Changing an Anti-masker’s Mind

Emily Donegan, Reporter

TheBroadcaster · Editorial: Changing an Anti-masker’s MindAlthough we used to only associate face masks with the healthcare field, it has become a key factor in stopping the spread of the CoronaVirus. Still 1 in every 10 Americans continue to refuse to wear a mask according to the Mother Jones Daily Newsletter

The need for facial coverings has become extremely apparent with an increased number of cases, and simply telling someone to “mask up” does not always do the trick, so how do we fix this problem? 

In an article from The Conversation, Clare Hooker from the University of Sydney, shares that using respect, empathy, and appealing to opposing values is a good approach when persuading an anti-masker. For example, Hooker says, “Asking someone why they are not wearing a mask, instead of telling them to wear one, is another helpful tool.” This allows the anti-masker to feel that their opinion was heard, and opens them up to listening to your side of the argument. 

Along with respecting the viewpoints of an anti-masker, listening intently to their side of the argument is very important. 

Miscommunication can be the downfall of any argument, and Hooker explains to us how to avoid it. In the article she says,“When we are stressed or emotional, we are more likely to activate our body’s “fight, flight, freeze” mechanisms. Essentially, emotions can very quickly cloud our judgement, so it is important to remain calm, and understanding to ensure your message is heard and not blocked.

It is clear that respect and communication skills are essential in trying to successfully convince someone to wear a mask; however, teaching them why a mask is so necessary, through the use of facts, is just as crucial. 

If an anti-masker is properly educated about why they have to wear a facial covering, it will make it easier for them to use it. In the article, How to Counter the Anti-Mask Backlash from U.S News, Lavanya Vasudevan, an assistant professor of community and family medicine at Duke, is quoted saying, “There are many people out there who are either not convinced there is a pandemic, or dont think COVID is a threat to them.” For someone to more willingly follow safety procedures they must first understand the severity of the disease that they are told to fight. 

There is an ongoing battle to beat Covid-19 in our world today, and it is no secret that wearing a mask is a key factor in decreasing the spread. If you have someone in your life, whether it be a family member, friend, colleague or more, I urge you to use these strategies. In hopes that it will take us to end the Coronavirus.