Masks in the great outdoors?


Alyssa Veniskey, Reporter

Although the need for face masks has created a widespread controversy since the beginning of the pandemic, scientific studies have proven that wearing one does help reduce the chances of becoming infected with the coronavirus. Wearing a mask not only helps keep you safe but also protects the people encountered in everyday life. The issue with face masks stems from the fact that some say it makes breathing more difficult, especially during strenuous activities, such as hiking. This leaves many questioning if masks should be worn during outdoor activities. 

Studies show that grocery stores and workplaces pose a much higher threat than outdoor activities. Wind disperses germs quickly, which lessens the chance of exposure to the virus. As long as individuals maintain social distancing, face masks should not become a necessity in the outdoors.

“The likelihood of you spreading a virus in the open world is practically nonexistent. I’m not worried about catching a virus outside in the fresh air. With the pandemic taking place and everything, social distancing methods have been working really well, especially outdoors. I feel safe being outside as long as social distancing is maintained,” junior Jessica Darby said. 

Opposing this viewpoint, some argue that face masks should become mandatory in outdoor settings. The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Population (CDC) recommends that everyone wear cloth face-coverings in public areas. Despite the chances of getting infected dwindling while outdoors, the possibility still exists. Especially without social distancing and other everyday preventive actions, not wearing a face mask puts you at a huge risk. 

“I think face masks should be worn anywhere we go at this point, whether it be outside with a few people passing by or in the middle of a crowded grocery store. It’s better to be safe than sorry,” sophomore Amanda Willows said. 

While everyone holds their own opinion on the matter, individuals should take the necessary precautions to ensure their own safety, as well as the safety of others. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to take over our lives, ensuring the safety of ourselves and others proves more necessary than ever. Maintaining social distance when possible as well as taking other necessary precautions can help slow the spread of the virus and keep our family, friends and peers safe.