CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- There may be different opinions when it comes to the statewide mask mandate that went into effect on Wednesday.
Pamela Lewis, for example, is supportive of it. She has been wearing masks since officials recommended it.
“I think people have not realized the pandemic is still going on. We need to protect ourselves and be respectful of others,” Lewis said.
Other North Carolinians like Adam Vogt are opposed to the new rule.
“It’s a free country. We’ve been living that way our whole lives so when someone tells you have to do something is like ‘I don’t think so,” Vogt said.
American Psychological Association’s Senior Director of Healthcare Innovation Dr. Vaile Wright says the reactions have a psychological explanation.
“One, it could be the control aversion behavior that one is more averse to the sense of control. They really value the sense of liberty. Whereas another group may value more the sense of connectedness and looking out for your fellow man, so it becomes a lot of where your views lie,” Wright said.
Vogt doesn’t believe the masks are effective outside of operating rooms.
“I think a lot of it has to do with comfort and a lot of it has to do with we don’t believe it’s saving us from any kind of a virus,” Vogt said.
Vogt also says with the new statewide mask mandate, he would refrain from visiting businesses requiring masks.
“I think it’s our right as free citizens to be able to do, dress how we want. If we get to the point that we are telling people to cover their faces, I just feel like we are in a third world country or something. We might as well check out of the United States of America,” Vogt said.
Dr. Wright says some people feel someone may disobey the rules when they view someone is trying to control their decisions.
“I think we see a lot of both of that right now: distrust in various levels of government as well and some pretty inconsistent messaging that has occurred since the start about the importance of wearing masks,” Wright said.
She added one of the biggest issues of the mask debate is that it has become politicized.
“If we can get back to the sense of not only protecting myself, but protecting my community and that I’m giving back to my community by following these recommendation, that helps to bridge that gap a little bit,” Wright said.
Lewis plans to continue doing her part.
“When there’s a cure, I’ll take off my mask,” Lewis said.
Wright says some people may experience anxiety when wearing a mask so she advises people to practice mask wearing at home before going outside. In addition, she believes if more people wear masks that will influence the behavior of those reluctant to wearing one.