Response to article on anti-mask protest

People have genuine reason not to wear a face mask

Leitrim Observer reporter

Reporter:

Leitrim Observer reporter

Email:

editor@leitrimobserver.ie

Dear editor

I would like to express my disappointment at the recent post regarding an anti-mask protest that you state was planned for Carrick on Shannon.
There are currently 427 comments, several screen shots and 38 shares on this post. I am exempt from wearing a face covering and I find it extremely difficult to build up the courage to go shopping to feed my children and I.


Of these comments most are hateful and hurtful to people that genuinely can not wear a face covering. 
I will not protest, I doubt anybody will but now my anxiety is even higher than it was before with further fear of judgement and hate for not wearing a mask or a visor. 


When I shop once a week I am generally the only maskless person. I have seen 2 others in total since they were introduced as mandatory. I have had the garda rang on me blatantly on 2 occasions and numerous comments made whilst I am out shopping. Most recently, I was recorded doing my shopping in Aldi but I wasn't brave enough to confront him. 


I regularly have to ask people to keep their distance as they invade my space and lean over me or stand too close in the queue. I wash my hands regularly, follow cough/sneeze etiquette and I social distance but yet I see people wearing masks incorrectly all around me. Why am I being judged yet those that where them under their nose, under their chin, reusing them, not storing and disposing correctly, not wearing 3 layers from at least 2 different fabrics etc?


Now lets talk about mental health? It seems that this still isn't an "essential service." There is a big, BIG gap in this area. I am waiting on counselling since the beginning of April, I have nothing. No letter about delays, no time frame updates, nothing. Their phone rings out to an answer phone and they do not return my calls. My GP just agrees and says that they have the same issue. That's 7 months. Now that is a story worth addressing. Look at suicides and self harm, look at the number of people seeking help that are depressed and no where to turn to. The same people that posted on your post are some of my "friends", they are the ones that say if you need me I'm there, do you really think that I will reach out to anyone after reading these comments. It can only take one mean comment to push someone over edge, will that next comment be yours?  


My motto is to be kind always as you never truly know what someone is going through. As I am constantly hearing, these are unprecedented times. If it's not nice, is it necessary? I feel that your post on masks was neither nice nor necessary.


Name and address with editor