Losing Face Behind the Mask; Ghanaians complain about ‘identity loss’ after government lift movement ban!
It is barely two days that the freedom of movement was restored back to Ghanaians.
But as part of measures to ensure they do not come into contact with the novel coronavirus, the government urged them to wear facial masks when going out or discharging their duties at the various fields of endeavour.
It said the directive follow the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) declaration that healthy people should wear facial masks, since the virus travels through aerosol.
A section of Ghanaians who took to the streets yesterday in Accra told Spot On News in an exclusive interview that the wear of the mask made them look strange and could not even recognise acquaintances when they met.
They noted that chatting was muted, adding that the sidewalk were awkward and tentative, while facial expressions were not well communicated.
Hannah Essel, a secretary explained that Ghanaians were hospitable but now the hospitality nature was dying out in the mask.
She said there was a popular adage that “the world smiles with you, unless you are wearing a mask, then the world cannot see your smile, much less smile back,” this the secretary stressed that people were not getting the affection and the love in the world.
Ms Essel stated that smiles of people could not be seen and people were walking like robot without any gesture and feelings.
A teacher by name Abena Yeboah, bemoaned that her best friend’s kids took to their heels by the mere look at her in the mask when she visited.
“The kids mistook me for a doctor, meanwhile before the lockdown I was their ally. I know they are scared of health practitioners, because when they do something wrong their mother threaten them with injection and the idea of sending them to clinic,” she said.
The face mask, Ms Yeboah observed had become a symbol of changed lives under coronavirus and was difficult to maintain its wear as it hid their image making it difficult for easy identification.
Denise Adams, an entrepreneur argued that the rise of the mask had eroded crucial visual cues that people used to communicate.
According to him, understanding each other while negotiating in business was difficult, saying you only see their scary eyes but not the cheek to determine whether you are making sense or not.
Mr Adams maintained that human minds speak on the face and gives priceless flow of information, thus when remained hidden could switch emotions and leave humans as masquerades.
“It is not just covering us up, it is blocking something essential. It is a barrier to communication! Is she smiling? Is she happy to see me? I cannot figure it out,” he quizzed.
A communication student of University of Ghana, Legon, James Tackie established that it was impossible to detect a friendly person when making eye contact.
“We must understand that the face is a natural communications channel that we have as humans and now our beauty and sense of humour are absorbed by the mask,” he added.
A partial inventory of the information that is lost in the mask, he noted were lip movement, frowns, cheek twitches that indicate approval or disapproval, reflexive gestures that collaborate with the eyes to send a signal were all coiled behind the mask.
The site could now establish that the rise of the wearing of protective face mask was affecting communications and killing identities of people as millions of emotional response were all loss behind the mask.
Instead of human seeing his fellow human approaching they saw them as astronauts, divers and heartless creatures.
However, some scientists have expelled claims that wearing of mask in the community could prevent healthy people from picking up respiratory infections including Covid-19.
They maintained that the virus was not airborne but said it spreads via droplets or contaminated surfaces, which physical distancing and hand washing are intended to minimise.
According to an updated advice by the WHO, people with coronavirus symptoms and those caring for them were supposed to wear the mask not healthy people roaming in public.
BY JOYCELINE NATALLY CUDJOE