Finally. New York is Mandating Masks in Public, starting April 17 at 8pm for everyone age 2 and older, including on public transit, in stores, and on sidewalks when social distancing (6 feet) isn't possible. While I've been noticing more people wearing masks during my daily walk, it's still astonishing to me that more people aren't wearing a mask or using a scarf, even when passing or walking close to others on the often narrow sidewalks.
It's unfortunate that it's taken this long to have a mandate in place, when even apart from Asian countries, where masks are commonly worn anyway, even apart from the coronavirus, there are European countries that mandated mask wearing. On March 18, the Czech Republic made it mandatory to wear a mask or similar substitute covering the nose and mouth, when out in public. Slovakia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Austria.
In the U.S., New Jersey has mandated face masks for everyone shopping in grocery stores, picking up orders in restaurants, and riding public transit, unless prevented from doing so by a medical condition. Maryland has a similar rule that applies to anyone doing shopping or riding public transit, and Los Angeles mandates masks for shoppers and workers alike; businesses can refuse entry to those who aren't wearing masks.
Requiring masks is a wise decision, since even if it doesn't necessarily protect the wearer that much from a heavy viral load, depending on the type of mask worn, it can certainly help in protecting others if the mask wearer is infected. And recent articles note that over 40% of COVID-19 cases may spread from person to person before symptoms appear. Asymptomatic transmission could occur just from the droplets exhaled by an infected person when talking, no sneezing or coughing required, if they are then breathed in by another person.
Is your locale requiring citizens to wear masks in public?
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