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Mask compliance drops despite growing attention towards hygiene — sociologist

By Maria Weldali - Nov 09,2021 - Last updated at Nov 09,2021

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AMMAN — Although the coronavirus pandemic has increased Jordanians’ attention towards personal hygiene, there is still a significant number of citizens who do not wear face masks, according to a sociologist.

 “The pandemic has triggered people’s habits and has had a significant positive influence on Jordanians’ personal hygiene behaviours,” sociologist Hussein Khozahe told The Jordan Times over the phone.

The use of personal sanitation products has increased by 75 per cent in the Kingdom, according to Khozahe, who added that people now regularly use hand sanitisers to keep away the virus.

The pandemic-led demand for disinfectant products reached 110 per cent at the onset of the crisis and now stands between 75 and 80 per cent, according to market indicators. 

On the other hand, Khozahe noted that a study conducted by the Centre for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan shows that 21 per cent of Jordanians have conspiracy beliefs about COVID-19 and 4 per cent do not believe the pandemic exists.

Examining Jordanian behaviour patterns related to wearing face masks, he said that according to a study by the National Society of Consumer Protection (NSCP), 73 per cent of commercial-store goers do not adhere to wearing their face masks.

He pointed out that it is extremely important amid a pandemic to have voluntary groups that distribute free face masks and help spread awareness of the proper way to dispose of face masks.

 “Now with the pandemic, people make the extra effort to use personal sanitation, but what is more important is how we can sustain these positive behaviour changes,” Noor Al Manaseer, a laboratory technician, told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.

The ongoing pandemic has increased the importance of hand washing and personal hygiene, she added, noting that the safety and prevention measures have increased people’s hygiene practices.

With the pandemic, a significant number of children learned the proper way to wash their hands, said Shayma Awad, a life and family coach. She added that “the pandemic has created a new culture of hand washing, but more focus should be given to face masks”.

To encourage children and teenagers to wear masks, Awad advised parents to choose comfortable masks for them. She also noted that it is also important to make sure that they know how to put on the mask correctly.


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