When NOT To Wear A Mask

When To Wear A Mask

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently instituted guidelines that people should wear masks, in the form of cloth face coverings, in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).    (https://www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/HealthU/2020/04/20/should-you-wear-a-mask-outside)

These new recommendations have people asking, do I have to wear a mask/cloth covering every time I leave the house? Even when I go outside? The answer can be found in aisle three in the adult section called It Depends. (made you smile, even underneath the mask).

You Should Consider Wearing A Mask Outside If:

  • 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.

The CDC stresses that we must maintain 6-feet of social distancing from others to continue slowing the spread of coronavirus. The CDC recommends, if there is a slight chance that you might violate the 6-foot rule, wear a mask/cloth covering just in case. If you are exercising and it’s difficult to breath while wearing a face covering, keep one in your pocket that you can easily grab if needed. 

You Do NOT Need To Wear A Mask Outside If:

  • 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.

The CDC recommendation to wear cloth face coverings comes from new data that shows a significant portion of people with coronavirus have mild or no symptoms, and even if someone does develop more severe symptoms, they can transmit the virus before those symptoms appear. This means that people can spread the virus to others without even knowing they have it.

While wearing a cloth face covering isn’t intended to help protect the wearer, it can help prevent the wearer from spreading the virus through viral droplets (such as saliva or mucus) even if they are not aware they are infected.

The CDC continues to recommend that medical grade masks, such as surgical masks and N95 respirators be reserved for health care workers and other medical first responders since we are in short supply.

In April, the CDC changed its guidance on non-medical masks, urging the general population to wear them as a voluntary health measure.”

Homemade face masks and coverings may not be able to prevent you from acquiring the coronavirus, a respiratory pathogen, but they are thought to block larger particles from the coughs, sneezes or saliva of asymptomatic people. In other words, wearing a non medical covering is to protect others from you, and not the other way around.

My Questions:   Do you wear a mask while in your vehicle? If so, Why? I’ve seen them worn when they are the only person in the car! Do you wear one when entering a restaurant? How does a person eat and still keep their mouth and nose covered?  Do you steer away from others who are not wearing a mask when in a public place?

All good questions. Your answer is usually based upon your fear level, actual knowledge of how a virus spreads, what ever your friends are doing, OR,  go back to aisle three! (www.cnet.com/health/face-masks-in-stores-cars-outside-heres-where-youre-expected-to-wear-a-covering) 


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Pam Batey

Moved to Tanglewood in August 2016, with husband, Steve and dog, Maggie. Retired Paramedic, now continuing my hobby writing short stories and information in the "You and Your Health" Section of the newsletter. Active Member of Tanglewood Community Church.