NBC News – Video shows the moment a woman began shouting racial slurs at a Black cashier in a New York City bagel shop after being refused service for not wearing a mask. SOURCE.
Set Us Free From Outdoor Mask Mandates!
THE NEW REPUBLIC – The science says it’s safe to start letting go of some of the strictures we’ve followed during the dark days of the pandemic.
As coronavirus cases ticked up in early November, something utterly bizarre happened in Massachusetts:
In light of those rising numbers, Governor Charlie Baker issued a rule mandating that people would be required to wear face masks at all times while outdoors in public, whether or not they were around others. (Violators were subject to a $300 fine.)
However alarming that surge might have been, the notion that this new rule would mitigate it was ludicrous:
Approximately zero cases of Covid-19 on earth have been transmitted by someone who is outside, alone.
But this week, Baker doubled down on his November order at a press conference, defending his state’s strict outdoor mask requirements even as countries like Israel and American cities such as Nashville, Charleston, and Denver shifted their mandates to indoors-only.
Meanwhile, it’s never been clear that requiring people to adhere strictly to outdoor masking as a matter of policy has had much bearing on whether the practice is embraced:
In many places—particularly in Northeastern cities (including Boston, where I live)—outdoor masking simply persists as a strong social norm.
Well over a year into a global pandemic that forced us all collectively to apply unfamiliar information to our everyday lives and adopt new behaviors to meet the public health challenges we’ve faced, we’re on the cusp of the reverse: learning how to let them go.
As cases and death rates subside in many places and vaccinations go up, many of the questions of what we need to do to navigate the evolving risk landscape are nuanced and complicated.
Some, however, are not: Save for dense gatherings (like farmers markets, rallies, and protests, for example), outdoor masking is not necessary—and its ongoing ubiquity is meaningless political theater.
By now, we have overwhelming evidence that Covid-19 is highly unlikely to spread outdoors, where pathogens dissipate … Click here to read more.