Obviously, you see a lot more masks around now. People are ordering masks, making masks, and talking about masks — a lot. In Ohio, there has been a lot of chatter about masks over the last 24 hours because Governor DeWine’s administration seems to be revisiting precisely who should be required to wear a mask, and when, when businesses reopen. Kish and I have laid in a supply of cloth masks and disposable paper masks to meet our masking needs once the masking guidance is settled.
So far, I haven’t been in an enclosed structure other than our house since before the guidance on masks started to change. You will recall that, initially, health authorities took the position that masks weren’t needed and actually might be counterproductive, because donning and doffing a mask might cause you to touch your face, which was totally discouraged. Then the prevailing view changed, and masks became recommended. Now, in at least some instances and for some people, they apparently are going to be required when you are in a structure.
So far as I can tell, however, there is no requirement that you wear a mask if you just go outside for a walk. I don’t wear one for that purpose, and most people I’ve seen around German Village don’t seem to do so, either. I’m not aware of any studies or medical information indicating that, if you maintain proper social distancing when you are out in the open — and I do — you are at risk of contracting coronavirus, or communicating coronavirus to others. And a mask really interferes with one of the key elements of a walk, which is to breathe in some deep gulps of fresh air while you are out stretching those atrophied muscles and appreciating nature.
Nevertheless, some people now seem to be arguing that everyone should be required to wear a mask when they exit their front door. That’s because the whole mask/no mask issue plays into the busybody gene that those people have in abundance. They decide to do something, and because they do it they think everyone else should be required to do it, too — and you’re a hopeless idiot and horrible person if you don’t. And they will gladly share their opinion with you, in stern and certain terms. But just because they conclude that they want to be masked when outdoors doesn’t mean I must follow their lead. In our land of liberty, you have the right to wear a mask outside if you choose, and I have a right to go maskless — at least, until our elected representatives instruct to the contrary. That hasn’t happened yet.
I’ve heard of some busybodies taking people to task for walking, jogging, or biking without masks. That hasn’t happened to me, yet, and if it does I’m just going to ignore it. The masked among us can judge us all they want, but they need to remember that when they’re wearing a mask we can’t see them scowl. And that mask pretty much muffles their hectoring comments, too.