May 18, 2020 |
Fox News – There’s no hiding without a mask in virus-stricken New York City, the American epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic.
New York requires people to wear face coverings when in close proximity to others in public. As people grow wearier of the extended lockdown, some residents complain that requirement infringes on individual liberties.
Residents are caught in the middle of a debate over when and where, exactly, it is necessary to wear a mask in a city where COVID-19 has now claimed more than 20,000 lives.
Since April 17, everyone in New York state has been required to wear a face covering in any place where they can’t stay at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live with them.
Only children younger than 2 and people with a medical excuse are exempt.
Yet, while the rule is clear, New Yorkers have adopted their own interpretation of when masks are required.
It isn’t unusual to see groups of park goers and essential workers, even police officers, leaving their masks dangling as they squeeze past people on sidewalks or chat with friends.
Masks are, perhaps, most rarely used among people trying to exercise.
Eric Leventhal, 36, felt a sneeze coming and panicked.
The Brooklynite left his cloth face mask at home for a morning run in a park last week. Walking home, he turned toward an empty street and let the sneeze out, hoping no one would notice.
“I picked my head up and I caught eyes with a woman who was wearing a mask, an older woman,” Leventhal recently said. “She was just kind of shaking her head.”
As warmer weather beckons people outside, more chances emerge for confrontations between mask-wearers and mask doubters.
“Everything is fraught with life and death consequences, and it’s just hard to grapple with that at any one moment,” Leventhal said … Read more.