BEHIND THE MASK (Issue 2 ) 23/07/20
How will this affect us psychologically?
From 24th July 2020 in the UK it will be compulsory to wear a face mask in public, unless medically exempt. (https://www.civicmc.nhs.uk/noval-coronavirus/facial-coverings-and-exemption-cards/)
As I work with the public daily I have had a few experiences with young children that has been quite sad, due to my wearing a face mask. One child looking at me while screaming "I don't want the corona virus!" After reassuring the childe that I was wearing a mask to protect people, even though I am very well ,led me to write this week's issue.
Human beings are pre-programmed to recognise faces. As soon as babies are born they show a preference for looking at human faces , and they will even stare at a drawing of a face.
The most basic form of communication between humans takes the form of facial expressions. Even when we are with people who speak different languages that we do not understand, we can easily interpret facial expressions such as smiles and frowns. Facial expressions are a simple universal language that we instinctively understand.
So it will be a very scary for time for children as the new norm will be most people wearing face masks and the children not being able to take any cue from facial expressions. At times a friendly smile from another person, while out and about, lifts our mood but behind the mask we cannot make out a smile from a scorn.
Wearing face masks will leave and probably is leaving a lot of room for misinterpretation. Many people, as a result of the recent lockdown, are now emerging with social anxiety. Meaning it is a very anxious and stressful time being out, going to work doing shopping amongst others and away from the safety hub of HOME.
FEAR & ANXIETY
Fear and anxiety are probably the most common emotional responses we will feel as we enter the release from lockdown. To get ourselves through lockdown took a lot of our emotional energy and we may have found a place that lets us cope, and that we don’t want to leave behind just yet. Some of us fear becoming ill with the virus or passing the infection on to loved ones, as the risk increases when people interact. This is an entirely normal response, but risk can be reduced by following the government's social distancing rules. .
Tips on coping with fear and anxiety Control what can be controlled – there are a lot of things you can’t control that cause you fear and anxiety – but there are some things you can control, like how you respond or react. You can focus on positive thoughts. Don't Over Do It – understanding that you need to go at the right pace for you is paramount. Don’t be pressured or bullied into doing things you aren't ready for, yet. – but try not to let that be an excuse not to push yourself, rather turn it into a challenge. especially when it comes to reconnecting with friends safely, outside your home, when rules allow and the time is also right for you. It can be hard to let others move forward without you – maybe your child wants to see friends or needs to return to work, but you can’t. It’s important to be communicative and to discuss concerns with those close to you, but also to allow other people space to go at their own pace.