Shawnee Co. locals share how they feel about face masks and other pandemic-related experiences

Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 6:49 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A study conducted by Sleep Standards finds that across different generational groups a discrepancy exists between people believe face masks are a good idea and people who actually practice those beliefs.

The finding exists across generational groups.

In the study of more than 2,000 people living in the United States, 86 percent of members of Generation Z believed in masks while just over 75 percent acted on wearing one.

A greater difference exists among Millenials, with over 87 percent of people thought masks can reduce the spread of COVID-19, but only 57 percent are wearing one.

For Generation X, 58 percent believe in face masks while just under 50 percent put the belief into action.

The least difference exists among Baby Boomers with 51 percent believing in masks while just under 49 percent practice it.

The study also tracks what shapes opinions on not wearing masks.

More than a third of people said they don’t wear face masks because others don’t wear one, just over 24 percent said masks made it hard to breathe and 14 percent said they experience anxiety when people look at them with a face mask.

In Shawnee County, there’s varying opinions on why people are wearing masks.

“I trust the medical profession and I also respect the scientific world. If they say something, I do it,” said Michele Fleuranges-Parker, a baby boomer.

Crystal Schnacker a millenial said, “Just seeing everyone not wearing it and the pandemic is still going on so I mean if people followed the mask protocol we could get over this a lot sooner”.

Gary Ngole, a millenial experienced dreams related to the pandemic like more than half of survey participants.

“[The pandemic] was at black plague level where every single one of us knew a handful of people that passed away because early on we didn’t know,” he described.

Breanna Briggs, another millenial made the pandemic a season of giving something unusual.

“We went to a little get together with some friends after things started to lighten up and we brought in toilet paper as our entry fee because of the shortage we brought our own toilet paper."

Over a third of survey participants bought face masks or toilet paper for a loved one’s birthday.

David Sampson, a member of Generation X, asks loved ones to wear face masks when together depending on how large a group is, which aligns with almost 80 percent of participants who require friends or relatives to wear face masks when they visit.

“I’m in a big household so a lot of us work travel a lot, in and out so I usually try to enforce the masks in the house and out for the simple fact that me being asthmatic and some people smoke, I mean anything is possible.,” he said.

Allan Towle, a baby boomer, wants to keep other people safe.

“When you look at masks and you look at what we’re doing for social distancing It is important that we try to take care of our neighbor,” he said.

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