Mask shaming: Floridians split on wearing masks due to coronavirus

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Call it the great mask debate of 2020. Some people wear them, some people don’t. Some places require them, others don’t.

Only one thing is for certain – during this coronavirus pandemic, people are divided when it comes to wearing masks.

“It’s like peer pressure is what it feels like to me. I have felt at times like I had to defend my decision,” Psychologist Dr. Wendy Rice said.

WFLA talked to Dr. Rice about the psychology behind mask shaming. She believes people are driven by passion on both sides of the mask debate.

“The person who is doing the shaming is saying either you’re being inconsiderate for not wearing a mask and so I’m going to beat you up about it because I feel like it’s disrespectful – and then there are people who are going to shame you for wearing a mask because you’re a sheep and you’re just doing what people tell you,” she explained.

The root of the response, according to Dr. Rice, is often fear. Some people are scared about their physical safety and others fear having their freedom infringed upon.

“I think we all have to keep our wits about us and remember we can’t control other people, we can only control ourselves.”

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