VENTURING to London last week felt a bit like a bear coming out of hibernation.

London is a vast contrast to my more rural home.

In some ways it was easier than my usual journey, with trains and subway quieter.

However, everywhere, north and south of the Border, people were wearing face masks.

Those who object and demand that it’s their right to breathe freely overplay what is a minor inconvenience for most.

There may be a few with bronchial issues and I’ve had correspondence from those requiring lip reading who may need to ask that it’s lowered when speaking to them.

But it’s perfectly safe and there’s no stigma as everyone’s wearing one.

I can’t say I particularly like it, but I do it.

It’s after all not about me but others – both for fellow passengers but most especially for staff.

The latter are sitting on buses all day or moving around venues that the rest of us just briefly pass through. They’ve rights too.

The incidence of infection for bus drivers has been marked and we’ve got to consider their welfare.

The same applies in shops and retail units.

Shopping as a leisure pastime may not be returning anytime soon but getting out and about again is essential.

In London I managed to have a watch battery replaced and resolve the strange feeling of absence on my wrist.

Others will have similar needs. But as well as for own needs, it’s also about getting the economy going again.

It may be contactless payments rather than the ringing of the till it’s but needed all the same, by suppliers as well as shopkeepers.

Retailing and sales keeps folk in a job.

Facemasks are also going to be required in shops and it’s the same as with transport – protecting staff working all day but also seeking to avoid a flare up that would see us closing down again as in Leicester.

Wearing a face covering is neither a loss of your liberty nor a hardship.

It’s a minor inconvenience for an individual but a necessity for us all.