Masks Outdoors Redux

EVERYONE has heard about the new mask guidelines from CDC and has their own opinion. 

For people who were off the grid last week, the CDC guidelines have been modified so that fully vaccinated people only need to mask up outdoors if they are in ‘crowds’.  And for those not vaccinated, mask wearing is no longer essential for solo/same household outdoor activities or small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated family and friends.

I have been considering these new guidelines – which are being pitched a bit to get more people vaccinated – I’m down with that strategy!

Reality is a bit different.  The New York Times did a good article describing the ‘conundrum’.

We were in downtown Seattle on Friday.  The streets weren’t crowded, but almost everyone was wearing a mask.  We were in downtown Tacoma on Saturday and there was a lot of people on some kind of a scavenger hunt (?) and hardly anyone was wearing a mask. 

I also took a hike in Pt Defiance last week and most people weren’t wearing masks on the trail, but some were.  I saw a guy running a good clip wearing what looked to be a N-95 mask.  He clearly met the age eligibility for vaccine early on.  I can’t imagine running with a N-95!

Speaking of vaccinated, I imagine there is a fair amount of overlap between ‘anti-maskers’ and ‘anti-vaxxers’.  So seeing people without masks at outdoor gatherings and outdoor restaurants isn’t that reassuring!  I continue to feel for the servers and hope they are getting vaccinated quickly.

So what I am going to do differently?  The answer is probably not a lot.  I will still wear masks in most outdoor settings unless I am with my FVF (fully vaccinated family/friends).  I haven’t worn a mask when I am exercising because I chose routes that allow me to swerve for oncoming ‘traffic’. And I will carry a mask with me when I am outdoors because I think it is both prudent and polite.  It is prudent for times when crowds appear and polite to put it on when encountering a fellow ‘masker’.

Not only that, but masking:

“Saves me having to put on sunscreen and wear lipstick,”

Sara J. Becker, an associate professor at the Brown University School of Public Health

See you on Wednesday!



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