There's no denying that mask-wearing has been a hot topic for discussion in recent times. Although there have been several scientific studies published that prove the efficacy of wearing masks in slowing the spread of diseases, skeptics do still exist. So what does one do when that skeptic is someone close to you?
We've compiled a list of common excuses people give when they push back on wearing a mask and what you can say to them to help nudge them to do the right thing.
"I practice proper physical distancing when I'm out so I don't need it"
Yes, it's true that wearing a mask is recommended for times where physical distancing isn't possible. If you're going for a walk in a place where there aren't many people, you likely won't need a mask. However, if 2020 has taught us anything, it's that life is unpredictable and things often don't go according to plan. Sometimes a quick walk can lead into an impromptu stop at a coffee shop. Or maybe it's the weekend and this isolated walk of yours turns out to be more crowded than you had originally thought.
It never hurts to have a plan B. Masks are light and a backup one can be carried easily in your pocket or purse or car. Better safe than sorry.
"It's not 100% effective anyway"
Very few things in life are 100% effective or guaranteed. Just because something is not 100% effective, doesn't mean it's not worth using. Even 1% efficacy is better than 0%. Doctors and medical professionals have been wearing masks for centuries - clearly, it helps.
"It's uncomfortable and I can't breathe properly."
It's normal for it to be a bit harder to breathe with a mask - that's how you know it's working. Wearing something you're not accustomed to on your face takes some adjustment (just ask any kid who's new to wearing glasses or braces), but the payoff of protecting yourself and others around you is worth it.
"The number of cases have gone down in my area so it's no longer necessary"
A big part of why the number of cases have gone down is due to proper physical distancing and mask-wearing. Just because things have gotten better, doesn't mean should stop. If anything, it means we should keep going.
"They're too expensive"
If you choose to not buy a mask or are unable to afford one, you can make one at home. There are many tutorials online, we like this one here. Alternatively, you can use a light scarf or bandana to cover your nose and mouth instead of using a mask. It's better than nothing at all.
"It's a free country"
Yes, we are very proud to live in this wonderful country where we have individual liberties and freedoms. No one is debating that the right to disagree with the government is fundamental in Canada. But in this specific case, what you do impacts the health and well-being of the entire community. By wearing a mask, not only are you protecting yourself, but you're protecting others too.
If you've used any other effective responses, we'd love to hear them! Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.