I’M writing in regards to the letter in the October 22 edition of the Star complaining about harassment from fellow shoppers for not wearing masks for medical reasons.

According to the British Lung Foundation: “Most people with a lung condition will be fine wearing a face covering.  Some people will find wearing one uncomfortable but can get used to it with practise.”

Notably, people with asthma, COPD or other lung conditions are also at greater risk of severe consequences if they do get COVID-19.  Those with illnesses so bad that they cannot use a face covering should consider if it is safe for them to be out in public.  Please consult your local GP for the latest information regarding your particular case.

While there are relatively few conditions that would preclude someone from wearing a face covering altogether, the number of people I’ve seen around town maskless citing health problems seems to be disproportionate.  They may not be aware of the latest recommendations. 

COVID-19 can spread very rapidly among the unprotected.  I‘m sure those not wearing masks don’t want to inadvertently give the virus to others, or contract it themselves, especially at a time when the prevalence of COVID-19 is so high in our community.

For the relatively few people who can’t tolerate a face covering, I implore you to use family, friends, neighbours, or other resources available to you here in St Helens, to do your shopping, so that you can stay out of harm’s way and not be a risk to others. 

Dr Lynette E. Adams, Thatto Heath