Why and How to Wear a Face Mask

July 24, 2020 Minding Corona, Motivation No Comments

There is a difference between motivation and coercion, even when using scientific arguments. If one wants people – including oneself – to wear and continue wearing face masks, one needs to motivate them. This is: to provide them with the means by which they can motivate themselves. There is no other way. Besides, it’s an interesting way.

20 reasons, more or less frivolous

  • It’s not comfortable, but you don’t care.
  • You can express your individuality (facemask fashion).
  • It draws attention to your eyes.
  • It opens jobs and shops.
  • You decide it yourself, even if.
  • You don’t need to know people to care for them.
  • You can feel fine in it, after all.
  • You forgot to take it off.
  • It is cool if you make it so.
  • You are loyal to your species.
  • You’ve made wearing it your new habit.
  • Somehow, sometimes, you find it erotic.
  • You make others less anxious.
  • You’ve learned to be proud of wearing one.
  • It unites against the viral enemy.
  • Yours is beautiful (mine is black).
  • The heavy breathing makes you stronger.
  • You can un-wear it under the shower.
  • Old people are fabulous.
  • That’s the way God protects you.


Of course, some of the reasons on the list are not frivolous at all. I see in them that some reasons can be frivolous or even incomprehensible to some people while being of deadly earnest to others. We should leave for anybody to know or feel the reasons why.

Also, we should give proper attention to the reasons why not. The cons are not necessarily bad people. As a physician, I can only say that from the standpoint of physical health, the recommendation is to wear them. But even so, health is not the only value; neither is it a strict value. There is no definition of health that can be imposed on all people. Health is what we make of it. It is not simply the absence of disease. In Your Mind as Cure, I idiosyncratically define it as the ability to change and to enjoy.

In the case of face masks, this broader take on health may enable pros and cons (and all in-betweens) to at least better understand each other. For the pros: simply juggling with science as if this says everything there is to say, will not motivate those cons who feel that you are hiding behind a strictness to which reality does not accord. The best science, of course, takes into account the whole of reality. We don’t need less science. We only need more, and more encompassing. This way, the dialogue can have more rational arguments to which (almost) everybody listens or doesn’t immediately run away from. Also, there will be less chance for manipulators to do their sorry thing.

So, please be aware that this viral disease takes many dead and wounded. With wounded, I mean those who suffer from complications that may last a lifetime. What also holds my attention is the risk of viral mutation. The more people infected, the higher are the chances of a mutation into an even deadlier strain. This way, we are all somewhat responsible for all on this planet. I hope this fear will not materialize as it did with the previous comparable pandemic a century ago. One cannot rule it out. The death toll may, from that moment, rise to x 10.

It’s a sunny day today. There are no viruses to be spotted. There are children playing in gardens and at beaches. We live on a time bomb that might go off on top of the already present worldwide disaster – not even talking about the whirlpool. It’s challenging to combine things. It’s difficult to not succumb to paralyzing disgust. We all go our ways.

It is a proven fact that wearing face masks leads to less COVID. From a conceptual viewpoint, it is logical why: fewer viruses in the air, less contagion, less disease. However, it is not proven that this is the complete answer. By wearing a mask, one shows to others that one cares. Really. It heightens the idea of us all caring together and going to make it. With a pair of friendly eyes above the mask, the message is one of Compassion. This is what I call a deep-to-deep communication that may diminish the negative energy of the whirlpool. Every contact in social distancing can be a message of social togetherness. In my view, the influence of this is profound, having a positive impact on the giver’s and receiver’s immune system. To me, then, it’s a beautiful world despite the virus, after all. I speak for myself. I long for such.

Looking at reasons for not wearing a face mask, I see many, some of which are quite ego-bound, others not so much. One may prefer living life in danger above not living life at all. One may hold specific principles higher than health.

We are all in this together, whether we like it or not, with our different values and principles. No-one only decides for himself; every decision involves the wellbeing of others, and vice versa. In this sense, what should be done by all is not to look at oneself as the only worthwhile person on earth, nor one’s bubble as the single worthwhile bubble. I know: saying this already holds a personal value. It is my value. I want to take care of myself as well as many others. Moreover, I want to do so regarding total persons, not mere ego-ness. Sometimes, this leads to specific choices.

Still, people may want to run around with naked noses and mouths all the time. One way or another, this leads to a longer-lasting pandemic. Which is worth what? In any case, it is worthwhile to look at your values again and again. What do they mean? Do you find common humanity in them?

In your reasons for not wearing this piece of cloth, can you still find underlying reasons for wearing it? In the ‘frivolous’ reasons, you may find some examples.

This might make us all better human beings, not by being coerced in any way, but by finding our humanity in what has been and what becomes, so we can all be proud of what is behind our masks. I think this may be the best reason for wearing one and also the best way how to wear it: with pride.



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