A University of Vermont student has completed a survey-study on mask-wearing tendencies in Vermont, including who’s wearing them and why.
The study, by UVM medical student Ashleigh Peterson, is titled “A Motivational Interviewing Approach Toward Mask Wearing in Franklin County.”
The author, who openly supports mask-wearing, says her purpose is to “explore barriers to mask-wearing in Franklin County” and “intervene to encourage mask-wearing.” For example, she thanked respondents who say they wear masks, and the study says it is “aiming to normalize the behavior” of wearing a mask.
Peterson found that residents who live in rural areas are four times less likely to wear a mask than their peers in urban areas. The study states that 15 percent of total Vermonters “rarely or never” wear masks in crowded indoor areas. Her study also claims that the average COVID-19 case in Vermont — including non-hospitalized cases, which are the majority of COVID-19 cases in Vermont and about 90 percent of the nation’s cases — is costing Vermont $3,045 per case.
The study does not specify if it accounts for perverse financial incentives to tie a case or a death to COVID-19.
According to the author, some people who don’t wear masks “think it’s all a big farce” and so the behavior is “more about rebellion.”
Some prominent voices in government, such as President Donald Trump’s top COVID-19 advisor, Dr. Scott Atlas, have questioned the effectiveness of masks. Atlas also recently urged Michigan residents to “rise up” against COVID-related measures.
Fifty people participated Peterson’s study, including 16 men and 34 women. The median age of respondents was 55. In total, 94 percent answered that they always wear a mask in public; just 6 percent said they don’t wear a mask.
Of those who wear one all the time, 1 in 10 said that the mandate by the state was the primary reason for doing so. About 84 percent said they always wore a mask even before the mandate, which was initiated on Aug. 1.
The study claims that respondents largely were “unsure how or if the mandate will be enforced, which could impact compliance.” It also found that “some reported barriers in the survey were politically-charged.”
On social media, some people have noted Vermont’s mask-wearing tendencies.
Check #Vermont at the bottom of the list. Why? Because Vermonters started wearing masks and social distancing when the science became clear in March. We did it without the need of a mandate because in Vermont we take care of each other. #WearAMask #vtpoli #VT #TrumpVirus https://t.co/pSYKJQEHVy
— Mattison (@Mattison) November 18, 2020
Big tech websites have suppressed videos of people speaking out against state COVID responses and mask mandates. Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Youtube were all accused of censoring a video of a dozen doctors speaking on Capitol Hill earlier this year when they were critical of the mask mandates and hysteria surrounding COVID-19.
Tensions are boiling over as other nations try to impose their own lockdowns and mandates. Most recently police in Berlin, Germany, used water cannons on anti-lockdown protesters who were protesting against COVID-19 lockdown laws that they described as unlawful.