NC experts say sudden mask mandate changes expected to cause fear, anxiety

Local News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — COVID-19 face mask requirements and reminders to wear them are fading away.

“I can’t wait until we’re free and we can get back to living the way we used to live,” said Adam Yunt who lives in Raleigh.

Although the mask limit is now lifted for most indoor and outdoor settings in North Carolina, several people told CBS 17 Friday they still plan to wear one.

“It’s just a way to make people around me feel more comfortable and I know businesses feel more comfortable when you go in and abide by that,” said Yunt.

Dr. Crystal Schiller with UNC-Chapel Hill said sudden changes in mandates like this can cause anxiety and fear.

“I think we’ve all adapted to it and it’s going to take a while until everybody feels comfortable and probably for good reason,” said Schiller, assistant professor of psychiatry at UNC.

Schiller said especially since people have been told masks protect each other, it could be difficult to adjust to not wearing one.

“I think people are used to wearing their masks and also it is a way of protecting other people from anxiety,” said Schiller.

Her advice is to take a step back and inform yourself with the latest news and local regulations.

“Then decide what you’re comfortable with because just because things have changed abruptly in terms of the recommendations coming out, it doesn’t mean our behavior has to change abruptly to match that,” said Schiller.

She said to decide on whether you want to wear a mask at an event or place before you go.

“Social pressure is strong in both directions,” said Schiller.

She said it’s normal to feel uncomfortable in these times and it’s OK to communicate it.

“I think we all have to get comfortable being uncomfortable as awful as that sounds,” said Schiller. She added that she thinks only time and practice will make it easier.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Click here for full list of trending stories