Surgeon General Jerome Adams said “shaming does not work” when it comes to getting people to follow public health advice, including the advice to social distance and wear masks.
Adams said he was “disappointed” to see public health officials resort to “just out-and-out shaming” to get Americans to comply with coronavirus prevention.
Instead, he thinks officials should take the time to help people understand why they should take the recommendations and what the dangers are if they don’t.
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Surgeon General Jerome Adams doesn’t think that shaming people is the best way to get them to wear masks or practice social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I will be frank with you: I’ve been a little bit surprised — and to a degree disappointed — in how many of my colleagues across the country have resorted to just out-and-out shaming,” he told Business Insider in an interview Friday, though he didn’t name names.
“We’ve seen over and over and over again that shaming does not work,” he added, citing examples learned in other areas of public health, including sexually transmitted disease prevention and ending drug use. “What we need to do is engage people and help them understand the return on investment to them or to their communities or to the people that they love in a tangible way. And that’s how you get people to cooperate.”
In recent weeks, some states have allowed businesses to reopen, which has led to surges in COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Photos in the news and on social media have shown people gathered closely together indoors, which goes against public health advice during the pandemic.
The latest data show cases are rising among young people in particular. Some states, such as California and Washington state, have made wearing masks mandatory.
Though young people are less likely to be hospitalized or die from the virus than older people, Adams said it was important to explain why everyone should protect from infection.
“Your decision not to wear a face covering and not to social distance isn’t just about you getting sick,” he said. “You are on average guaranteed to infect at least one other person, and that person might die.”
Read more: If everyone in the US wears a mask in public, 33,000 lives could be saved over the next 3 months, one model suggests
Wearing masks is key to keeping the US open
As the nation’s top doctor, Adams is responsible for getting the word out about how people can improve their health. He also oversees 6,000 public health servicemembers that work throughout the government.
Adams said his job as a physician was not to “make moral judgments about the rightness or wrongness” of what people decide to do, but to say “here are the things you should consider to keep …read more
Source:: Business Insider