Wearing Masks Outside?


It’s finally getting warm and everyone is itching to go outside after a year of “special family bonding” 24/7. This means the question around masks is growing even broader. So do we have to wear masks outside still? In short terms, yes of course. But at the same time, no not really. If you are confused, so was I, so stick around in order to prepare for Summer with Covid-19.
Ohio issued a statement saying masks outside were optional, but does this really matter? Of course it does. According to the CDC, the risk of transmission outside is low, but not none. It is recommended that masks should still be worn outside in crowds. But if you are in a park barely passing by people, a mask is not necessary. To provide a better example, if you are attending a baseball game with many others, you must protect yourself and others by wearing a mask. An exception would be going on a walk or run on the road or in a fairly empty park. Of course, with this statement comes loopholes. If you are socially distant in a crowd of people outside you should still wear a mask. If you are with close friends outside eating at a restaurant, a mask is not necessary, especially if you are normally with these people.
Now, let’s dive into debunking some falsified opinions in the media. When wearing a mask outside, it does not cut off your clean air intake. As long as you are outside, your body is getting the essential vitamins it needs. The only negative to this is a nice mask tan-line you could develop.
A commonly asked question regarding summertime masks is how to judge whether it’s safe to take them off. The assistant professor of epidemiology at Yale University asked that people use their logical judgement in order to “adjust to [their] surroundings” (Pollitt). She also stresses the importance of managing your own comfort zone. If you are with people who you know are vaccinated of course it is okay to go without a mask outside. Another possibility to think about is the people around you. If someone is visibly uncomfortable with you not wearing a mask you should pop one on just for safety.
During a struggling time like this, we must be able to have empathy for others. Everyone is tired of wearing masks and going through the motions of this pandemic, but in order to protect ourselves and others, masks should be worn accordingly.