SUSANNA REID: I've made my own mask, why aren't we all wearing one?

From red carpet to real life…SUSANNA REID: I’ve made my own mask, but why aren’t we all wearing one?

  • Susanna Reid made her own face mask using a breathable exercise fabric
  • British presenter said she was the only one wearing a mask on her daily walk
  • She argues the government should clarify confusion surrounding face masks  

Out for my daily walk in the park yesterday, I noticed some coy looks from other exercisers. Runners seemed to be giving me a wider swerve than usual, which is impressive, given the existing two-metre rule.

Perhaps, I look like I’m ill.

Actually, I wasn’t too surprised to find myself the object of curiosity and stolen glances. Because of about 50 people out at midday across the broad sweep of grass that makes up my local common, I was the only one wearing a mask. In my local supermarket the till assistants have face masks, but no one else working or shopping is wearing one.

A friend in California was slightly shocked this week when I told her; where she lives in San Francisco, they are under a ‘shelter-in-place’ order just like us, but you also face a $100 fine for stepping out of the house without a mask.

Susanna Reid revealed she was the only person wearing a mask, when she went on her daily walk. Pictured: Susanna wearing her homemade mask

‘Why don’t you wear them in the UK?’ she asked.

Good question. The obvious answer is that the Government still insists we don’t all need them — even as growing numbers of experts call for those rules to be changed.

‘In terms of the hard evidence … we do not recommend face masks for general wearing,’ says the Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam.

That’s fine if the advice is based on evidence, but I worry it’s more about supply and demand.

This week, NHS chiefs told ministers that driving people to wear masks could risk the supply to health workers.

None of us want that, but neither do we want to be told we’re being led by science when the truth is we’re being led by availability of resources.

So I have to wonder, is evidence that masks could stop the virus spreading being overlooked because of fears there may not be enough to go round?

Some doctors certainly seem to think so, launching a campaign group called Masks4AllUK to encourage everyone to wear a homemade fabric mask to avoid affecting the supply to frontline workers. Experts are rebranding them as face coverings to distinguish the difference.

I have never worn one before — it’s simply not part of our culture — and there’s a certain stiff-upper-lip reluctance to over-react. But this feels like the time to give it a go. I was surprised to discover medical masks are still for sale on Amazon, but using something intended for frontline workers feels wrong, so I made my own.

Susanna (pictured) argues the government needs to act quickly to clarify the confusion surrounding face masks 

A YouTube video showed me how to transform an old stretchy grey T-shirt. I cut a square, folded it into a rectangle and affixed hair ties at each end. It took five minutes, and then I hooked it over both ears, and took a walk.

The material isn’t 100 per cent cotton — it’s a breathable exercise fabric, so it is easy to inhale. But with every exhale, I am aware of my hot breath building up underneath the fabric.

On a day which reaches almost 20c in the sunshine, it gets warm and moist quickly. I’m conscious of how hot medics must get under the layers of PPE they have to wear on busy wards.

I also feel out of place and slightly ridiculous. My youngest son can’t believe I’m leaving the house with my face covered. One of the arguments against masks is that you end up touching your face more often to keep fiddling with it, but I don’t need to adjust my homemade effort, and in fact wearing it stops me touching my face as we all normally do multiple times an hour.

After ten minutes of getting used to it, despite my reservations, I found it strangely reassuring. Then again, after 20 minutes in the hot sun, I was fairly glad to take it off.

Despite being the only masked one at the park, I can’t be the only person who has a nagging feeling that masks must be of some benefit. The growing body of evidence and advice from other countries risks making our Government’s policy once again look like dither and delay.

We were too slow on PPE and testing. Now the Government needs to act quickly to clarify the confusion on face masks.

If they can help us gradually get out of lockdown, we must change our position.

It will mean a cultural shift, but if we can be relied upon to stay at home and wash our hands, I think we can be trusted to rustle up a bit of old T-shirt material and help stop the spread.


Susanna said Kylie Jenner, 22, looks like a different person in the recent photo of her out picking up snacks. Pictured left: Kylie picking up snacks and right, fully groomed 

This Kardashian looks so much better au naturel

Turns out there’s a perfectly normal looking young girl under all those layers of make-up and contouring.

Here’s the youngest of the Kardashian clan, Kylie Jenner, 22, sans tan, full lips and hair products.

Papped out picking up snacks, pictured left, she looks like a different person. Usually the epitome of fully groomed perfection, right, she’s now just like the rest of us. Weeks at home without products and tweakments, she’s actually become the girl next door. The world’s youngest billionaire has never looked better in my opinion.

I’m a TV pro, so why won’t my kids dance with me on TikTok?

Susanna said her children don’t want her to try dancing on the TikTok app 

When the news feels like one long dirge, turn to a joyful TikTok moment. The video-sharing app’s 15-second mini choreographed dance routines are fun when done by celebrities, but fabulous when NHS workers get together to dance through their breaks, pictured. A real lift to the spirits.

There are also hilarious dance challenges with parents and their children appearing together including J.Lo and her family, and Reese Witherspoon being taught the moves by her 15-year-old son. Shall we try that? I suggest hopefully to my Quaranteenagers. ‘No, Mum. Just no,’ comes the reply.

I’m just about tolerable on TV, even dancing on Strictly, but you definitely won’t be seeing this Mum on TikTok. 

Time to tip the binmen

In a normal week, I would tip my hairdresser and the waiter at my favourite restaurant.

This week, I put £20 in an envelope and handed it to the binmen.

Getting rid of our rubbish — when there is a potential infection in every bag — couldn’t be more important or valuable at the moment.

Thank you, I’ve never been so happy to hear your noisy activity early in the morning, even on my day off.

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