You might think making everyone wear a mask is the simplest answer to stop the current pandemic and I have seen more than my fair share of “facemask shaming” on Facebook, but there are people out there who not only can’t wear a mask but making them do so could be worse for their mental and physical health! Today we look at ten reasons wearing a mask is not an option for some people…
Like millions of others around the world, I myself have chronic asthma and other respiratory conditions which makes it VERY difficult to wear a mask and function normally. While I choose not to put myself into a situation in which I need to wear one (like shopping from home) this is not always an option for many others.
More people suffer from panic attacks than you might think and getting these people to wear a facemask could cause them to suffer more of them. If someone has trouble feeing anxious and panicky the last thing they need is something covering their face up.
While the person not wearing a mask might seem “normal” to you they might well have a Psychical disability that prevents them from being able to put a mask on themselves. Something like Carpal tunnel syndrome can prevent some people from closing their fingers meaning it would be difficult for them to put a facemask on. While this disability might not be all that visible it might be the reason.
There are plenty of people in the world who can’t wear a mask because they have issues with their own body image. (trigger warning:) They might feel dirty, traped even to the point that they feel ugly and stupid wearing one! Just because you are happy wearing one doesn’t mean we all feel the same.
You might be wondering what a facemask has to do with someone’s personality, well consider how “samey” everyone looks when most people are wearing a facemask in a social situation. People with BPD and other personality disorders often need their individual personality in order to feel safe and secure, hide that behind a mask (along with everyone else) and it could cause them to feel empty even to the point of becoming suicidal.
Before you tell me that you see plenty of people wearing glasses and that it isn’t an excuse you just need to consider other factors. Maybe they have VERY poor eyesight meaning even the slightest of condensation on their glasses could cause issues, but then tie that with just slight asthma or a breathing disorder and you have real issues. While not everyone has issues with their glasses misting up some people might become easily overwhelmed and panicked by this.
A lot of people get a little blotchy after wearing a facemask for a long time, but for some people wearing a facemask can cause terrible irritation and soreness. Just the slightest of cloth on face touching might cause a flair up even if their skin looks fine when they don’t wear one.
There are plenty of people around the world who have both mental and physical disabilities when it comes to communication. These people need to be able to read lips and have others read theirs, or maybe they just talk quietly and wearing a facemask will mean no-one can hear them. This has been a real problem for lots of people and if they are high-risk as well its a real issue.
With so many regional differences and even localised differences in face-mask rules, it can be difficult for some people to know what the current rules are. Maybe they believe they don’t have to, or maybe they have been told they don’t have to by a friend or someone else, you can easily see that some people might get confused.
In these crazy times, a LOT of people are suffering from depression and anxiety, so seeing people “face shamed” on social media is not going to help them feel comfortable, then on top of all of that, there is all the misinformation and “fake news” that might make them paranoid about wearing a facemask. It might even have reached a point that they fear putting one on! The truth is there is a myriad of reasons some people can’t wear one and no-one should be judging a book by its cover.
Side Note: My point of this post is to remind people not all disabilities and illnesses are visible and just because someone looks “normal” isn’t an excuse to facemask shame them on social media. As long as you are doing your part and retaining social distancing, I am sure they will do all they can as well. As with the last reason, forcing people to “feel bad” for not wearing one is not going to help anyone.