Many view the mask as a walking symbol of vulnerability that tells others you’re scared about contracting the virus. So to compensate for that fear, and as a show of strength, they may reject the masks entirely, he said.
To the people who choose not to wear them, “Putting on that mask is about as blatant as saying, ‘Hey, I’m a scaredy cat,'” Abrams said.
…Within three months, masks went from unnecessary for healthy people to recommended for anyone who goes out in public. The conflicting guidance has given Americans a bit of whiplash.
…There are also mixed messages at the federal level: While the CDC recommends the public wear masks, President Donald Trump didn’t wear a mask during a visit to a Honeywell mask factory. Vice President Mike Pence apparently flouted hospital policy when he visited the Mayo Clinic without a mask on.
All that muddles the message even further for Americans, Abrams said.
“The ambivalence of mixed messages makes it far easier for people to do whatever they want and make up their own mind,” he said.
…”If everybody started wearing masks, suddenly, the old way of life is gone,” he said. “You’ve suddenly admitted that this is the new normal. But you don’t want to believe that.”
Not to mention, masks aren’t physically comfortable either. That may be enough to steer some people away from them.