A question of masks

I am writing regarding the hospital and council`s reluctance to promote FFP.2 N95 Masks in the wider community.

Death and infection rates of COVID 19 in both Germany and Japan are far lower than in the UK and in both countries mask wearing of FFP2 masks is widespread. In the specific example of Germany the death rate is approximately half that of the UK with 56,000 deaths. Germany has similar climate and population density to the UK so is it not worth looking into? why this is the case? Germany currently (Jan 31) has 90 cases per 1000, 000 in last 7 days. We are still well over 200..

Look at the case of Tübingen where rates are extremely low and is a bit smaller than Swindon but could still be classified as a comparable urban area. Here the focus has been on protecting the elderly and a key part of that has been distributing FFP2 masks to over 65s.

In Germany these masks are now compulsory for going into shops, travelling by bus and work settings. One of the reasons the authorities gave for their adoption is the UK variant, now dominant in this country. Yet the hospital and the council in Swindon are quoting guidelines as to the reason why not to implement them. Can I ask here: What are these guidelines? I think we would all like to know. This is a public health issue of the utmost importance.

The masks cost approximately £2 each. Is that not worth the investment? I note that Swindon council are proposing to spend 72K on a consultant to support the Public Health team. If that money was diverted into providing FFP2 masks, 36,000 could be provided. Is the immediate issue not getting death rates down and reducing pressure on our under-resourced hospital?

Or is it more important to spend 72K on a consultant? I know which I think would be most cost effective and sensible.

Jonathan Sheldrake

Firefly Avenue

Thanks to vaccination medics and volunteers

Last Friday we were lucky enough to be offered appointments at Steam for our first Covid vaccinations.

We were not sure what to expect, but from our arrival in the car park to leaving Steam about half an hour later we were treated to the most amazing help, friendliness and courtesy.

Smiling volunteers standing in the cold welcomed us and directed us to the right place. This was repeated within the building where again amazing volunteers were making sure that everything ran smoothly.

Of course the doctors, nurses and clerks were brilliant and after the injection directed us to the waiting area.

More smiling volunteers, keeping a watch to make sure that everyone was all right and washing every chair as soon as people left.

We would like to thank everyone involved in making this such a pleasant experience.

Thank You all.

Pam and Sudesh Nayar