Today, in NSW (Australia) new recommendations came in for wearing face masks in public (outside of healthcare environments). The jist – whenever you are indoors where social distancing is difficult to maintain, NSW Health recommends you wear an appropriate face mask (e.g. on public transport/ when shopping). Woolworths group also announced they will be strongly recommending their customers join their staff in wearing masks in all their stores (including Big W etc). However, currently masks are not compulsory in these situations.
As social beings, most of us don’t like to stand out in a crowd and so, being the rare person who is wearing a mask, can make you feel self conscious. But what if all nurses, midwives and health professional started wearing masks in these situations? What if you wore a mask to do your groceries and ran into people who knew you were a nurse? What impact do you think that would have? Do you think it would make them consider wearing one?
Consider the opposite scenario – they run into you at the local Woolies and you aren’t wearing a mask. What do you think they take away from that? Do you think they would use you as an example in conversations about whether they should wear a mask or not?
I believe we can have a big impact on our friends and the general public, simply by being willing to stand out from the crowd and show people that it really isn’t that big a deal. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and wish there was something you could do that would make a difference in this fight, then maybe this is one small way you can have a impact. As for me, I’ll be masking up.