Earlier this week, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an order for all persons (with some exceptions) in the state to wear masks. I don’t know all of the details, but since I wear a mask every time I step outside of my apartment I figure I’m in compliance. It always covers my nose and mouth.
I live in San Francisco, and I went out for groceries today. Approximately half of the people I saw either were wearing no masks or wearing them improperly.
A mask marketed to the general public is intended to protect others. Although the level of protection provided to the wearer is debatable, if you’re unknowingly carrying COVID-19 and you sneeze, cough, speak or yawn, a good quality mask should create a barrier which will prevent most or all of the damp, potentially dangerous microbes from reaching others. The rule about staying six feet from others still applies.
(Note: We’re still ordered to stay in isolation if we’re ill or there’s reason to believe we may have a current infection.)
Wearing a mask is considerate. It’s respectful. It suggests you’re willing to endure minor discomfort to curb a life-threatening pandemic.
No, it doesn’t suggest you’re allowing an Orwellian conspiracy to overpower you. On another recent trip to the grocery store, I heard a young man stating very confidently that he knew the mask thing was a totalitarian plot.
I hope someday that young man will grow up. I also hope he doesn’t infect anyone.