Humans are like sheep. We mimic the crowd and don’t like to stand out. Nobody wants to be first, but then when the dam breaks, everyone follows pretty quickly.
We are more comfortable wearing a face mask if someone else is already wearing one. It’s like anything in the fashion world – we first see a new style of clothing on a fashion ramp during Fashion Week, then we see it in a magazine, then some film star is wearing it on Instagram, and then it’s available at Zara or H&M. There’s comfort in conformity.
I noticed the reluctance to wear a face mask during the last two smoke filled fire season and now again during the COVID-19 pandemic. The same applies to proper etiquette for social distancing in grocery stores, public transport, and public parks.
Politicians, CEOs, and community leaders should set an example for others to follow. Most people want to do the right thing, but don’t underestimate shyness and the reluctance to stand out as a significant roadblock.