Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Covid-19: should the public wear face masks?

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: (Published 09 April 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m1442

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Rapid Response:

Masks diminish the wearer and diminish quality of life

Dear Editor,

Many of us have a visceral repulsion towards masks. We would literally rather die, or certainly risk serious harm, to ourselves and others, than live in a world where everyone wears a mask. It is a really frightening, horrible prospect, the beginning of the end for freedom, it takes away a great part of what makes life worth living, to see others and be seen by them. It will foster suspicion, depression and a mean spiritedness towards strangers, which already comes naturally to too many people.

How can you form new friendships if you can't see someone? How can you be yourself without facial expression? Maybe the authors don't have many friends anyway? Maybe they think preservation of life at all costs is justified? Maybe they don't think that question should be allowed to be asked?

I speak as someone who is not the slightest bit frightened by coronavirus - if it's your time, it's your time, have courage and face it. I wear a mask at work in the hospital but if I had to wear a mask all the time, I think I would become severely depressed, possibly suicidal, violent, or both, and I am a fairly nice, caring health professional!

Competing interests: No competing interests

28 April 2020
christopher v carr
SHH Plymouth Road Kingsbridge