The Insightful Troll

Rants and ruminations.

Do We Still Need to Wear Masks?

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With 25% of the people fully vaccinated and 39.5% with the first dose, does it still make sense for use to wear a mask at all times? Science says that indoors - we should be masking up. But what about outdoors?

Shannon Palus writing for Slate:

In other words, as the pandemic has progressed, so has our understanding of what safety measures are truly most useful, and which aren’t worth the alcohol wipes. And I would like to calmly suggest that now is the time we should consider no longer wearing masks when we walk around outside.

I am not suggesting this simply because I am very sick of wearing a mask at all times outside my home. When it comes to coronavirus spread, evidence shows that being outdoors is very, very safe.


While it’s important to mask in outdoor crowds or if you’re hanging out close to someone in a park, Chagla explains, the main message should be that the outdoors is a safe place to be. He gave me a rough sense of how unlikely outdoor transmission is in the scenario where you’re walking unmasked on the sidewalk and briefly pass someone. First, you or the person you’re passing would have to happen to have an asymptomatic infection, he explained, and then everyone would have to be exhaling and inhaling at just the right moment, and also, exchanging enough particles to actually seed another infection: “You’re talking about a probability of getting hit by a car, and being struck by lightning.”

While I can’t really argue the points made here - it is probably safe to be outside without a mask. However, beating the epidemic at this point is more about social behavior. Collectively wearing a mask outdoors will be a constant reminder that we are not out of the woods yet, that we still need to keep our guard up.

Look I hate wearing a mask as much as the next person. Let’s keep up the effort for a little bit longer. We have already turned the corner - keep on wearing a mask so that we can finally have our lives back this year.