The day couldn’t have been more perfect and symbolic. July 24 2020, the day the government extended the use of face masks in England to help reduce the spread of the corona virus. Citizen Outreach chose this date to again give out free face masks to hundreds of residents of Toxteth L8 in Liverpool.
Initially wrong footed in the fight against the raging corona virus pandemic, the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now pulling all the stops to curb the spread of COVID-19 and on July 24 2020, extended the mandatory wearing of face masks initially only on public transportation to takeaways, banks, post offices and other enclosed places across England. Liverpool charity Citizen Outreach chose this same date to distribute more free masks in front of ASDA supermarket situated in Toxteth an inner city neighbourhood in Liverpool inhabited mostly by Black and minority people (BAME)-the group affected disproportionally by COVID-19. Compared to the overall population, statistics show more BAME people have died or suffered the severe effects of the deadly corona virus than any other ethnic group across the UK.
Preventing Community transmission
“Due to COVID-19 and what else is going on in the world now, COC decided to apply for funding to come out and help people to prevent them (from catching) COVID-19. The masks we are giving out is to help them go out and feel more secure and be more comfortable in the community especially with today being the day people cannot go into a shop without a mask”, Citizen Outreach volunteer Francis Langley said. He was again coordinating the masks distribution to shoppers at the entrance of ASDA supermarket in Toxteth, Liverpool. same as he did during a similar event that took place in Lodege Lane still in Toxteth.
Beneficiaries were delighted with the free masks as most had only one time wear face masks. “It is great to get these washable masks because I can use them more than once” a 43 year old Jamaican recipient said. He con tinued, “thanks for doing this. It may look small but you have no idea how many lives you may be saving through this gesture”. The masks distributed came in all shapes, colours and sizes making some residents check the right colour for them. Red, the official colour of new premier league Champions Liverpool FC was a favourite colour as most people support their local team.
An Indian lady dumped her one time use masks with those of her two children and took six masks, including three for her children who were at home. “I just like the African bright colours but the fact I can use and wash them and reuse is the icing on the cake”, she added.
“It’s been a good day out. People have been coming to us. We have given masks to taxi drivers, mothers, fathers, families etc”, Sonny Lavalie, another COC volunteer distributing the masks gushed.“That makes me happy”.
With virologists and scientists now confirming the virus can be transmitted human-to-human, precautions must be adopted to reduce or stop this completely for both suspected and confirmed cases. Wearing a face masks can help achieve this. In addition to catching the virus through respiratory secretions, the virus has been detected in blood, faeces and urine. Other. A face masks does not provide complete protection and must be used in combination with other preventive methods including frequent hand washing, social distancing and home isolation in case anyone has any of the suspected symptoms including a high temperature, new and continuous cough and a lose or change in the sense of taste and smell
UK COVID-19 in figures
A total of almost three hundred thousand cases of infections have been confirmed across the UK with almost forty six thousand deaths. The infection peaked in the UK in April with almost one thousand deaths per day but have been reducing steadily ever since. There have been days with less than one hundred recorded deaths and the country that was in lock down for over two months is being reopened gradually .
After initially denying the government did everything in its power to fight the virus in the start, Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday July 24 2020 accepted his government “made mistakes” but has learnt from them.
Citizen Outreach will continue doing everything it can to join the national effort to stop the spread of the virus. Funding for the project was given by The National Lottery Community Fund.