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Unmasking the debate: A look at the psychology behind mask wearing

In many other countries mask wearing during a pandemic isn’t given a second thought, in recent months, it has become a trigger point in Routt County and the U.S.

There is something unique about the intensity of the debate around mask wearing during a pandemic, and there are strong opinions on both sides about the efficacy of masks, the social responsibility of mask wearing and the role of personal freedom.

Whereas in many other countries mask wearing during a pandemic isn’t given a second thought, in recent months, it has become a trigger point in Routt County and across the U.S. — inciting outrage, and in some instances, even violence between those who are asking others to wear masks and those who refuse.

> VIDEO above: How to wear masks properly.

In Steamboat Springs, there have been confrontations in grocery stores and gas stations over the use of masks, and social media is inundated with the debate.

In Flint, Michigan, a security guard was shot and killed in a dispute over requesting a dollar store customer wear a mask. In California, an elected official resigned because of the death threats she received after instituting a policy requiring masks.

Masks have become a symbol of a political divide, with President Donald Trump telling the Wall Street Journal last week he believes some Americans are wearing masks just to show they disapprove of him and not for protection.

> Continue reading this story at Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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