slan's blog



A experiment of hebavior in society

date: 2023-02-10 11:00


I didn't like to wear a mask, especially since I knew it didn't work on Omicron, so I would not wear it when possible. Before the Omicron outbreak, wearing a mask was mandatory in every public place, so I had to wear a mask when going to public places such as the metro or library.

Things got interesting when the pandemic started to fade. More people started wearing masks in public places, and masks were still required. I wondered when it would end. One day, I didn't wear a mask going to the metro, and the security did not stop me. I was happy that the mask mandate was ending, but that was just an exception. I was reminded to wear a mask next time.

The voice notice at the metro changed from "You should wear a mask or you will be asked to leave" to simply "You should wear a mask." They removed the "asked to leave" part. I realized that, based on the law, they had no right to force the public to wear masks, they could only persuade it.

So I started trying not to wear a mask in public places. Here's what happened:

  • Every time, I was told to wear a mask. However, they wouldn't force me, and I could still take the train if I insisted.
  • Every person I saw on the metro was wearing a mask.
  • Some security personnel thought I forget take a mask, so they gave me one.
  • When asked why I had to wear a mask, they would say "it's the rule" or "everyone does it." But when I asked for specific rules, they wouldn't provide them. One woman said they hadn't received any notice to stop the mask mandate since the pandemic.
  • The library would check people who weren't wearing masks.

And today (02-10), the library changed the language from "You need to wear it, it's the rule" to "Please wear a mask if you can." I was very happy to see this change, especially since my "non-compliance" might have had some impact.

Sometimes I struggled with the decision to wear a mask. It's easy, and nobody would discourage me, intercept me, or forbid me. The fear of being different from others, causing trouble, or not respecting others' work often made me choose to wear a mask. Many times, I reached into my pocket to grab the mask and then hesitated.

I think I learned why all people in the metro wear masks and why fewer people in the grocery store do by observing myself.

  • For society, it's like a water valve. People's decision not to wear a mask is like water, and the more valve loose, the more water flows out. If you want to stop the water, you have to put in a lot of effort to close the valve.
  • For individuals,
    • many of them just don't want to cause trouble.
    • some are afraid, and the mask makes them feel safer.
    • the stress of being different from others is overwhelming.

If you're a person who just wants to do what you want without causing trouble, try it. When you face the stress of being different, just tell yourself it's just stress. Your actions are based on logic, not stress. Be kind to others, smile and go, and avoid conflicts.