Whether you are or not, mask wearing is a sensitive and complicated topic right now, and we NEED to talk about it.

Masks are causing a host of different reactions in people for various reasons, and here are a few key camps you could be in…

Camp 1
You are genuinely afraid of people wearing masks, otherwise known as ‘Maskaphobia’ (a newly defined phobia, linked to coulrophobia, which is a spontaneous fear of clowns or other masked characters). This means mask wearers elicit a phobic response in you, and as with any phobia, this can be very extreme, may include shaking, sweating, anxiety and panic attacks.

Camp 2
You are afraid of the feeling you get while wearing a mask because it makes you panic and feel like you can’t breathe. This is more likely to be an expression of claustrophobia, the fear of enclosed spaces / being trapped but with the same phobic symptoms as above. This is very common in relation to wearing masks or face coverings.

Camp 3
You are medically exempt from wearing a mask due to a respiratory condition such as asthma or an allergy to the components used in making masks, so you just can’t wear one. This may lead to anxiety as people may be hostile to you for not wearing one without knowing your story, and you may be more anxious about getting COVID-19. This may make you less likely to go out right now. If you’ve been shielding too and now you can’t wear a mask, you are possibly feeling slightly agoraphobic (fear of going outdoors).

Camp 4
You are 100% on board with masks, you love them in fact and practically live in yours. You want everyone to wear one ALL the time and your only frustration is that we weren’t all masked up months ago by the government. You are a self appointed member of the ‘Mask Police’ and spend most of your free time posting on social media about wearing masks, without much consideration to people in the first three camps of this post.

Camp 5
You object you wearing a mask because you don’t think they work so think it’s a bit pointless. You’re heathy in yourself so reckon you’d absolutely own a bout of coronavirus in any case.

Camp 6
You object to wearing a mask because you think Coronavirus is a hoax, something about 5G, and that mask wearing is but a stones throw away from becoming automatons controlled by the evil puppet master ‘Bill Gates’ through the medium of vaccination.

Camp 7
You’re a pretty easy going citizen and you’ll wear a mask where and when required to do so by law. You don’t feel the need to comment on other people in relation to their own mask wearing, whether they wear one or not. To be fair you’d probably be happy to go along with anything recommended that was supposed to help the situation in some way.

So, whatever your camp, the subject of masks is not going away and we need to talk about it. One way or another, whether you like it or not, we all need to get comfortable with them too.

If you’re in camp 1 or 2, then you need help. Thankfully I can provide that help. I clear phobias every week, and no matter what they are, no matter how simple or complex their roots and/or expressions are, all phobias can be removed.

If you’re in camp 3, it’s more complex as you have a medical exemption so you need to take great care to protect yourself and of course others too. If you have a medical need to shield also, then this is all the more true. I can certainly help to remove any anxiety however as it is really a pragmatic matter of ‘are you safe or not’ and going out needs to be carefully considered. If you are becoming agoraphobic then of course I can clear this up.

If you are in camp 4, you probably don’t need help, maybe just to move slowly away from your keyboard and take some deep breaths in a darkened room for a while, masked or otherwise, and take a step back from the situation for a few days.

Camp 5 is an interesting one, it’s a free world, but there is the small matter of the actual law, and the actual science which says two things: you need to wear one regardless of what you think, and you are wrong about them not working, just ask Asia.

If you’re in camp 6, you desperately need help, but not from me.

Camp 7, well that’s probably most people. Congratulations you’re fortunate enough to to have escaped any psychological or medical issues with masks and you’re probably a fairly chilled out person on the whole, which is generally good too. So, you’re off the hook for now, keep up the good work and stay safe.

I’m sure I’ve missed out a few camps, terribly sorry if you’re in one of them, I meant no offence.

Now, I’m off to try on some masks to see if I can find one that doesn’t make me look like Pob. If you’re a millennial, google it.