“Yes to the mask”, the call of some French people to keep their mask indoors

Masked Ile-de-France residents in line 13 of the Paris metro, November 4, 2020.

“Yes to the mask” : vulnerable because immunocompromised or anxious to protect those most at risk, some French people intend to keep their masks indoors even when the obligation is lifted, with a first step on Monday in certain closed places.

Initial reactions arose when the Minister of Health mentioned February 28 for the end of the compulsory mask in closed places subject to the vaccination p (restaurants, cinemas, museums, etc.), transport excepted.

Hashtags #YesToMaskWhere #IWillKeepMyMask popped up on social media. Comments, alarmed or critical, have not stopped since. “Here it is catastrophic, my immunocompromised mother has planned not to go out anymore”a surgeon tweeted this week. “We all have a fragile person around us, young, diabetic. Or other. Let’s stop being selfish and reuring ourselves by denying reality.launched another Internet user.

The immunocompromised are about 300,000 in France. Transplants, dialysis, transplants, suffering from certain cancers or taking treatments that weaken their immune system, so many people at high risk of coronavirus and that vaccination cannot protect effectively. To try to avoid contamination, they must therefore take maximum precautions.

“When I heard the news about the mask, I jumped in my chair. I said to myself : Once again, we are forgotten. Many of us are battling cancer, but we are invisible”tells AFP Joëlle Kerempichon, suffering from lymphoma, a cancer affecting white blood cells, the main cells of the immune system.

Waiting for immunotherapy with genetically modified cells (CAR-T), she ” stress “ at the idea of ​​catching the Covid, after contamination more than a year ago. Even if “Xevudy or Paxlovid treatments help us avoid serious forms”being infected with the virus means “postponing or canceling cancer care is serious”loose this 64-year-old woman.

“Cloistered” since the beginning of the pandemic, she thinks “to live even further apart, perhaps no longer sleep with [s]we marry » so as not to jeopardize ” luck “ treatment. Evelyne Marceau is going more than ever ” to be careful “Continue, “of course, to wear the mask in closed places”expect “at least a month after March to soften, a little, [s]Contacts and outputs ». This former equestrian center manager is coming out of new chemotherapy for her chronic lymphocytic leukemia and, despite three doses of anti-Covid vaccines, has no antibodies.

“Lack of solidarity”

“If you are immunocompromised, beware of Pandora’s box with the end of the mask indoors”explained to AFP this retiree with an energetic voice. “I fully understand that people are fed up with the restrictions”but if they could be “solidarity with those, like us, really in trouble”.

the “Down with the masks is quite anxiety-provoking for the most fragile, where others will take this additional freedom with joy”confirmed to AFP Etienne Klein, president of the Ellye ociation, which brings together some 5,000 lymphoma patients.

These criticisms are also made by researchers, such as epidemiologist Dominique Costagliola who recently judged on BFM-TV that the end of the compulsory mask sent “a message of self-isolation to those most at risk” and testified “lack of solidarity”. Even the Vaccine Strategy Guidance Council, responsible for guiding government action, has expressed concern for the immunocompromised.

“It is to be feared that these people will one day or another be the last to have to wear a mask, or to have to remain in telework for medical reasonswhich could further amplify the risks of stigmatization and even discrimination”he warned in a note in early February.

On the government side, we ume the choice of the end of the obligation, while believing that the mask will not necessarily disappear. “Perhaps it is a reflex that a certain number of our fellow citizens will take”like the inhabitants of “Asian country” that we “looked with slightly wide eyes because they put on the mask when epidemics appear”slipped, Tuesday, in the Senate the Minister of Health Olivier Véran.

The World with AFP

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