Forum: Nothing wrong with people taking a more risk-averse stance on mask-wearing

I respectfully disagree with Ms Lam Yeng Ming's characterisation of the recent change to the law that makes it no longer compulsory to wear a mask in most public places (Are we bringing up a 'just in case' generation?, Aug 30).

She states that the Government has made a "judgment that the downsides of masks now outweigh their benefits".

This is not quite accurate. Rather, I would say that the Government's judgment is that the downsides of making mask-wearing compulsory outweigh its benefits. After all, the Government has merely made mask-wearing optional; it has not forbidden it altogether.

The Ministry of Health's press release on Aug 24 states that "mask-wearing remains an effective way for us to minimise the risk of disease transmission" and that "members of the public are encouraged to continue to exercise responsibility and caution, such as wearing masks when in crowded places".

The recent change in the law gives individuals more space to consider the risks and benefits for themselves.

What Ms Lam calls "just in case" thinking may simply be a choice to take a risk-averse stance, which is not necessarily any less legitimate than a choice to take a different view.

Benjamin Joshua Ong

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