Yesterday I wrote about how important it is for us all to get our flu shots.
I also slipped in a little additional bonus messaging about wearing a mask.
And that got me thinking.
I’m Being Hypocritical.
I wear a mask when I go into a public building. If someone has to come into my house for some reason, I ask them to wear a mask and I wear one, too.
We have expanded our bubble to include family members who live nearby, and with them we don’t wear masks, but we still maintain distance.
However, the place I have not been wearing a mask is outside on the playground.
“Nobody Else Is!”
This is what I tell myself when I feel a bit guilty and start looking around at the playground.
No other parents are wearing masks.
Everyone is standing apart, no one is getting too close, but no one is wearing a mask.
We figure we’re all outside, and we’re far enough apart.
The CDC makes it very clear that wearing a mask in ANY public setting is important to help stem the spread of the coronavirus. They do not distinguish between indoors or outdoors.
This article from a hospital network in New Jersey addresses the question of wearing masks outside.
Here’s when you should wear a mask outside:
- When it is difficult to maintain the recommended 6-foot social distancing from others (such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy or walking on a busy street or in a crowded neighborhood).
- If required to by law. Many areas now have mandatory masking regulations when in public.
Here’s when you don’t need to wear a mask outside:
- You’re in your backyard or on personal property and it is very unlikely that you’ll end up within 6 feet of someone else.
- You are in any other secluded location where the likelihood of running into someone else is very low.
- You are in either of the previously mentioned environments with someone you’ve been quarantined with.
- You are under two years old or have a condition where wearing a mask would inhibit your health.
- You are engaging in “high intensity aerobic or anaerobic activities” or when in the water.
- You are eating or drinking outdoors.
Source: Dr. Frank Elliot, “Should You Wear a Mask Outside”, https://www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org, updated 07/09/2020, accessed 09/19/2020, https://www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/HealthU/2020/04/20/should-you-wear-a-mask-outside/.
The Playground is Unpredictable
Unless you’re refusing to set foot on the playground and you’re sitting off to the side, far away from others, it is VERY difficult to keep six feet away from everyone else.
Kids are running all over the place, and their parents are chasing after them.
There’s no telling when suddenly, albeit briefly, you may be within inches of another person’s face.
I’m not going to risk it. I’m going to wear a mask. And by so doing, I’ll be protecting myself, those other kids and their parents, too.
The Question Is Now…
Do I make my children wear them?
Or simply keep them off the playgrounds?