Covid-19 protection proves unexpected danger for Christchurch bespectacled man


An elderly Christchurch shopper who tripped on the sidewalk outside a city supermarket because his glasses had fogged up while he was wearing his Covid mask triggered a safety message.

Age Concern Canterbury chief executive Simon Templeton said the incident was a timely reminder for people – of all ages – to wear masks in the safest and most effective way possible.

“Fogging of glasses is a problem we’ve heard about,” he said.

“It’s no surprise that there are falls related to the visually impaired and perhaps mobility impaired.

“It just adds that extra risk and challenge for people mobilizing safely,” he said.

The customer fell outside the countdown at Church Corner earlier this month but was not seriously injured.

Templeton said it’s important for people who wear glasses to make sure their masks are properly fitted before venturing out.

“I was told to twist the ear straps and hook them over your ears,” he said.

“Apparently that keeps the glasses from fogging up. It needs to direct the airflow in a slightly different direction.”

Placing your glasses on the bridge of your mask is another recommendation. A pharmacist also said that disposable masks with thread on the nose were more effective than models with washable cloth because the thread could be pinched to make the mask as comfortable as possible.

An anti-fog spray, as swimmers use goggles, may also work. Slowing down your walking pace and being more aware of potential dangers are among the recommendations of the Committee on Health Quality and Safety.

The St John Ambulance and Canterbury District Health Board do not have specific records of mask-related injuries during current Covid-19 restrictions.

But ACC data revealed that 20 claims had been filed in Canterbury this year through September 30. Only eight have been filed in all of 2020. Nationally, there were 106 claims last year and 107 have been filed to date in 2021.

About Marion Alexander

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