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SA 60-plussers have their say about mask repeal

Posted By Marilynh / July 10, 2022 / 0 Comments

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South African 60-plussers have been bucking the trends for decades – ever since their baby boomer/hippy Woodstock days!  And nothing has changed – even when it comes to mask repeal!   One can see the glint of “rebel” in many 60-plussers.


“Stay home in a pandemic” we were told.  Many 60-plussers resisted that.  “Wear masks” we were told, and my word was that was a contentious issue at the time.  Two years down the line “You don’t need to wear masks any more”.  Well, actually, we would prefer to carry on wearing our masks. 

Recently, when National Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, repealed three pandemic regulations, including the wearing of masks, the majority of South Africans breathed a sign of relief that masks were now a thing of the past, except for SA 60-plussers.

You’ve Earned It / YEI is a digital media platform for South African 60-plussers, and as such have kept our senior audience up to date with rules and regulations as they pertain to the pandemic.  The repeal of masks is no different – we put the word out to our YEI Facebook audience and the response was very interesting.

When the wearing of masks became “law” back in 2020, SA seniors were generally reticent about wearing masks, some downright anti, the sentiment of which was almost mirrored when it came to having covid vaccinations.  So when we put the question to our senior audience “Will you still continue to wear your mask in public or not?”, the response should not have come as a surprise, as this demographic still like to buck the trend!  88% of our senior audience confirmed that they would, and 12% were downright “no’s”!

Could it be that SA 60-plussers have noted that some countries around the world who have removed the mask mandate have seen an upswing in Covid infections and hospitalisations.  There’s even talk that some countries may impose restrictions again.

We do know that life cannot be lived in fear, and we can’t live behind masks forever.  But we do know that Covid has not gone away and we need to learn to live with it.

One thing is for certain, SA 60-plussers are not taking any chances this time round, and despite still having that element of “rebel” in them, they want to live life to the full and see their grandchildren grow up.  And if that means wearing masks to stay safe, well so be it.

Here are a few of the “yes” responses:

Definitely when I enter places like malls or lifts……I know where I’ve been, but don’t have a clue where the other person has been or comes from, and this works both ways!

I have been wearing my mask both outside & inside public places ever since COVID started.  I will not be changing anything. I have also had both COVID vaccinations & 2 boosters & a flu vaccination. I do NOT want to get COVID at my age with the bad chest I have. 

Will definitely wear a mask in public places. In actual fact, I shall rather miss the social distancing when standing in a queue. 

I will definitely be wearing my mask if I have to be at a health facility, use public transport, or go to church or any other public space that is enclosed during the winter months that lie ahead.  It might not be covid but flu germs will be around.  For the past 2 years, I have worn a mask – I did not have a cold or even bronchitis and I am very prone to getting these kinds of infections during the winter months. 

I prefer to wear it. I had Covid a few weeks ago and I don’t want to get it again.


And “no” responses


Definitely not! Masks do not prevent disease and in fact interfere with ones’ breathing and natural immune system.

Nope and I don’t think I will be conned into such nonsense again. We have lived for years without masks and lived with catching flu and even getting bronchitis and pneumonia. It strengthens our immune system. 

If you are a mask believer, then you will never give it up. But you will never mask-up again once you understand that the piece of cloth does very little in reality to prevent you breathing in any ‘germs’, and badly limits the oxygen you take in, affecting the brain and more. We so easily act like sheep without thinking and habits form fast especially if fear-based.


Article issued by:
You’ve Earned It – the digital media platform for South African over-60s



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