Can we ease up on the mask shaming, please?

The Prime Minister was photographed hanging out with a whole lot of the Youth Parliament's pretend MPs on Tuesday. 

She wasn't wearing a mask. None of them were. 

Not Governor General Dame Cindy Kiro, Speaker Adrian Rurawhe, nor the other MPs in the photos. 

The photo has prompted a whole lot of criticism; Ardern's a hypocrite, a bad role model, all sorts of things. 

Ardern's office says she was wearing a mask and took it off for the photo, then put it back on. 

But still, there's commentary about her double standards, given her own COVID Minister Ayesha Verrall just last week urged us to use masks more.

Professor Michael Baker says it's a missed opportunity to promote the wearing of masks. 

Helen Clark tweeted that she was shocked to see an un-masked youth Parliament. 

Thank goodness National's Nicola Willis has taken a commonsense approach to it, urging people to give the Prime Minister a break because we've all taken our masks off for a pic. 

There are so many people who are flouting the mask requirements under the orange traffic light system and it's getting so tiresome seeing people revel in calling people out for not wearing masks. 

It's a mask for goodness sake. You can't keep them on at all times. They're not comfortable. 

Some people hate them, some find comfort and safety in wearing them. 

So can we ease up on the mask shaming, please?