I have increasingly noticed how much the mask exemption sunflower lanyard scheme is being abused by those without hidden disabilities who just do not want to wear a mask. Those abusing the scheme need to seriously ask themselves if this is fair to those that genuinely need these lanyards for more than just the mask exemption. Some can wear a mask and do not wear them for the same reason. I have seen genuine people with hidden disabilities not get any assistance when they’re out because people assume it’s only being used to get out of wearing a mask. The lanyard was previously used by those with autism and other hidden disabilities before the pandemic. That wasn’t for mask usage but to make people aware. I never had one until now because the masks were causing me serious sensory issues.
I see a sunflower lanyard as technically having a visible label hanging around my neck. I don’t think that is wise if I’m walking or in busy public areas because advertising the fact that I’m vulnerable due to a hidden disability puts me in danger of becoming a target for thieves and scammers. The lanyard is not something that I wanted to use. I resisted for as long as my sensory issues allowed. I think it’s terrible that those that don’t have hidden disabilities are also wearing them purely because they don’t like wearing a mask. This is indirectly invalidating those of us that actually do have hidden disabilities. We sometimes need support and understanding when we’re out. These people are only going to make us look like liars and assume that we are just wearing it due to the pandemic regulations. We might end up in trouble because people don’t believe we have anxiety issues etc.