Does anyone else have issues with wearing a facemask? It’s the first time I have had to wear one since they became mandatory, and I am finding that having it ears and around my face is making me very anxious.
That and the fear people are watching me.
Has anyone else had a similar experience?
Yep - there's a few threads on here right now about the subject. I have a sunflower lanyard with the exemption card so I don't wear a muzzle - I did the shopping in Sainsburys yesterday - no comments, no funny looks - that might be a path for you.
My anxiety has shot through the roof since mandatory masks. I can't wear one for a variety of valid reasons [asthma, hot flushes, not seeing the point in wearing fabric over my mouth]. Yet I have not been shopping since it was introduced. I am petrified that someone will have a go at me. I had enough bad experiences before with arrows on the floor and me not being able to walk long distances, so I had to stand there and defend myself by telling the persons involved my [private] health history. I can't face this sometimes. Just the thought of yet another one thinking I am a baby killer just because I am not doing what I am told. So we have started to have our shopping delivered. I have panic attacks just thinking of having to pop into a supermarket to get one item. I wrote to my MP [Cambridgeshire, UK] about this. Why can't we have some sort of bracelet or something so that people won't just shoot their mouths off.
Most won't, but there are always some and I can't face this every time I just want to buy essentials.
I am not at all scared of any new or old seasonal flu with a pretty low death rate, I am scared of self righteous people and I have no come back apart from shouting out my private health history. It may all be exaggerated in my brain but this is how I perceive reality. It's not that nobody has ever told me off in a supermarket recently, so I know it's a real possibility.
I haven't worn a face mask in a supermarket or other shop and not had any issues. You should not get people making jibes.
The prime minister has said that people should not harrass others if they are not wearing masks. This is a link to a government website and a government approved card for you if you consider yourself exempt (and having panic attacks means you can claim exemption, but exemption in any case is self certified, no GP note or other medical evidence is required (after al the best person to decide on how they are affected is the person themselves).
The card though is not essential, it is sufficient to say 'I am exempt" if challenged and that should be the end of it. But if you display the card it will help prevent being unnecessarily asked about it. Whether wearing a badge, displaying a card or just saying, you do not need to explain to anyone why you are exempt. It is none of any one else's business.
I display my card in a clear card holder on my 'sunflower' lanyard, but you could put a safety pin on the back with sticky tape and wear it. Laminating it if you have access to a laminator, or covering with sticky back clear plastic book covering (I got a small roll for 25p from Wilkinsons) will give it more durability. It is also availabe as a phone download to save and show on your phone. Just point to that if someone does say anything and ignore any other remarks or report to the store manager. Neither customers nor staff have the right to be abusive to you.
I have had no problems at all, and after you have been out once or twice you soon get over that feeling that you are 'on show'!
My problem with face masks is that my glasses steam up very quickly and I am almost blind. So it's a health and safety issue.
I have found a partial solution. I have bought a full face plastic visor, I can see, breath and so far I have been allowed into shops without any negative comments.
I only downside is that I feel ridiculous wearing it.
This is a HUGE problem for me. I am high functioning; no one except my immediate family and a couple of close friends even knows I live with autism and before the Loony Lockup I was able to function "normally" without any support. Being locked up was a disaster for my mental health and led to severe depression and anxiety. The mask thing has made me suicidal at times because I have a lot of sensory issues and cannot bear anything on my face; I can't snorkel or swim underwater and I cannot even wear sunglasses. I worry all the time about masks. Even seeing them on others makes me feel blind panic. I did try one on and had a severe panic attack within a minutes, so I went to Sainsburys and explained the problem. They gave me a sunflower lanyard and I downloaded one of those exemption badges. But I get bullied. I got on a bus because it was raining hard and the driver let me on no problem but 2 old ladies called me "virus" and "murderer" so I had to get off, walk home in the rain and I cried all day over it. I have been to Sainsburys once and it was OK because an assistant seeing the lanyard was really nice to me and helped me through the self service till quickly. No one said anything. But I am too frightened on the whole to shop. What really scares me and keeps me awake most nights is the fear that I won't be able to go out walking ( which I really need) without a muzzle and every time I read anything about masks I get terribly anxious; masks are ruining my life.
As the Loony Lockup eases, we are locked down harder than ever. It's very unfair. There needs to be more awareness of hidden disabilities. I do not look disabled at all and I guess a lot of others with autism don't. So I really sympathise.