Why are some people not wearing masks?

By Dr Priti Swarup

Not wearing a face mask invites public shaming, not to mention boosts your risk of COVID-19. So what keeps some of us from putting one on while others wear masks improperly on the chin or over the head for the sake of it?

Uncomfortable

One of the most common reasons is that it becomes uncomfortable wearing the mask for long, especially for people who are working in offices. Many cases of fatigue and suffocation have been reported.

Confused

With a lot of tips pouring in from several social media platforms, the public is generally confused as there are different types of masks. The best ones are either unavailable or too costly, says Najia Amin, a long time Muscat resident.

Communication barrier

Peeyush Mishra, an engineer by profession, opines that smiling and other facial gestures play an important role in effective communications, but with a mask on, it becomes difficult to perceive the things in their true light at times.

Indifference

Some people are highly complacent and indifferent to COVID-19. They also feel that whatever is bound to happen, shall happen and they don’t really care. Some people are overconfident and have innate risk-taking behaviour. They have a ‘nothing-can-happen-to-me-attitude’, and they also feel that if there are no COVID-19 positive cases nearby there is no need to wear a mask, says Ruchi Goel, a homemaker.

There are a few who think that with masks people are breathing their own carbon dioxide rather than fresh oxygen from outside. Some feel wearing a mask covers their beauty, says Sparsha Vyas, a teacher.

Suresh Nair, an aviation sector professional summarises the reasons as sheer stupidity, and stupidity has no explanation.

Leaders worldwide are acting as role models by wearing masks in public and encouraging others to do so too. We all must understand that in the fight against the virus, the masked one is definitely far safer than the unmasked ones. Ranging from washable to disposable, colourful and full of variety, let’s all wear and adopt masks as our new lifestyle. Although it shouldn’t become a permanent feature of our face, our gen-next must breathe fresh air, for which we must change our ways, in present.