Show kindness to those not wearing masks, urges reporter

The campaign Lancashire County Council launched to support mask wearing has made life worse for those who can’t wear face coverings

A reporter has urged people to show compassion to others not wearing face masks in public places, sharing her own experience of being on receiving end of abuse.

Lucinda Herbert, an apprentice reporter at the Blackpool Gazette, shared her own story after Lancashire County Council launched a somewhat contrived campaign about mask wearing, urging people to ‘Don’t Be A Dick’ when it comes to wearing face-coverings.

The poster featured a man called Richard — yes, really, the council went there — who didn’t want to wear a mask, despite it being a rule introduced in December to stop the spread of Covid after the Omicron variant hit these shores.

Under the headline “I can’t wear a mask but I’m not a dick,” Lucinda urged people to look after each other.

Lucinda told readers: “As a person with a hidden illness, I can’t wear a mask. Early on in the pandemic, a kind lady in M&S spotted me struggling — she gave me a free sunflower lanyard and explained that their staff are trained to recognise the scheme and that anyone wearing them has a hidden disability and may need extra support.

“The scheme is now widely recognised, and I’ve found that most shops are far more understanding of hidden disabilities and haven’t challenged me over my unmasked face. Until last week.

“I was asked to leave a shop for not wearing a mask. When I pointed out my sunflower lanyard, the owner kicked off.

“I don’t care. I care about my customers and you are putting them at risk.”

Lucinda added: “Face coverings can aggravate some health conditions, such as asthma (and in my case vocal cord dysfunction).

“It can trigger anxiety for people with mental health conditions.

“I’m no Covid denier. I’m double jabbed, and never stopped with the 2m distance rule. I avoid crowded spaces, I use hand sanitizer. But I was treated like a criminal.

“So I tire of the inflammatory posters and language directed at anyone without a face covering that implies we are all just irresponsible. The language is divisive and fuels hostility towards vulnerable people .”

You can read the full article here — we strongly urge you to do so!

  • In 2022, Behind Local News aims to celebrate local journalism in all its forms through our 365 Acts of Local Journalism Project. Lets us know what you think should be included. You can email us here or contact us via Twitter on BehindLocalNews or on Facebook here

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