Even though it's been advised to wear face covers to protect yourself and others from catching COVID-19, barely anyone actually does it - or at least in my part of London. I don't like going out to the supermarket and have stopped going to my favorite veg stall four months ago because I don't feel safe. I can't even imagine what that's like for sales assistants, cashiers and security guards - the people who have suffered the most in this crisis.
Did you know that the death rate of people working in shops is 68% higher than in the general population?
So next time you're going out, please think about the harm you can do, wear a face cover and stay at a safe distance - also from the people working 12 hours a day to stock the shelves with your foods and necessities. Don't just think about the fine you might get (even though that's a great incentive to get people to act).
If you're going out, also think about the impact you're making on the environment. Most disposable masks are made of polypropylene: plastic. There is a huge surge in masks and gloves discarded on the streets and are already found in our oceans. Conservationists are saying there are already more masks than jellyfish in the water!
Making it compulsory to wear a face mask in England is going to help the health of the nation, but not the health of the planet - imagine the trash left behind when 38 million people use one or two face masks every day?!
Make sure to get yourself enough cloth masks for the week so you're never without. It's so easy to wash them: either in the washing machine or in some very hot water with laundry detergent for at least 5 minutes.
If you are using plastic gloves for your job or whatever other reason, try to wash them and reuse them. Terracycle offers a recycling scheme for gloves, so once they're worn out, make sure you find out where you can drop off yours!