Corona Virus – What to do when faced with those who refuse to wear a mask?

While France experienced a shortage of masks at the start of the crisis, these pieces of tissue are now widely available, to the point of experiencing a situation of overproduction in France. Despite its proven benefits in the fight against the progression of COVID-19 (especially since there is no way of knowing if a person can be asymptomatic carrier) it seems that the wearing of the mask is done more and more rare. You just have to go out on the street to realize it. Even in public transport and in some stores where it is supposed to be compulsory, many people are against the ban by systematically lowering the piece of fabric under their noses or, quite simply, removing said mask.

It is true, these masks are not particularly pleasant to wear, especially with the heat which gains France in these last days. They are hot, can cause breathing difficulties, cause glasses to fog, and muffle the sound of your voice while masking a smile. Some have even invested it with a political message, like Donald Trump who systematically refuses to wear it, or other “mask rebels” for whom the mask recalls the dark days that we have collectively gone through. But now, if wearing a mask is recommended, it is not for nothing. A study published at the beginning of June also quantified the positive impact of wearing a mask in order to limit the transmission of the virus. Wearing it is all the more recommended as second waves are beginning to be declared in certain places of the world, in particular in the United States, where the epidemic has started to rise sharply in recent days, or even in Germany, where part of the country ended up being reconfigured.

Chastising recalcitrants is useless

Even if you respect social distancing and the wearing of masks as it should, what to do with those who do not wear them? Should we reprimand them, or, on the contrary, do nothing? This is the question asked by The Verge, which has gathered some information on this subject and made it an excellent article which we highly recommend. Thus, as Julia Marcus, an epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School, explains in an article in The Atlantic and spotted by The Verge, berating the reluctant maskers would be counterproductive. Rather, these masks should be made desirable to encourage people to wear them on their own. In the SF Chronicle, Tony Bravo also explains that attacking those who do not wear a mask does not work, and that the best thing to do is to lead by example. “Our brains tend to want to punish or shame people who break the rules. It never puts people on your side. The thing you can do is control yourself and do everything you can to protect yourself, ”he says in SF Chronicle. Also, it is important not to condemn without knowing: some people indeed have respiratory problems or other health concerns that prevent them from wearing a mask.

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