Masks outdoors?

Business Insider interviewed Bill Gates regarding his ‘pandemic routine’:

He told Insider he’s also been making more time for playing tennis lately and going for walks in his suburban Seattle neighborhood — while wearing a mask. 

Bill appears to be wearing a mask when he is out and about in his neighborhood?!

I have not been masking up when I take my neighborhood walks and neither do my neighbors. I find I can physically distance easily on my walks, which seems like a safe bet with our current COVID 19 science. According to the CDC, it is important to wear a mask outdoors if physically distancing isn’t possible.

Our WA state mask mandate states:

You do not need to wear one when you exercise outdoors with plenty of space. It’s a good idea to keep a face covering in your pocket in case you come across other people.

I would definitely wear a mask (or have it very handy) on the hiking trails around here.  Trails tend to be narrow and it is easy to come across a party going the opposite direction without much warning.  I also wear a mask outdoors on busy urban sidewalks because it pretty tough to physically distance under those circumstances.

I do find it a bit uncomfortable to wear a mask while exercising, particularly in warm weather, and I have been testing the Athleta made to move mask. I have mentioned this mask in earlier posts.  I am not a high intensity exerciser so I can’t speak to that.  But I do find it pretty comfortable for my activity level.

So for now, I will wear a mask indoors and outdoors when I am hiking or otherwise can’t physically distance.  But, I think this is science to keep an eye on.

COVID-19 data for King County (as of 8/12/20):

  • New infections – up 1,033 since last week (now 16,979)
  • New hospitalizations – up 76 since last week (now 2068)
  • Deaths – 23 new deaths (now 680)

When in doubt, Mask Up!

Back on Monday.



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