Did you know that during the Spanish Flu epidemic, many people would not wear masks? Pandemic mask resistance isn’t new, and it will likely only get worse as COVID-19 drags on. 

The news will tell you wearing a mask is something you have to do and should be willing to do. However, some people are unwilling to do so, despite the recommendations of the most prominent health organizations recommend wearing a mask to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Mask Resistance During the 1918 Pandemic

mask resistance

What health organizations and businesses are dealing with in 2020/2021 isn’t new. During the 1918 Pandemic, mask resistance was widespread, too. While the memory of the 1918 Pandemic is not strong with anybody alive today, history shows plenty of mask resistance.

In mid-October of 1918, the United States Public Health Service handed out leaflets telling citizens they should wear a mask. The Red Cross even took out newspaper ads to encourage people to wear masks. These ads provided instructions on making masks at home for those you could not afford to purchase at the time.

Organizations put up nationwide posters, and many were calling it a civic duty or social responsibility to wear a mask during the 1918 Pandemic. Even so, many were resistant to wearing face masks, even with a pandemic far worse than what we are currently facing today.

Plenty of mask resistance was seen with the city officials during the 1918 Pandemic. This is comparable today with some officials in the United States and other countries trying to make masks optional instead of mandatory.

There have been arrests for people not wearing a mask in some areas. San Francisco saw jails overrun due to people not wearing masks. Arrests have occurred with the current pandemic, but most cities give the non-mask wearer a ticket or a fine.

It Depends on the Country, State, & City

While orders to wear masks differ between countries and cities, most areas have a mask mandate or recommendation. The CDC has even come out and recommended wearing double masks to help protect against COVID-19. While wearing two masks might seem absurd for those unwilling to wear one them, many will dawn two masks in the hopes of better protection.

In some areas, the state does not require masks, but they are needed in local cities. However, regardless of what the governments of different countries have mandated or recommended, some citizens will always mask resistance. 

Many mask resisters in the United States believe mask mandates go against the constitution. Others cannot wear masks because they already suffer from a breathing disorder.

Regardless of the legality of mask mandates, there will likely always be some resistance. Citizens resisted during the Spanish Flu, which took the lives of between 17 and 100 million. Some resistant to wearing masks even believe the report that many of these deaths came from wearing masks

While it can be challenging to find the truth about whether resisting wearing a mask should be legal and masks’ efficiency, the top health organizations still recommend their use. Therefore, as a business, you will likely need to comply to keep your doors open. 

By providing custom face masks for your employees, you can keep everybody safer inside your business. While custom reusable face masks are the ideal option for personal use, your team and staff, you can also choose to provide disposable face masks for employees at a lower cost.