While the CDC still recommends wearing a mask in public settings, not everyone is following the suggestion.
Local therapist Donnie Van Curen, of Counseling 1820, said several factors contribute to a person’s decision of whether to wear a face covering.
Van Curen said information overload can create confusion about proper guidelines.
“There were very mixed messages early on. You had some saying, ‘okay if you’re a health worker wear a mask,’ and then they said, ‘everyone should wear a mask,’” Van Curen said
In other cases, wearing a mask or not wearing one, can be a blatant political statement, according to Van Curen.
“There’s a group, I think, I read 30% think there’s a conspiracy going on with all this going on. So, that group is not going to trust what’s said about masks being safe,” Van Curen said.
Oftentimes, status quo can also be a factor, according to Van Curen.
“If you’re in a place where it’s not cool or it’s not a status symbol or your friends and your family are not doing it, or you go to a super market and 75% are not, I think you tend to lean in the majority,” Van Curen said.
Costco now requires face coverings, but in many other local supermarkets, masks are optional for shoppers.
Van Curen said it’s best to rely on a trusted medical professional when making your decision.
For example, local OU Medicine Doctor Dale Bratzler said it’s better to remain cautious.
“We see a lot fewer people wearing masks and other things. The important message is we can’t let our guard down at this point,” Bratzler said.
Anyone choosing to follow the CDC guidelines can visit the center’s website for mask tutorials.