How to politely ask Karen to wear a mask

October 7, 2020

ARTindividual/Getty Images


Half a year into the pandemic, we continue to struggle with people not taking mask mandates and guidelines seriously in public. On many occasions, we run into certain people getting angry when they're asked to wear a mask. 

Ultimately, experts say that wearing a mask will help reduce and slow the spread of COVID-19. Health and safety for everyone is why we are asked to wear a mask in many public places in the first place. 

According to Fox 40, if you're looking to avoid confrontation altogether, it's best to just avoid people without masks if you can. However, if you absolutely cannot avoid them, behavioral scientist at Auburn University Jan Kavookjian says that citing local rules or recommendations from health officials can help in some cases. 

"Someone feels less threatened when you say, 'Here's what the experts say,'" said Kavookjian. 

Etiquette expert Diane Gottsman suggests you can say, "For your safety and mine, I would feel much more comfortable if we were both wearing masks." If you're at a store or restaurant, Gottsman says it's best to have a store manager ask the person to wear a mask. 

Read more and get COVID-19 updates from Fox 40 here