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ANS 45:2 opens with an analysis of the social meanings of the COVID-19 mask

Today the ANS Volume 45, issue 2 is published! The opening featured article for this issue is titled “The COVID-19 Mask: Toward an Understanding of Social Meanings and Responses” authored by Oona St-Amant, PhD, RN; J. Anneke Rummens, PhD; Henry Parada, PhD, MSW; and Karline Wilson-Mitchell, DrNP, RM, RN, CNM, FACNM. This article is available to download at no cost while it is featured, and we are offering continuing education credits for this timely article! Here is the abstract :

The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed unprecedented restrictions on everyday life. Unlike lockdown or shelter-in-place measures, the facemask has emerged as an empowering response to the public spread of the virus, permitting some degree of return to prepandemic life—such as school or work—by disrupting transmission that would otherwise occur. And yet, this utilitarian tool has attracted considerable controversy and polarized opinions. This article uses Blumer’s adaptation of symbolic interactionism as a theoretical roadmap to examine the various meanings ascribed to the facemask and its usage. We discuss how it is socially perceived and consider implications for health care providers within the Canadian social context.

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