Mask communication redux

The site PreventEpidemics.org, from Resolve to Save Lives and Vital Strategies has added to its resources a Mask Guidance Playbook

Promoting mask use is one of the key interventions governments, communities, businesses, and other organizations can implement to control COVID-19.

The Playbook includes communication strategies, monitoring approaches, and more. This is a step in the right direction, relating to my own post about the need for more effective public health messaging, What do you mean communication is the biggest challenge?.

I think the program could show even more promise if it examined and addressed additional barriers to compliance. The barriers cited in the Policymakers Guide, like not believing a threat is urgent or believing others will think a mask wearer is sick, etc., are meaningful. Nevertheless, I think a messaging strategy would be even more effective by addressing these barriers I mention in my post.

  • Distrust of expertise.
  • Distrust of science.
  • Distrust of government.
  • Overarching anti-intellectualism.
  • Theorizing about conspiracies, especially on social media, and misinformation in general.
  • Politicization of science.
  • Politicization of health policy.
  • Prominent unhealthy role models in government and society.
  • Lack of expert consensus.
  • Contradictory policy guidance.

I wrote to the authors of the Mask Guidance Playbook to make the suggestion. It will be interesting to see if I receive a response.