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Being spoken to like rubbish for being exempt for wearing a mask

cupcake88 Posts: 1,234 Pioneering
edited September 2020 in Mental health and wellbeing
Hi there every one I suffer with mental illnesses I rarely go out but this week I have been going to places local with my partner . 

I do have a letter from my doctor bout how I don’t have to wear a mask as I don’t like my face covered In triggers my ptsd . But just going out today with out a mask has made me want to hide away again . 

I was spoken to like absolutely **** when I went into my he butchers I was asked where my mask was by the lady behind the counter so I said I don’t have to wear one and I have a doctors letter she said don’t worry bout it and then began to speak bout me to another customer so I showed both of them the letter from my doctor , my blue badge and my pip letter they looked embarrassed and said sorry but every one is saying that and I said well some of us have genuine reasons .

it’s more stressful having to explain to people and get abuse from the public for not wearing one . It’s made me feel not so well today at all .

is any one else experiencing this ? 


  • Wini1960
    Wini1960 Member Posts: 130 Pioneering
    [email protected], First people can be horrible but more so in this present climate. They are afraid and anyone who doesn't follow the guidelines as they see it is causing more problems. I would by all means go out for a walk with your partner but either get your partner to do the shopping or shop online. Your mental health is important and you really dont want to be adding more stress on yourself. Take care and stay safe ?

  • Cress
    Cress Member Posts: 1,012 Pioneering
    I wouldn't stress about it @cupcake88

    I was 'talked about' for wearing a mask back in the beginning of it all...some people just like to moan, you cant
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,736 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2020
    This is one of those situations where the 'right' isn't worth the hassle.  Yes, you have the right not to wear a mask, but will have to put up with a lot of flak from the general public for doing so. 

    I really struggle wearing one and am legally exempt, but to me it's just not worth all the confrontation.  So I am forcing one on just for a quick shop once a week and getting it off the second I get out of the door, it's putting me in a worse state than before masks were mandatory but I'd rather that than the confrontation of not wearing one.  There's no perfect solution here, it's just whichever you find to cause the least amount of consequences.  I agree with the suggestion above about going to outdoor places where it won't be questioned and just letting your partner do the shopping.

    One of my elderly relatives was having a rant about people not wearing masks last week.  She's extremely vulnerable and has been shielding up until August.  She now only feels comfortable going out if everyone wears a mask.  I've tried explaining that some people are medically exempt, and not necessarily with any visible indication of why, but she just wouldn't have it and sadly that seems to be quite a common opinion.
  • newborn
    newborn Member Posts: 741 Pioneering
    It is easy to see both points of view. It's  the same when people  with invisible disability  use a disabled  parking spot.  Sometimes, just to make things easier, they may as well keep a couple of fold up walking sticks, just to avoid problems.  The public are right to want to protect those bays from abuse. 

    As others say, the fact you have a 'right' just isn't  worth upsetting  yourself, and, equally  important, upsetting everyone else.  If you were immune suppressed from cancer treatment, or had breathing problems,  you would  correctly be in fear of death from people not wearing masks. 

    Can you do as others suggest, and avoid situations where you will terrify others and distress yourself? Or, as they do, just push yourself to wear the mask even though you dislike it? Or, if there's a physical difficulty with breathing, tailor your mask to suit, for instance, getting hold of a square of black silk to cover the mask, and be easy to breathe through, concealing the fact that the mask underneath had some bits cut out, to assist getting the air in.? 
  • cupcake88
    cupcake88 Posts: 1,234 Pioneering
    Thank for every ones ideas well I don’t see how I’m terrifying any one . Considering the people in shops enforcing these rules don’t wear masks them selves . 

    I don’t like any thing over my face it triggers My ptsd . I’m trying to push my self to go out when I can . So basically I have to choice of staying away and hiding away in my house , wearing some thing that will trigger my ptsd or being confronted what choices . 

    I also don’t see why people with invisible illnesses shouldn’t use disabled parking if they have the correct blue badge in place . 

    It be good if there was a badge or card you could carry that is recognised by every one and then no questions are ? Other than a doctors note . 

    I completely some people would be scared seeing people with out a mask who have been shielding  I completely understand  that but a lot of super market and shop staff aren’t wearing masks so why is it ok for them for no reason . 
  • Cress
    Cress Member Posts: 1,012 Pioneering
    Would you maybe feel more comfortable wearing the visor type?

  • Cressida
    Cressida Member Posts: 976 Connected
    I am immuno suppressed and have been shielding since the very beginning of March. I have just started venturing out and am still very worried about covid. I must admit when I have gone into my local supermarket at 8pm (to avoid any crowds) it did make me feel really anxious when I saw people without masks and not social distancing. I just said to anyone who comes too close 'can you please keep your distance'. I think there should be a lanyard that people can wear showing their exemption. Alternatively people who cannot suffer the masks should maybe avoid the shops. I think seeing someone in a mask psychologically helps me feel a bit safer. Just my opinion. @cupcake88 it really is terrifying when you have been shielding and someone comes close to you with no mask when you think you could die in you contract it. 

  • newborn
    newborn Member Posts: 741 Pioneering
    edited September 2020
    Removed by moderator 
    Bear in mind when people  without symptoms were tested,  many of them were shedding virus, and were found to be unknowingly infected.  70% of the  infected people had no symptoms at all. 
    Any one of them could have been responsible for spreading a deadly disease, if they took the choice of insisting on mixing  with the public while not wearing masks.
    In South Korea, one woman who did observe all the masking and sanitising and social distancing rules,  was still  traced to be the source of an outbreak which infected 71 people,  some seriously, some with potentially life long impairments,  and three dead.
    .The country had been covid free, with strict rules nobody  breached. But a neighbour had been allowed back into the country after visiting u.s.a., then sent into her flat to isolate for 2 weeks. They had no contact. But authorities discovered the  returning woman was asymptomatically infected. She got out of the lift on another floor, moments before the neighbour got in.  Scientists are sure that the outbreak  was caused by  breathing some of the same air,  remaining in that lift.

    The fact  shop staff wander the aisles without masks is astonishing.  So is the practice of wearing masks as chin hammocks.  One covidiot was interviewed after returning from a drunken party island holiday, happily declaring he was full of symptoms  after rèturning, but he didn't  care, because  he is 'entitled ' to a holiday, and he is young so not at risk, and he hadn't passed it to his own grandparents,  therefore he couldn't  see any harm at all.
  • cupcake88
    cupcake88 Posts: 1,234 Pioneering
    That’s bit nasty to say I would suppose death on some one is pretty disgusting . I’m entitled to have my opinion there’s no need to be so rude and try make me feel like **** . For people who have been physically and sexually abused it’s hard to have there faces covered well me personally . 

    Even the visor type . I come on this site because it’s suppose to be a safe place where people with all disabilities can have there opinions . Don’t make me out to be a horrible person . I’m just trying to live threw life and do my best with what I go threw mentally each day but if me hiding away makes you feel better then I will do so . 

    And bear In mind wearing masks was only just been made that you have to wear one people went months with our wearing them . 

    I won’t be posting on here for a while no need to be so rude all disabilities should be accepting . So you are saying people with illness who can’t wear them should just hide away so there not working on getting them selves better . And in super markets my partner has never seen all staff wearing them and in shops.

    regards to visors I struggle with them also . I’m a caring person and most people will tell you who have read my previous posts will tell you I’m a kind person I would never want to cause hurt to any one . So I tell you what I’ll stay in doors and hide away so that other people can be safe considering I’m such a a** hole. 
  • cupcake88
    cupcake88 Posts: 1,234 Pioneering
    I don’t think you should be comparing my situation to some idiot who didn’t cate bout spreading a illness because he wanted a holiday . 

    This isn’t because I don’t want to wear one this is because it really affects me mentally and as I have respect for people who have Had to shield I feel like I deserve the same respect . I would never purposely cause harm to any one so please don’t compare the hell I have been threw in life that prevents me having to wear a mask to some fool who fancied a holiday 
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,551 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2020
    Sorry to hear of your experiences @cupcake88. I have seen several people not wearing masks and just assume they have some invisible reason not to have to wear one. I don’t have to wear one but like @OverlyAnxious I wear it anyway to avoid the situations you mention.

    Sorry about some of the replies you have received too. Personally I am surprised at how dismissive some people are of mental disability on a disability forum. I can only assume that they believe that the importance of their physical condition somehow “trumps” that of somebody else’s mental condition. Remember we are all equal here...
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,551 Disability Gamechanger
    Cress said:
    Would you maybe feel more comfortable wearing the visor type?

    This is a good suggestion, is it an option? I believe these don’t touch your face or restrict breathing?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,494 Disability Gamechanger
    @cupcake88 i'm sorry to hear that you were asked questions when you were out. This must have been awful and i hope it doesn't affect your ability to go out with your partner again. I just wanted to offer my support and advice here and to let you know that i fully understand mental health and can't imagine what you've been through.

    My daughter is also exempt from wearing any face coverings and she also never goes out alone. When the guidelines changed for the face coverings i asked her what she wanted to do, wear something around her neck saying she's exempt, or not wear something and risk being approached by someone asking where her mask was. She told me she would prefer to wear something so i bought her a lanyard to wear, with a badge saying she's exempt. I also carry her ASD diagnosis report with me just incase.

    Thankfully, we haven't been approached by anyone as yet but i have noticed people looking at her lanyard. Maybe you should consider getting one of those, see link. i ordered this for her and it definitely helps if people can see from this that you are exempt, rather than just not wearing th eface covering. The cost pennies really and if it stops people approaching you then it's definitely worth it and it arrived within a couple of days too.

    Also if a member posts something you don't like you can put them on your ignore list and this way you won't see their comments, which does help.

    Take care and i hope you're having a lovely weekend :)

  • cupcake88
    cupcake88 Posts: 1,234 Pioneering
    Thank you @poppy123456 @66Mustang for your kind responses . I thank every one for there responses . But mental illness should also be considered amongst physical illnesses . Thanks for showing me kindness and respect. @OverlyAnxious I see why you feel you have to wear a masks when people have harsh opinions about people not wearing them and just assume the worst . 
    @Cress and @Wini1960 thank you for your kind words and suggestions .

    my mental health nurse was telling me the other day to try my best to practice going out with my partner as that’s the only way forward to get better she said your exempt from wearing a mask for good reason and you have every right to still go places and if people want to be hostile then that’s there problem but easy said as done when you have a mental  illness . 

    I completely respect how some people would be concerned but just like they are concerned about there illness there are people who can’t wear one because of there disability and they should also be respected . This is the last place I feel like I should have to defend my disability . My mental illnesses disable my life just like his physical illnesses disableS your life . 
    I deserve to use the disabled parking just as much as some one with a walking stick .

    im not gonna say there are people out there who just don’t want to wear one because they are . But wearing a mask or my face being covered brings back horrific memories for my self and I feel that should be respected also . I’m disappointed by some of the responses in this thread and I have taken them personal but I respect your disabilities and concerns .  But thank you so much for all the positive comments . 

    I have 2 Lanyards also one that says why I can’t wear a mask well
    not in great detail But explaineds and I also have one with my name on with my mental illnesses And to be patient with me if I seem confused and panicked and my partners number on the back . 

    I also carry around the letter from my doctor , pip letter and disabled parking badge .
    I hope your daughter doesn’t receive any negativity bless her . It’s a shame we have to carry around so much stuff to prove why we can’t wear one and then that’s still not good enough x 
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 6,690

    Scope community team

    Hello everyone.

    Could I just give a friendly reminder to be considerate of every user's feelings and convey your comment in a respectful way. 

    When writing on an online community like this it's important to remember that written language can come across in a disrespectful way, even if it's not intended. It's important to choose words carefully and think about how they might read to others.

    I have removed part of your comment @newborn because I felt it was inappropriate.

    I'm so sorry to hear about the horrible comments you received when you were out and about with your face mask @cupcake88. You don't deserve that in the slightest. This community is absolutely a place where we want you to feel welcome and as though it's a safe space from negative judgement. We respect and value all disabled people, regardless of the kind of impairment. 

    I hope things go better for you the next time you go out with the face mask, it sounds like it was an awful experience.
    Online Community Coordinator

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    Did you receive a helpful reply to your discussion? Fill out our feedback form and let us know about it.
  • cupcake88
    cupcake88 Posts: 1,234 Pioneering
    Thank you for your kinds words . It’s just made me feel like I just don’t want to go out and bout any more . If I have to choose between my mental health or being spoken to like rubbish . Thank you every one for your kind words .
  • mousey
    mousey Member Posts: 21 Courageous
    @cupcake88 I can relate to this, I have cPTSD. I can wear a mask, but I completely understand how it's a trigger for you. Being triggered is a horrible thing so I know and understand why you can't wear a mask. I'm afraid I don't have much to add except I wanted to express how sorry I am you've had to deal with other people being ignorant and rude. It's really hard. I've had people be rude to me before because I 'look fine' until I get my mobility aids out, and I've had people be rude to me when I've been in acute mental distress, it's all so hard to deal with. I'd encourage you to keep in touch with you MH team. Please feel free to message me if you want to chat. :)
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,265 Disability Gamechanger
    @cupcake88 - I know you for being a very kind & considerate person. I am so sorry for the upset you've had.
    What many people (outside this community) won't understand is that you wouldn't go out if you thought you had symptoms of Covid-19. What they may have little understanding about is that you've rarely gone out due to this pandemic. You're doing the right thing for you, & please don't let that stop you going out into shops. I know you wouldn't put others at risk, & you shouldn't be made to feel uncomfortable about being exempt from wearing a mask.
    My son works in a food retailer, & he doesn't have to wear a mask, purely because to wear one for a 6-8 hour shift would be so difficult. My eldest daughter works as a travel agent....she doesn't wear a mask either, as they have a perspex screen between her & a customer. She gets frustrated as so many customers stand up (above the height of her screen) with their masks under their chins.
    There are so many variations as to what's 'right,' but you certainly are doing nothing wrong. Knowing that, go out where you wish, as I know you will keep others safe, & you need the benefit of going out too. :)  
  • Grace_Scope
    Grace_Scope Member, Scope user researcher Posts: 23 Connected
    Hi all, 

    Would anyone be willing to provide feedback on what Scope say in our online advice about wearing facemasks? 

    If you are willing to help this would involve a short phone call with me (researcher at Scope) to give feedback on what we have written about facemask exemption. 

    Your feedback will remain anonymous and we will send you a giftpay voucher for your time. If you are interested please contact me directly at [email protected]

    Thank you
  • Edikiey
    Edikiey Member Posts: 3 Listener
    I struggle wearing one especially when it’s hot I’m basically am exempt of wearing one but I don’t want to get turned away or deal with people if im I don’t wear one I will keep wearing face covering or sheild  


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