JUDGING by what I have witnessed on bus journeys and in shops over the last two days, it is becoming worryingly apparent that some half to three-quarters of the population are suffering from breathing and other related health problems that exempt them from wearing face masks.

Travelling on the bus to Bournemouth Hospital on Monday, of the 31 passengers on the lower deck, only 11 were wearing masks – which means the remaining 20 were exempt.

What struck me most is the fact that all but one of those not wearing masks were young people.

Which is a very worrying health trend indeed.

When I remarked on the number of people not wearing masks to the cashier in my local Co-op this morning, an unmasked young man behind me remarked that people are not required by law to carry proof of exemption – which of course is correct.

However I could not refrain from pointing out that as he entered the store ahead of me, he had tossed away the cigarette he was smoking, which begs the question as to why wearing a mask would make breathing difficult for him when when smoking doesn’t.

Perhaps bus and rail companies should consider operating alternate masked and unmasked services (just kidding).

ROBERT READMAN Norwich Avenue West, Bournemouth