Brits mask up irrespective of political affiliation

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Britain was slow to take up masks, because it followed the WHO guidance, and changed its position when that changed.


Anyone who makes masks a political issue is a moron. While I don’t think the U.S. has a disproportionate number of them per capita than in other countries, I do believe it has more who are proud and happy to display their ignorance and stupidity because the anti-intellectual conservative culture encourages it.


As per the points you just made about US education on another thread…
Our education system may be pretty crappy and has been made hugely crappier by every Tory govt since 1979 (Thatcher) but it is still rather better than what I am given to understand about the US equivalent. People here can at least see that masks have an effect because whatever independent thinking survives the Tory media onslaught has at least not been conditioned to rub in a highly partisan (religion, party politics or ‘constitutional freedom’ nonsense) manner. But if The Daily Mail thought there was a good anti-Labour line to be pursued about mask wearing you can be sure we’d have half the country telling us that masks were evil/cause cancer/enable immigrants.


It’s a tough comparison to make, both because of the usual international comparison issues, but also because the variance across the US is so huge. Looking at the major benchmarks, like PISA, the US as a whole substantially lags behind the UK in math and science, but is very similar in reading. The added complication is that there is essentially no federal education system. If you look at the performance of states in the US the picture looks very different. States like Massachusetts and Connecticut have outcomes in line with the top performing countries, while states like Mississippi very much do not.

That aside, I don’t think this is much of an education issue, but rather a willingness to allow partisan allegiance to outweigh science. Well educated people are very good at crafting strong rationalizations.


It’s probably the effect of their accents. Maybe if we started speaking in a posh* British accent then people would mask up.

  • Or South London, Scottish, Irish, Australian, etc. We are Americans so it’s likely the ones needing the message (or most of us) wouldn’t know the difference.

Britain, and most of the world, don’t have their dominant political party and media outlets weaponising anti mask stupidity.


Clever people, maybe. I’m afraid they do not meet my definition of well-educated if they wish to rationalise political or ‘freedom’ (let alone medical) reasons for not wearing masks.



No amount of ranting will change this among a group that is “significantly less likely…” but I think there’s a lesson in here. The messaging that you are doing it for others should be complemented with at least as much messaging that you must do it for yourself.

And this is also true in the long haul: Those who are more susceptible are merely the first to fall in a pandemic. If they are ALL carrying the virus, though, healthier, younger people will have a higher likelihood of infection and illness, and so on.

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Don’t forget that wearing a mask causes house prices to fall by an average of 15.3%



WHO recommends masks in public: 6th June
UK recommends masks in public: 24th July

Also doesn’t explain why the UK was slow to lockdown, twice!


The study doesn’t break out the political leanings of the 3% that refuse to wear masks; in my (limited) experience they are exclusively brexiteers


That would be in line with most countries, they are the local flavour of the fash everywhere.


It’s true! Someone wore a mask walking down my street yesterday and the estate agent told me to wait until spring to try to sell my house! /s


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