When I said that mask protests were happening on planes in Europe, commenters pushed back sure but it’s not Europeans doing the protesting on those flights, it’s just the Brits!
We’ve seen Germans protesting against rules for the first time I can remember, but you won’t see Germans failing to follow Covid rules on aircraft. Once again, it’s Brits making the news, albeit flying out of Germany.
British anti-lockdown protestors were flying BA from Berlin to London Heathrow and “celebrated their ‘victory’ over airport staff” by sharing photos on social media where they’re flying without masks. They all claimed ‘medical exemptions’ to mask wearing – something that U.S. airlines American, United, and Southwest do not allow at all, and that Delta requires a medical consultation at the airport before permitting. Meanwhile, other passengers on their flight reported that they were “fake coughing.”
We had a 10 Brit maskless stand off at Berlin airport…..police and authorities could not make us wear masks….our last protest on German soil
I love this cheeky photo pic.twitter.com/TuAzt2AuAJ
— Char (@Charbrevolution) October 14, 2020
The protestors were part of a group calling the Covid-19 pandemic a lie.
The anti-vaccine activist, who describes herself as a ‘rebel not a slave’ said: ‘We had been through a stressful time at the airport. One friend had trouble with her booking, then we were stopped by police and asked why we weren’t wearing masks in the terminal. ‘They did not accept our medical exemptions so I walked away. My friend was then singled out and searched because she wasn’t wearing a mask.
In the departure lounge gate we saw some other Brits without masks and we sat with them. A chap did all the talking and he was very brave. He stood his ground and inspired us all to be brave as then we had lots of police and officials all stood over us intimidating us. ‘Calls were made and a lovely chap from our airline came out and checked our exemptions and said it was all fine….She claimed masks on flights were ‘not about contagion but control’ and said this is proved by everyone being able to take them off when eating or drinking.
For the readers who say ‘masks don’t protect you’, I’d point out:
- Even if there’s a chance that’s true, it’s pretty easy to wear them and there’s a good chance they will protect you. It’s worth wearing them even without a guarantee they work.
- You’ve forgotten the original reason for wearing them wasn’t to protect you, it was to protect other people from you in case you were asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic and spreading the virus.
- Quality of masks matter. Cloth masks provide some limited protection. Get a better mask. It’s possible to buy N95 masks now, but it’ll run you about $4.50 per mask.
The good news is “we’re in the 7th inning” of the life disruption we’ve experienced over the past 8 months. Better therapeutics (and perhaps lower viral load) are improving patient outcomes, and improvements are likely to continue as biomedical advances continue. We should have at least moderately effective vaccines begin to be available by early in the year, and widely available in the first half of the coming year. And while some people will continue to wear masks – I might in certain indoor settings during fly season – the requirement should be brought to an end as the acute phase of dealing with Covid-19 sunsets.