I saw in the news the other day a story that truly shocked me. To sum it up basically a severe asthmatic boarded an Easyjet plane only to be shouted at by the Pilot and jeered at by the rest of the passengers because he refused to wear a face covering despite having proof of his condition and a piece of paper printed from the government website saying he was exempt.
The full story can be read here and the video is imbedded in the link to.
If you watch the video it is truly shocking.
A number of things got me thinking about the wearing or not wearing of masks.
- Why is a piece of paper printed off from the government website not enough
- If that was not enough why was it still not enough when the passenger showed evidence of his condition via his prescriptions
- What right did the other passengers flying on the plane have to laugh and jeer at this man when there is probably someone in their circle of friends or family who has asthma and may well choose not to wear a mask due to their condition
- The way in which the captain and crew publicly humiliated the passenger rather than asking the passenger to come up to the front or go somewhere where they could speak privately.
- Why was he ok on his Easyjet flight on the way out but not the way back. Clearly people don’t know their company policies.
What gets me above all is that Easyjet have no understanding of people with health conditions. Before COVID-19 and a good few years ago I was told off by Easyjet crew not once but twice when they came to tell me that a passenger has reported I was vaping on the plane and did I know that you are not allowed to do that. I was using my portable nebuliser. Due to previous experiences on the planes I always tell the head cabin crew member that I am a severe asthmatic and do have a portable nebuliser which I may need to use. I then went on to explain what it looked like and could they pass this on to the rest of the crew because it can look like I am smoking so I don’t want to scare people. What got me was that I was not allowed to know who the passenger was, I wanted to explain to them about what it was and why I was using it. The crew were very hostile over it. Of course the stress did not help my asthma and I felt like I was fighting off an attack for the rest of the flight as I did not want to use my neb again.
In the incident recently with the man and the mask it just highlights how little Easyjet care once again. Everyone knows that asthma can get worse with stress so these people have just put this man in a very stressful situation that could have been avoided. They also appear to have made little or no effort to apologise to the man who has been caused undue to stress.
I did note that in their comment on the whole matter they say they have updated their policy so anyone wearing a lanyard or who has government documentation will be exempt from wearing a face covering.
My question is: do we need to prove ourselves as to why we are not wearing a face covering. I know a lot of people may not want to wear a lanyard particularly now as the sunflower lanyard is being abused and it seems like every Tom, Dick and Harry has one now. For me I would have thought that being asked why you don’t have a covering on and being able to say you have breathing condition is enough or if you show an inhaler or something.
After all the face coverings are there to not only protect others but also protect ourselves. Most people with lung disease do not want to do anything that puts them at risk of getting COVID-19 and will therefore wear a covering if they can and for as long as they can. I am like this and will start off wearing a mask but if it gets too hot or my chest is not good I find a mask really hard but I am not going to just not wear one because I don’t want to. If you truly have a lung condition you will do all you can to protect yourself so not wearing a face covering is a last resort. Those abusing the system obviously don’t know what it is like to not be able to breathe because if you did you would protect yourself from that risk.
Easyjet need to learn from this experience as it could have ended up in a nasty situation. The man ended up putting a covering on to diffuse the situation but this could have resulted in a massive attack and potentially the plane being diverted and even the many dying from an asthma attack. I truly do not think Easyjet understand asthma and as a company they need to do more to educate their staff.
I will get off my high horse now and just leave it there.