When to Wear a Mask: Outside, Inside, and Everything In-Between
With so many new regulations and mandates, it has become truly confusing when to actually #MaskUp. Should you be taking your mask off outside? What about the car? Is everyone wearing one in schools? While the rules can be confusing, it’s time to get clear on the newest part of daily life.
What science says
The science behind mask use is actually more straightforward than people think. Regardless of mask type, every mask must cover both the nose and mouth to be effective. Why? COVID and other infectious viruses travel on moisture particles which are often exhaled by the affected individual.
With the mechanics of infection in mind, the answer is simply: Unless you are further than 6 feet away from others in all cases, a mask must be worn. Even if outside, a virus can still spread within a close distance, but is less likely to due to fresh air.
What local regulations say
Okay, let’s back up. The world isn't perfect, and neither are the rules - which means they don’t always follow the science. When it comes time to picking sides, some rules are warranted and some aren’t. Now that we have that out of the way, here are (a lot) of resources to figure out what your local restrictions may be! Check the bottom of the article for all 50 states.
Still have some mask related questions? Here are common answers we have ran across in our research
- Do homemade/cloth masks work?
- According to government entities, research is currently being conducted to determine whether or not cloth masks are adequate in reducing the spread of COVID. Oh, and there probably won’t be an answer for a while
- Doesn’t wearing a mask restrict my breathing?
- Well, technically, inhaling and exhaling through a mask doesn’t restrict your breathing; however, it does in fact restrict airflow! When you exhale, the mask prevents moisture from escaping through your breath, but there is mainly no difference between mask and maskless inhalation.
- Isn’t COVID too small for a mask to stop it?
- Yes, (but no). COVID itself is incredibly small, but it can’t spread by itself! The virus travels through moisture particles, and they are way too big to pass through essentially any type of mask.
- Do I have to wear a mask while I’m working out or eating?
- Depending on the rules at your local gym or otherwise, you may have no choice. Not at the gym or a restaurant? As long as you are outside or 6 feet away from anyone, you’re good to go!
Please click on the state you are interested in to view that state's information: