‘Mask shaming’ becomes a new topic of conversation during the coronavirus pandemic

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 5:09 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - “I don’t know why you would shame anybody for doing the right thing and wearing a mask,” said Dr. James Cole, SwedishAmerican Hospital.

While visiting a store or eating at a restaurant some people wear masks but certainly not everyone and it’s causing people to ‘mask shame’.

“Those that perceive they are being shamed for choosing to not wear a mask, it seems to be that they are also choosing to not respect the well being of those around them,” Cole said.

SwedishAmerican doctor James Cole says washing your hands, social distancing and most importantly wearing a face covering are the key things to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“The mask-wearing is to prevent the spread of asymptomatic coronavirus infection to others, especially those that are immunocompromised that you might not be aware of,” Cole said.

“People need to look at this as a public health issue, not a political issue,” Said Brian Klaung, Clinical Social Worker.

Klaung says the coronavirus pandemic has heightened everyone’s emotions.

“You have some people who feel it’s their constitutional right to do what they want to do and then you have some people who feel they need to protect themselves and others by wearing a mask,” Klaung said.

But no matter your opinion Klaung says ‘mask shaming’ is not effective because it typically ends in violence.

“Some people’s response isn’t flight its fight and now that people are armed with guns it can be deadly,” Klaung said.

According to CDC guidelines, face shields are not the same as face coverings and do not provide a barrier to protect you against the virus.

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