By Tracy Cabrera
AN unofficial study has shown that Filipino men arebetter than their counterparts at following Covid-19 precautions, including thewearing masks and maintaining social distance.
As the coronaviruspandemic has raged for most of 2020, we’ve been treated to a number of viral videos highlighting the people whorefuse to take the most common sense precaution in helping slow the virus tospread: wearing masks and social distancing. So many Pinoys, so little time. Maybethat means we’re all convinced that men are more likely to flout the advice of science and doctors, but researchers areproving the opposite is true—women are less likely to wear masks or follow otheradvice given by healthcare professionals, including hand-washing, staying athome, and social distancing.
On observation ofCovid habits of Filipinos out in public, it showed that men were better than womenat following social distancing guidelines, staying at home, washing their handsoften and avoiding spending time with friends and family. Men and women didn’tdiffer much, however, when it came to how often they report contact with peoplewho aren’t friends or family.
For themask-watching in the streets portion, observers spending time monitoring peopleon the streets and public conveyances counting how many are wearing masks—andwearing them correctly. Out of the people observed, more men than women, orabout 55 percent of Filipino men were wearing masks correctly, and just 38percent of Pinays were observed doing the same.
There also seemsto be an empathy gap at play that’s making men more likely to observe habitsthat may help others stay healthy and safe. They also pay more attention to thehealth-related needs of others, so it’s not surprising that these tendencieswould translate into greater efforts on behalf of Filipino men at preventingthe spread of the pandemic.
The downside ofall the pandemic precautions men are taking is that they’re more likely tofollow news about Covid-19 including advice from experts, politicians, and whatthey see on social media. That also means men are more likely to be anxiousabout all the new and horrifying updates popping up every day. That’s why it’simportant to be gentle to ourselves and practice self-care whenever and howeverpossible.