WELL said Robert Readman (Letters, March 18), “nothing like adversity to bring out the best in people”.

Absolutely, and so encouraging for us all at such a stressful time. A taste now perhaps of how it was in 1940, national spirit rising to meet huge challenges.

And the hugest thank you to all those on the front line. All staff in supermarkets and stores and other outlets, bus drivers, and police, and social workers, and teachers, and of course our National Health Service.

Biggest thank you to all front line staff, at their risk, engaging with and helping us all.

But then you have to ask, why haven’t we all, especially front line staff, got all we need to keep us safe?

How is it that in WW2 everyone in every city had a gas mask but now, 2020, we do not have equivalent virus mask respirators?

Government and media make clear “masks are of no help”. That is correct, if speaking of “use once” surgical masks. They will not keep out virus.

But there are mask respirators with cartridges, rated FFP3 (Filtering Face Piece), fitting closely over mouth and nose, that will provide protection.

Government advise to stay away from crowds, as far as possible stay at home, keep a distance from others, and wash our hands. All good and important advice.

But what about mask respirators? Why are they not being issued by government? Basic masks of this type don’t cost a fortune. I can only assume they are few and far between. At best enough for medical staff.

If so where is the serious war footing the Prime Minister claims, with full-on commitment to mass production of masks for all of us? Ensuring all frontline staff have the masks, and sanitisers, and all else they need, to keep safe.

Surgical mask – compare with FFP3 Respirator – “to use when a patient has a newly identified infectious respiratory virus”.


Jubilee Road, Parkstone