Why some people are against face mask wearing in public places during the current coronavirus pandemic?
The current coronavirus is affecting a large number of people worldwide and also killing a significant number of these patients. Nations have imposed lockdown and shut businesses in order to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. Many countries have made wearing a face mask in public places mandatory for all. But some are rebellious and do not want to obey these orders. Why?
The resistance and unwillingness to wear a face mask
As most countries worldwide have made the wearing of face mask compulsory in public places for everyone, there is a significant fraction of people who refuse to adhere to these guidelines. They feel that it is an infringement of their civil liberties. It is a natural tendency to rebel if a person is specifically told you to do something even if it is for their good and benefit. Steven Taylor, a clinical psychologist states:
“People value their freedoms. They may become distressed or indignant or morally outraged when people are trying to encroach on their freedoms.”
They feel that the order is unconstitutional and the government cannot force them to wear it. Some feel that it makes them appear weak to others. They reject the mask as a show of strength. Some of them find the guidelines confusing. David Abrams, a clinical psychologist at New York University’s School of Global Public Health:
“The ambivalence of mixed messages makes it far easier for people to do whatever they want and make up their own mind,”
And many also feel it uncomfortable to wear it.
More about this insistence to wear face masks
Dr. David Aronoff is the director of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Division of Infectious Diseases and professor of medicine. He states:
“There are rules about not smoking in enclosed restaurants and bars because that smoke can be deleterious to someone else’s health. Now we’re in a situation where, if I’m infected with the Covid-19 virus, my breath can be lethal to someone else.”
But he adds that unlike the smoking ban in public places, wearing a mask in public is a temporary measure and not here to stay. But even this temporary nature of the order upsets the opponents of the face mask. David feels that rebellion is natural. But he requests the Americans to wear them since they may be carrying the virus with no symptoms.
Hence even if healthy they are at risk for the public. He wants to take it as an act of solidarity and not forced conformity. He added:
“We’re all hopeful that this pandemic disappears. Then we can stop doing as much risk mitigation. But for now, we really depend on the trust and kindness of others to protect our wellbeing. And that’s part of being an American.”
The Michigan protests
In Michigan, 700 protestors cane to the streets to resist the stay-at-home orders. They got so violent that they even shot dead a Michigan Family Dollar security guard who told them to wear a face mask before entering the store. Many instances of misbehavior with the enforcing security men have been reported from that place. Threatened by the locals, the city of Stillwater, Oklahoma, amended their order to compulsory wear masks in public.