to wear masks unless they were medically unable to do so. I also had to fill in an online pre-appointment form to confirm I didn't have covid and hadn't been in contact with anyone with covid recently.

  • I personally don't care a hoot what anyone else thinks says or does. I will be wearing my mask

    1 I don't want covid

    2 I don't want the flu

    3 I don't want a cold either.

    I wear it on buses tubes trains hospital setting shops etc I love it especially in this cold weather as it keeps my face warm. Also nobody knows who you are. Brilliant.

  • Keef
    Keef Member Posts: 37

    I discussed this with my osteo recently. She said when covid first hit they were told to stay open to lessen the strain on the NHS.

    Tests done at this time on masks showed that there weren’t that effective either at catching already airborn particles as the seal between the mask and the wearers face was so poor, allowing stuff in and out.

    Wear one for sure, it’s bound to do something but don’t rely on it to keep you safe. Employ other methods as well such as ventilation and distancing.

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