Reasons Some People Won't Wear a Face Mask
There are psychological and other reasons some people refuse to wear a mask during the coronavirus pandemic.
Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and governors of most states recommend wearing face coverings in public to help slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, many people still refuse to wear them. Some states have made it mandatory to wear face coverings in public. People who don’t wear masks in public could be fined up to $1,000, time in jail, or both.
While we might frown on others for not abiding by the law, there are all kinds of reasons people don't wear masks. Some of the reasons are psychological.
Some people have never had to wear a mask before the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, the requirement is something new for them. It is human nature to resist change. They would rather not go out at all if they have to cover their face.
Wearing a mask psychologically tells the wearer that the old way of life is no longer. Not wearing a mask tends to deny that a pandemic exists.
Jason Seidel, Director of the Colorado Center for Clinical Excellence and a practicing psychologist, says a person’s decision to not wear a face mask is often based on fear. To him, wearing a mask is to acknowledge that there is actually a pandemic, and he is frightened by that realization.
Don't Believe Masks Help
Over 30 countries have made masks mandatory while out in public. Some people aren't sure masks are helpful at all. They don't realize that wearing a mask is more about protecting others instead of protecting themselves. People also refuse to wear a mask because they don't see a need to wear one.
Dr. David Aronoff, Director of Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Division of Infectious Diseases and Professor of Medicine says rebellion is natural. People naturally rebel when they are told what to do especially if they don't understand why. For some people, being told to wear a mask takes away their freedom, and they are forced to conform to what most people are doing.
Confusing and Mixed Messages
There have been mixed messages about the reason people need to wear face masks. Some find the mandate confusing . At first, the CDC advised people not to wear masks unless they were sick. The directive changed, and now most states require face masks to be worn in public.
Follow the Leader
Business Insider reports that President Donald Trump has never worn a mask in public, and he has been criticized for not doing so. He didn't wear one during a visit to a Honeywell mask factory in Arizona.
According to an Associated Press report, Trump might be afraid that he would look ridiculous in a mask, and he doesn't want footage of him because it might hurt his chance for re-election. He has reportedly said wearing a face mask would "send the wrong message" that he is more focused on health than re-opening the economy.
Vice President Mike Pence didn't wear a face mask when he visited the Mayo Clinic on April 28, 2020. That was a violation of the rule of the health care facility. Notice that everyone else is wearing a face mask.
Jonas Kaplan, an assistant research professor of psychology at the University of Southern California, said Trump’s supporters would be more likely to wear masks if the president and vice president led by example. Kaplan said, "To not see your leaders wearing masks in public or in photographs would suggest they are excluding themselves from the guidelines set for everyone else because they don't see the value in it."
Infringement on Civil Liberties
Many people don't wear face masks or wear them grudgingly because they believe the requirement infringes on their civil liberties . They think it goes against their constitutional rights. They believe they should make their own choice whether to wear a face mask or not.
Sign of Weakness and Vulnerability
Many view the mask as a sign of vulnerability that tells others they are scared about contracting the virus. For that reason, they may reject wearing masks.
People are attacked for wearing masks as well as for not wearing them. An Asian woman wearing a mask was attacked by two men and called "diseased" in a subway station, according to the New York Police Department. Four people were arrested in March in Hilton, New York for allegedly beating up a woman for wearing a respirator mask in a store, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Department.
In Wood River, Illinois, two young black men recorded a viral YouTube video in March of a police officer kicking them out of Walmart for wearing masks.
Some find it uncomfortable and a nuisance to wear a mask over their mouth and nose . It is something they just don't want to tolerate.
Many people develop feelings of claustrophobia when wearing a protective mask. They claim they can't breathe properly. Some have panic attacks while wearing a face mask.
Maskaphobia, or fear of masks, is a common phobia for some who look at masks on others. At one time face masks were plain, now they do come in all designs that might be scary for those with that particular phobia. They distort the wearer’s appearance and the wearer's sound is different and appears to come from another direction when the person speaks.
Risk Takers and Naysayers
Some people like to brag about being risk takers. Teenagers fall into this group. Some of them believe the virus is a hoax. If you have noticed, a lot of them do not wear masks or keep social distancing when they are out and about.
Ohio Republican Representative Nino Vitale wrote on his Facebook page that he refuses to wear a mask because he says it dishonors God. He said because we are all made in the image of God, we should be able to see the faces of others and not hide behind masks.