The mandate of the interior mask in Quebec celebrates its first anniversary
MONTREAL – It has been a year since Quebecers were first forced to wear masks in indoor public spaces and, despite the decrease in the number of daily COVID-19 cases in the province, regulations remain in place.
The province’s mask warrant was first introduced on July 18, 2020, with significant fines imposed on those who refused to comply. The mask’s mandate was also followed by numerous protests across the province against public health regulations related to the pandemic.
Linda Pagani, a psychologist at the University of Montreal, said that a year of wearing masks could have affected Quebecers in more subtle ways.
“A lot of people can feel like it’s a conformity, people like to be empowered, especially in our society,” she said. “But then there’s the most important factor, which is… 70% of our communication is facial. Because of this, we miss the whole part of the facial expression that will clarify our position in our conversation. People leave frustrated.
Pagani noted that aside from the direct benefits, the masks provided other benefits.
“There is the collective message you are giving to people that we are in COVID and that we are at risk. It’s a collective message (saying) that it’s important that we all comply, ”she said. “The point is, we are very reassuring when we wear a mask. “
Although no specific date for the lifting of the mask rule has been given, the Quebec government has indicated that it plans to lift it once 75% of the province’s population has been fully immunized.