Those Masking Outdoors Are a Loony Bunch

Posted: Apr 28, 2021 8:20 PM
Those Masking Outdoors Are a Loony Bunch

Source: Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

On Tuesday, the CDC updated their guidelines to reflect what we already knew, what should be common sense. If you've been fully vaccinated, you don't need to wear a mask among small gatherings, or when dining outside with friends. Like I said, common sense, except not to all. MSNBC's Joy Reid recently doubled down on her move to wear two masks, all while going after Fox News. 

"Should people be freaking out that some people like myself are still wearing masks outdoors," she asked during Tuesday's "The ReidOut." 

Reid's guest, Dr. Vin Gupta, responded "definitely not," and that "nobody should judge anyone else’s personal health decisions." What's perhaps most alarming, though, is how he pointed out "I think you’re going to see residual masking based on personal preference for months, if not years, after this pandemic is over." Years? These people will be wearing masks forever, but they better not be expecting the rest of us to do so. 

Fortunately, Dr. Gupta did accurately present the CDC guidelines. "There’s no way you’re going to really get exposed unless maybe you’re in a rave or an outdoor concert where you’re really close to people who are not masking. Outside of that, this is the wise policy." Unfortunately, Reid came up with some lunacy that she wears two masks, outside, despite being fully vaccinated, because she fears the "backdraft" of other joggers.

What happened to trusting the science? Now we're going off of "personal preference?" 

Can Dr. Fauci please call her out? We're so use to hearing about feuds between him and Jim Jordan, or Dr. Rand Paul, or Tucker Carlson.

Reid may be prolific, but she's not the only one to insist on masks outdoors. 

This Tuesday post from The Week by Jeva Lange, "Why I'll keep running with my mask on," made it to the Real Clear Politics Wednesday morning edition. 

Lange is someone who caved under pressure from "the ugly looks" of those in New York City who were horrified that she ran by without a mask. She writes, with original emphasis:

Still, I'm not going to lose my running mask just yet. Not because I'm "addicted" to the pandemic, or distrust the science or advice of the CDC — on the contrary, I'll be the first to explain all the ways we know running outside without a mask is safe. But I first started wearing my mask outdoors as a courtesy, a signal to my neighbors that I cared about their health and was taking precautions to keep them protected. As we begin rolling back pandemic restrictions and resuming "normal life," I'm not quite ready yet to stop sending that message.


While I believe we don't "need" to wear masks outside, I'm also sympathetic to the trauma we've endured as a nation, a city, and as individuals. It's hard to flip from the mindset of wear a mask constantly or risk killing your grocery store clerk, to don't bother wearing a mask outside at all. Particularly when you live in a former COVID-19 hotspot, like I do — where less than a year ago, hundreds of people were dying a day just in the surrounding neighborhood — those habits can be especially hard to let go of. Masks represent a semblance of control and comfort that we'd wrestled back from the disease, a way to navigate public spaces again without the fear of strangers that had tainted every interaction early in the pandemic.

She also acknowledges that "Little has riled up Americans more during the pandemic than the do-or-don't mask question." Lange says "bullying people to not wear masks outdoors is dangerous, needless, and also slightly deranged." Well, isn't she making it all the more worse? Isn't it "slightly deranged" to go against the science, and not encourage people to do so when it comes to not wearing masks?

So much for listening to science.