Is Outdoor Masking Real?

By the way, speaking about masks. Why is there a sudden flare-up in discussions of outdoors mask wearing? Tucker did a whole segment on it yesterday.

Does anybody wear masks outside? I spent yesterday’s afternoon at a large playground that has a soccer field and a tennis court attached to it. It’s actually three playgrounds in one huge space. Crowds of people. Kids, athletes, parents, grandparents. I didn’t see a single mask. Aside from the chain-smoking retiree at the park, I can’t think of the moment when I recently saw outdoors masking outside of campus. But that’s professors. We all know they are drones. Normal people don’t do it any more.

So why all the hullabaloo? I’d love to follow Tucker’s advice and snort at outdoor maskers but do they exist?

19 thoughts on “Is Outdoor Masking Real?”

  1. I can confirm that people who wear masks outside exist. I go outside with my little one often, and we have a nice nature trail near where I live. I would say about 40-50% of people I see there (running, walking, riding a bike) wear a mask, including small children (toddlers). The other day my little one was running toward a masked young couple because they had dogs with them (dogs are always a big hit with us). I tried to keep both of us more than 6 feet away from them as I do not want to make people uncomfortable. They ended up telling me not to worry as they are fully vaccinated. Another time we ran into a family with children on the same trail and their 4-5-year-old child put a mask on (unprompted) as soon as she has seen us coming. The parents were already masked.

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  2. Oh, they’re real, all right. Here in Ontario, where we’re into our “third wave,” it is now mandatory for children to wear masks at outdoor playgrounds. Luckily, most parents are ignoring the new bylaw but they risk a hefty fine for doing so. The only people I’ve seen masking their kids are all middle- to upper-middle-class lefty liberals, mostly mothers–NO exceptions. (One such woman, who owns a chi chi garden centre, yelled at my father-in-law for not wearing a mask outside of her store.) This is all about class, as you’ve argued so eloquently. The middle class lefties get to demonstrate their class/status superiority–“We’re all in this together!”–by staying home in their gentrified century homes while the proles are holed up in the surrounding apartment blocks slowly breaking down from the inhuman stress of isolation. And because our political class are beholden to this class and their media enablers, we all to have to suffer.

    These people are crazy, flat-out friggin’ crazy, but even our Conservative government is beholden to them because our Liberal Trust Fund Prime Minister has made Canada an international laughing stock by failing to procure vaccines for the country (regardless of how one views vaccines, they are still the measuring stick for public health hacks). We are behind Brazil in vaccine procurement, though the media is predictably blaming the provincial Conservative govt, which have no power over these things.

    Yesterday I took my son–whom we removed from the public school system at Christmas because of the insane masking and distancing policies imposed on five- and six-year-old children–out for a long hike at a nature conservatory just outside the city. Hundreds of acres of forest and wide paths, and yet there were two of these bourgeois mothers spoiling the views with their gaggle of masked children, one no more than three years old. If I’d asked them why they were masking their kids, they would have crowed in unison: “Science!”

    Interestingly, the most vocal push back to the COVID craziness comes from the working class people at our local Catholic parish. They went along with the first lockdown, grumbled through the second, and are now finally angry. So maybe there’s hope…

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    1. I’m happy to report, though, that at our local Walmart, the masking ratio among customers is very low and getting lower. I was a little nervous when I went last week, and saw the brand-new corporate banners at the entrance announcing that masks were REQUIRED. I stuffed one in my pocket just in case, because dangit the groceries couldn’t wait another day, and was relieved to find, inside the store, that like most other places in town… corporate dictates were being blithely ignored at the local level. Nobody at WM is getting paid enough to be the mask police.

      There was a lot more mask compliance at the beginning of this, when people were less sure about the risk. I’m curious what the long-term effects will be of conditioning huge segments of the population to distrust government mandates and actively resist them (there has always been that segment of the population: IMO lockdowns etc. have enlarged it significantly). When next we’re in a real emergency and compliance is needed, the necessary trust may not be there.

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  3. Here in CA we still see a lot of outdoor masks. In our small city, 90% of pedestrians on the empty side-walks are wearing masks. You see many small children at the park who are masked, and whose parents will try to keep them away from unmasked children (such as mine). Many beach-goers are masked as well.

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  4. In South Carolina low country about half masked in stores, very few outdoors, maybe 5%.

    In NYC last month 90% masked outdoors, 100% inside stores.

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  5. Tucker did a whole segment on it yesterday…I’d love to follow Tucker’s advice and snort at outdoor maskers but do they exist?

    From that same segment:
    As for forcing children to wear masks outside, that should be illegal. Your response when you see children wearing masks as they play should be no different from your response to seeing someone beat a kid in Walmart. Call the police immediately. Contact Child Protective Services. Keep calling until someone arrives. What you’re looking at is abuse, it’s child abuse and you are morally obligated to attempt to prevent it. If it’s your own children being abused, then act accordingly.

    Let’s say your kid’s school emailed you to announce that every day after lunch, your sixth grader was going to get punched in the face by a teacher. How would you respond to that? That’s precisely how you should respond when they tell you that your kids have to wear masks on the soccer field. That is unacceptable, it is dangerous and we should act like it because it is.

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      1. Indeed. He is absolutely right – it is child abuse. I know at least a couple of kids within our small circle (of 6-7 families) where the mother’s obsession with child-masking has led to severe anxiety in the child. I hope there are people following through and reporting on these child abuse cases.

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        1. The only consideration in interactions with s child should be “how is this benefiting the child?” Doing something that doesn’t benefit the child buh soothes adult anxieties is the definition of emotional abuse. If this attitude manifests in what concerns masks, there’s no reason to believe it doesn’t manifest in other aspects.

          I’ve been absolutely stunned at how easily people sacrifice the needs of the children to their anxieties or convenience. I know a professor whose 4yo hasn’t had any in-person communication with another child since March 2020. None. Zero. Think of the long-term effects for this kid. My heart bleeds for him.

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    1. Apparently my state has an outdoor mask mandate when within 6 ft of others but I’ve never followed it. I didn’t even know we had an outdoor mandate until last week. Very few wear masks outdoors, although the playgrounds are a different story. It’s definitely a class thing. We live in an urban area and our local playgrounds there are very few children and adults masking. But the second we go to a trail or suburban park almost 90-100 percent of kids and adults are masked. My daughter has never worn a mask to the park. People aren’t thinking critically about it…when we went to one of these “richer” parks with my mother last week she noticed all the kids were masked and said my kid should mask up, too. When I asked why, the only reason she could come up with was “everyone else is wearing them.” The jumping of the bridge comparison went right over her head. I have prided myself on mitigating all this nonsense as much as humanly possible for my kid. I pick my battles, because she needs to be in school and certain activities require them. I think throwing tantrums over masks would cause damage to my daughter as well.

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      1. The drive for conformity is huge. The last time I made an emergency pit-stop at our local upscale grocery (I don’t often go there, because I can buy all the stuff on my list for a dollar less at the ghetto Piggly Wiggly– but they do have a attractive produce and a bakery…) , I was seriously the only unmasked person in there. They weren’t enforcing it, but everyone was doing it anyway. It was Stepford-Wives-level creepy. At the checkout, I looked over in the next lane and there was this beleaguered construction worker in paint-spattered clothes with his T-shirt pulled up over his nose, a hunted look in his eyes. The place did give the impression that non-maskers might be hauled off to the freezers by a very polite SWAT team.

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  6. “Does anybody wear masks outside? ”

    It is in Poland officially though enforcement is very lax. I wear one as little as I can get away with outside.
    The Health Minister last March was actually competent and despite some corruption did far more right than wrong and then in the summer he resigned (he’d planned to do so earlier but stayed on because of the virus).
    True to their policy of party loyalty over competence the incredibly inept ruling party appointed an economist with no medical background to take his place and it’s been crap… apparently a bunch of doctors told him a month ago there’s no point to outdoor masks but he wouldn’t budge…

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  7. “So why all the hullabaloo (about when/where/if to mask)?”

    Obviously, you haven’t seen the most recent interviews with Dr. Fauci and the CDC lady. They’ve been all over TV the last couple of days, and every time these experts open their mouths to “clarify” the latest recommendations, they ramble in prolonged, confusing, self-contradictory, compound-complex sentences that leave listeners scratching their heads and asking, “Huh? What did they say?”

    So concerned parents seeking practical guidance aren’t getting helpful answers, and therefore have to decide for themselves how to proceed at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. People outside of the hospital aren’t required to wear masks, so usually they just don’t. Of course, many of these people have been wearing a mask all day and desperately need mask-free time.

    I’ve been getting headaches from the constant pressure on my nose. As soon as I step outside, the mask is off and the headache dissipates in minutes. Unless there are a lot of people around, but then employees don’t usually use the main entrance, anyway.

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