At this stage of the epidemic, the wearing of a protective mask is recognized as a effective barrier to limit the spread of the virus. Some are convinced by the port of the mask to be able to again fully participate in life in society, but others found it too binding to human relationships. How the mask-wearing widespread will it affect our behavior? Will it have unintended consequences? Experts fear that the feeling of security, brought by the masks, leads to a laxity at the level of the social distancing and non-conforming uses masks to work around the communication barriers.
Masks can make us forget the social distancing
The protection masks, previously used only by tourists asian in France, have been adopted by most French, who have also adapted their behaviour, not necessarily in a positive way.
According to Joyce Ehrlinger, an assistant professor at Washington State University, the widespread use of masks could have unintended consequences, including providing a false sense of security. The people with masks are less conservative and are not afraid to meet as a group, to do their shopping on a very regular basis, and most importantly, they respect less the safety distance between the persons while they were doing it in a strict manner without a mask.
In the same way that the floats or armbands do not want to say that a child can swim without supervision, the masks must not lower the guard. It is always necessary comply with all barriers, such as hand washing, social distancing, etc., The wearing of a bicycle helmet, for example, also plays a role misleading in terms of security. According to a study, the cars are much closer to cyclists, well-equipped, which makes them more likely to be victims of an accident.
Dr. Roger Chou, lead researcher of a landmark study of the WHO on the masks, also shared this fear that, unintentionally, the masks reduce our tendency to respect the social distance.
A barrier to communication
The masks, however, are useful for overcoming the fears that block many people to resume their activities before. Everything will not be as easy, however, because interpersonal communication is heavily impacted by the port of the mask.
During a conversation, face reading can allow us to gather important information to understand our interlocutors. For Stephen Bunard, expert in non-verbal communication, the mouth gives key information, for example, to assess the non-dit of the order of the “bluff” or the lie.
People who are deaf and hard of hearing are particularly affected.
Emilia Ozouf, the director of the cooperative Liesse, agency of sign language interpreters in Rouen, says that, with the masks, lip-reading became impossible for the deaf and hard of hearing, especially in a hospital environment where they have more need than ever to be reassured by their interlocutors. The creativity of the carer comes to them sometimes help. Transparent masks, for example, have been created to be able to communicate with the patient hard of hearing, but not only with them, because some health professionals are the transparent masks are essential to be able to reassure their patients and optimize care of the patient in a way that is less hostile.
It would suffice to adapt
The dangers to the security are not a reason to despise the wearing of masks. On the contrary, every effort helps counteract the spread of COVID-19. According to Stephan Bunard, ” the mask will force us to adapt.” We exagèrera gestures with the body, which has already been observed in the hospitals, and between health care providers and patients. The key would be to stay human, communicating more with the body than with the face, without breaking the social distancing.