A Question About Mask Wearing During COVID-19

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SethMode

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#1  Edited By SethMode

Hello everyone! This is going to be a long post, so forgive me! Before I begin, let's preface this by saying let's try really hard to not make this a political debate about...whatever the political debate is over whether or not people should or shouldn't wear masks due to COVID-19. I would assume like much of the world, the majority of users here realize that wearing masks while out is important on a number of levels during this pandemic. If you disagree, I implore you to keep it to yourself because at this point it seems unlikely that anyone will convince anyone else on this topic, and I'd hate to see the thread locked.

Okay, that out of the way, I'm curious. I live in South Korea, where the COVID-19 cases are very low and the deaths even lower. Outside of a few small spikes here and there, things have been maintained fairly such that MOST people have returned to some semblance of normalcy regarding work, etc...albeit still with recreational social distancing being recommended and travel precautions (especially into the country) being highly regulated. Despite the fact that things are going well, I see literally everyone still wearing masks. I am a teacher, for example, at a VERY small school, with VERY small class sizes, and still all teachers have to wear masks all day outside of lunch, and students do as well. Now, granted, in Asia in general, wearing masks isn't all that big of deal...given the population density of a lot of places, and just general concern for health and well-being, it isn't uncommon to see people wearing masks if there is even a cold moving around the workplace. Having said that though, as an American living in Korea, it's been kind of wild reading the news and seeing different things on social media, etc...about this outright resistance to wearing masks. Anything from misinformation about them being dangerous to one's health, to just arguments that it restricts freedom. Now, again, not here to debate those two points (although the former is objectively not true, in general). I'm just curious for people still in the states, are you seeing much of this? Are most people wearing masks? Have any of you witnessed instances where people seem resistant to wear a a mask or even socially distance? I'd be glad to hear from other countries as well. I just feel like this is a story that has a LOT of traction lately all over the internet, and even though it is merely anecdotal, I'd like to get some feedback from this community, considering it has a large amount of US members, and equally large amounts of members from other countries that might be able to provide other perspectives.

So, tl/dr: where are you from, is it more rural or urban, are you seeing resistance to wearing masks/social distancing or no masks/social distancing at all, and if so how often?

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warpr

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I don't know about the states, but perhaps it's interesting to see some other non-USA perspectives as well.

Here in Ecuador, in general, people are taking it seriously and are wearing their masks. I do see slightly too many people wearing them incorrectly (e.g. not over their nose), or pulling them down to talk to a friendly face (which is obviously a stupid thing to do). A lot of poor people work/live day-to-day here, and they simply cannot afford to get ill, so they take the needed precautions when they can. (not everyone can afford soap and masks sadly). Obviously folks here aren't well educated, but the messaging from the governments has been pretty clear that you should wash your hands often and wear a mask. Also we've had some very strict curfew/lockdown in the first few months of this pandemic, which helped contain things a little bit.

Back home where my family lives (the Netherlands), they don't focus on masks as much and focus more on keeping your distance and working from home. Looking at the graphs it seems to work and they're doing better than here in Ecuador -- but I think that's mostly down to people being better educated in general, much better healthcare available, and little risk of losing your income even if you are unable to work. Also culturaly folks in Europe tend to be much colder than here in Latin America, a lot less hugging and kissing cheeks in northern Europe :)

Stay safe!

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Efesell

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I'm in rural Missouri, there's no masks here.

Maybe a few here and there and a bigger concentration in stores where theoretically they are mandated but not really enforced.

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ghost_cat

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Greetings from Los Angeles, California! Considering the population size here, I think a good portion of the population continues practicing safety measures of mask, distance, and sanitizing. But there are also quite a few folks (especially children) who don't go around wearing masks or practice safe distancing. I'm going to be real here: those who don't tend to be non PoC. I stopped walking to my local Trader Joes (a grocery chain) because I found a bunch of folks in between that walk, which happens to be a small town square, aren't wearing masks what so ever.

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SethMode

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@warpr: Yes, I'd definitely love to hear from places all over the world! Thank you so much for sharing!

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north6

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#6  Edited By north6

I'm from the US, live in a pretty large city. For the most part people wear masks, but not to the point where I'd say it's as effective as it ought to be... something like 50%-60% do. I sort of think of this like herd immunity, you'd want 70-90%. As you leave the city however, it gets dramatically worse. There are almost nobody wearing masks outside at baseball games, for example. Not the kids, not the parents, not the umpire. One coach, one parent, that's it.

For the most part, Covid didn't spread outside of cities initially, many counties in my state have had less than 10-15 infections. Recently students returned to a small college town I grew up near for classes, and within a few weeks they went from 25 to 350 cases (in a county with 10k people or so without students).

It's more than just a political issue, but that is mostly what we're seeing highlighted by high profile cases. Its kids partying, the bar lifestyle, or just small social gatherings, which is how it spread in the town I'm referencing. In any case, mostly young people are getting infected. 80% of those 350 cases were under 29. Irresponsible college kids going to a town they don't normally live in * every college city in America is more than enough to do small town America in. What they don't realize is that by the time they see it spread, it will be too late, and their parent or loved one will be ill, and they won't know for sure if they could have been the one to spread it. This is such a dangerous virus, not because it's so deadly, but because it impacts people so differently and spreads so rapidly.

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SethMode

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@ghost_cat: Yeah, kids are hard, even here where masks are fairly common and people are "used to them" (or as used to them as you can be -- it always blows my mind when I see someone mention that no one likes to wear masks, as if people in Asia just LOVE doing it. We all hate it). It's been a REAL challenge in school, and it is one of my biggest fears about the US opening schools again, because it takes a LOT of work to get kids to wear/keep their masks on and that's a lot of pressure to put on teachers when parents themselves have trouble with it. Thanks for sharing!

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FancySoapsMan

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@ghost_cat: I'm pretty close to you in OC and some people just don't give a damn over here.

I used to enjoy biking along the coast in huntington beach but I've stopped because theres just huge crowds of people here with no masks on at all.

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SethMode

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@efesell: I was going to ask if it was just the population being more spread out, but I guess if they aren't wearing them in more dense areas that's probably not the issue. A lot of people on the island where I work won't wear them when they're out working, but it's a tiny island with like, 1,200 people so people really don't come into contact with one another all that much unless they're at the one tiny store we have, and in that case everyone is masked up.

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SethMode

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@north6: That's a little disheartening. I had sort of hoped this was one of those things where it was being sensationalized, but it seems more like it is both being sensationalized and true (just maybe, not wearing a mask is more general negligence than protest)? The college stuff was the thing I was worried about, especially if they start up again. Maybe it's me being a little older, but I kind of viewed young kids going back to school its own problem, because kids are pure chaos and don't really understand...college kids worried me more. Just kind of reflecting on how I felt sort of invincible, in that kind of safe area to make bad decisions and learn from them and not really have any repercussions...that, won't translate well to COVID-19.

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north6

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#11  Edited By north6

@sethmode: Regarding negligence or protest, more negligence for sure.

With college kids, i'd bet that a *lot* of them still move to that town, even if most classes are remote. Because universities have wavered for so long in their decisions on remote or not, students are already moving to their college towns, regardless of whether they are doing remote learning or not. For a lot of people (not saying it's a bad thing) college is *about* partying, getting away from home, the whole experience. Heck, parents *want* them out of the house. I think that experience will still happen, one way or another.

Gonna be a rough fall.

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NTM

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#12  Edited By NTM

Living in a suburb north of Bellevue, WA, most people are wearing masks, but some still aren't which is kind of frustrating. Mask wearing doesn't happen too much when on walks, like when we walk our dog because that's largely social distancing, but at stores, most people are seen wearing masks. It seems that people wear masks more when it comes to being inside a place that you have to be around people, but if going on a walk, or at a park (even when there are people around you) masks are less likely to be worn.

In terms of work, it's like elsewhere: people that can work from home should work from home. As for the reason behind people not wearing masks, as far as what I have seen in my personal life in public, I don't know and no one has made a fuss about it. I've seen a handful of videos of people in stores getting into arguments about why one should or shouldn't wear a mask, but I haven't seen it in person. That all said, wear a dang mask, and social distance. Come on.

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Captain_Insano

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Very few to almost no masks here in Sydney, Australia but it has not been mandated or even recommended yet (only required in Hospitals and recommended on Public Transport). Covid was well under control for a while but there has been a small spike in cases lately - hopefully getting back on top of it.

Melbourne is having large amounts of community transmission at the moment. We've seen our share of idiotic resistance videos (people going to local Hardware stores without a mask, then filming themselves arguing with store owners etc). Again, masks weren't 100% required although they are mandated and legally required in Melbourne from this weekend I believe. I'm not in Melbourne though so haven't observed it myself as to how much compliance or non-compliance there has been.

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SethMode

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@captain_insano: Thanks for sharing! I was curious about Australia considering things were going similarly well there as they were/are here. Every spike here is a little terrifying, because you just never know how it is going to end up, but we've been lucky so far, so I hope you guys are as well!

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SethMode

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@ntm: Yeah, I think you can get away with some degree of moving around in outside spaces without a mask, but it still makes me a little nervous, personally. Granted, a lot of that for me comes from being the only American on an island full of Koreans, and I could not imagine being the cause of spreading the virus to the school as a teacher in general, but also as a teacher that is a guest in another country and has been shown nothing but complete kindness and hospitality. My wife and I are overly cautious.

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arawk

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I live in Japan (not Tokyo). The town I live in is over half a million people which is fairly big for this area. Back in March we had toilet paper and tissue shortages but that came and went fairly quickly. We haven't seen any other shortages like that since then.

At school we are required to wear masks in class as are the students. The students aren't sitting further apart, or doing much social distancing. I work at a junior high and elementary school. Students don't have to wear their masks outside during recess or PE. This is mostly because they are worried about kids getting heat stroke. Most teachers take theirs off in the teachers office but wear them outside of the office and while teaching.

Around town it's mixed. Some places have tables and chairs moved so you have to sit further away from others. Also, places were closing early or only doing take out. But most of that has stopped now. I've only seen 1 clothing shop in town taking temperatures before allowing people in. Most places have signs up suggesting to wear a mask and use the provided hand sanitizer by the door. But the few times I've forgotten no one has said anything to me. The only place that absolutely required a mask was Shakey's (yes the pizza place). Months ago they required nothing. Now, you have to wear a mask, social distance in the dinning area, and every time you go up to get more pizza you have to put on a clean pair of plastic disposable gloves.

Other than that it's been OK. We've had no lockdowns, people were discouraged from traveling but it's not going to get you arrested to be on the train. Entry into the country is locked down for the most part. You have to be a pretty high ranking official or someone important to get into the country. Or just plan to quarantine yourself for 2 weeks if you want to get back into Japan.

Also, my prefecture has had 0 deaths and only around 180 cases since February. And yes they've been testing. The city provides free testing to anyone that wants to get tested.

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colourful_hippie

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#17  Edited By colourful_hippie

I'm an American who operates a small biz with my fiancé in northern Peru. We are fortunate to be able to have the option to limit our interactions with people without fear of financial challenges. Our area is a small beach town about less than an hour away from the nearest city. Everywhere I go including trips to the city for groceries and other errands I virtually see everyone wearing a mask. One of the trips I tried counting the number of people I saw without one, which was probably 6 with 4 of them being people sitting outside on the porch of their home, 1 driving a truck, and 1 blatantly walking down the street in the city with no mask.

For the most part things have been pretty strict here because countries like Peru don't have the luxury of playing fast and loose with what kind of restrictions to have in place due to the tiny and fragile health care infrastructure that's here. The country was in a strict lockdown since mid-March with some restrictions being lifted in the beginning of July. Major groceries/retailers similar to a Walmart were reopened in late May but they instituted temp checks at the door and enforced mask requirements (armed guards would be at all entrances, but they've stopped using them since end of June). Oh and back in March during the strict lockdown, cops with armed national guard equivalents would roll up on public areas that were throwing parties or even simply gathering in big groups and round up the people in mass arrests. Not that I'm advocating for that kind of strong arm approach to lockdown enforcement but for here it was a clear sign of how little room there was for flexibility.

Honestly was surprised to learn that only in the past week that places like Walmart and McDonald's in the US were beginning to institute mask requirements, even though they're apparently not enforced. I actually was supposed to be visiting my home state of Florida in late Sept but ended up cancelling my flight when I received an email about the dates being changed. At this point I'd rather avoid the uncertainty of when or if I'm able to leave, never mind the other concern of Florida being a raging shithole of an epicenter right now that may or may not worsen in the fall which could then raise the risk of me not being allowed to return to Peru which has enacted strict travel restrictions in the past.

It's just wild listening to my friends and family in Florida talk about how often people disregard using masks or going all the way with downplaying the severity of the pandemic even when I continue hearing more and more people within my social circle either knowing someone who's infected and/or hospitalized or they themselves being infected as well. I just can't believe that I feel safer to go outside in a third-world country vs the richest country in the world.

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DARKSOULS1988

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I cook in a restaurant in buffalo ny. Everyone on staff is in masks, especially in the kitchen. Bit of pushback on customer part of things but everyone is told to wear them when walkimg through the seating area and bar.

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theuprightman

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Here in the UAE you will be fined on the spot (about 250 euro) for not wearing a mask and will not be allowed into any mall/shop/restaurant/bar without a mask and a temperature check, when you sit at your table you can take them off. I saw my first set of people without mask on Sunday when I went to a restaurant for lunch, I was the the till paying when they walked in, they where refused entry. All in all everyone is taking it seriously, thankfully.

Up until last week it was also a requirement to ware gloves in groceries stores but that has been relaxed now.

I work in a school so I am back to work in September, I will happily wear a mask at work if it means that we can help avoid another flair up, I do not want to work form home again.

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SethMode

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#20  Edited By SethMode

@arawk said:

At school we are required to wear masks in class as are the students. The students aren't sitting further apart, or doing much social distancing. I work at a junior high and elementary school. Students don't have to wear their masks outside during recess or PE. This is mostly because they are worried about kids getting heat stroke. Most teachers take theirs off in the teachers office but wear them outside of the office and while teaching.

This description is like looking into a mirror, although our students have been having PE inside only and with the AC on, so as far as I know they're required to wear masks. But if they "wear" them like they do in my class well...I can't imagine they're all that effective (under the nose, sometimes under the chin!?). I try to keep masks on and people staying in their seats, but even with small classes of usually 8-12 max, it is still hard to do and get any actual teaching done. I get to see quite the spectrum of students (because of how small my school is, I teach PreK-12) and other than my aberration of a K class (they are so well behaved and never touch their masks) pretty much every age group is a constant struggle to keep them keeping masks on, not trying to touch each other, not touching their faces, etc...and this is IN CLASS. The hallways are basically the Thunderdome.

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SethMode

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@colourful_hippie: Thanks! This was partially why I asked, because I have two VERY different sides of my family: the maternal side, which has been doing their best to stay inside, social distance, wear masks, etc...; and my paternal side (parents are divorced) who are just all over the map from people taking it seriously, staying inside, social distancing, diligently wearing their mask, etc...to those being anti-mask, to those being anti-mask and believe it is all a hoax or some such thing. Some of them LIVE IN THE SAME HOUSE. It's crazy. But that's rural PA for you, I guess.

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colourful_hippie

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@sethmode: yup it's wild. Despite the strict lockdowns here there was still serious spread throughout the cities and especially the capital city of Lima mainly because of the serious income inequality gap. Despite direct cash payments there was just too many people that economically live underwater here that their options were either risk infection or die of starvation which brings me back to my bewilderment of the range of attitudes displayed in the US.

Even if people there want to debate the consequences of strict lockdowns, you'd think at the very least that wearing a mask outside would be the smallest, most reasonable price to pay.

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Sweep

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#23 Sweep  Moderator

Australia here, we've seen an influx of cases over the past couple of weeks in the state of Victoria and masks have been mandatory here for the last couple of weeks. When I go out running (pretty much the only time I go out these days) almost everyone is wearing a mask with very few exceptions, and it sounds like the police are being pretty aggressive when it comes to handing out fines to people who aren't compliant with the rules (which the general public seems overwhelmingly in favour of).

I think generally the Australian public has been pretty responsible, but the numbers from the past few weeks have spiraled out of control. This has been a result of people not getting tested and not quarantining; there was a startling revelation last week that 50% of the people who had got tested weren't quarantining while they waited for their results, and over the past week there's been over 200 people who, when informed via contact tracing teams that they had been exposed to a confirmed case and needed to quarantine, ignored the advice and weren't home when the police went to check on them.

They're going to get fined, and they deserve it, but the damage is done.

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arawk

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@sethmode: I hear ya...it's like herding cats. You're lucky you have small classes. I've got anywhere from 32-35 per class. My elementary is almost 1,000 kids and my junior high is a bit smaller at like 850.

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Shindig

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#25  Edited By Shindig

I wear masks when shopping and on public transport. As I work from home, that's like twice a week. I'm in a fairly rural part of the UK and not going to the office takes out most opportunities to get into town. From what I've seen, everyone seems to be complying.

Nationally, our numbers still seem to be propped up by hotspots like Leicester and Blackburn.

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Onemanarmyy

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#26  Edited By Onemanarmyy
@warpr said:
a lot less hugging and kissing cheeks in northern Europe :)

As a northern dutchie, this is so true :D And though it's probably not the main reason that we perform better than the rest of the country, i do think it's at least a factor that helped us out. Keeping 1,5M distance from other people, that's something that comes quite natural to me :)

But yeah as Warpr said, Our national stance on mouth masks is incredibly wishy-washy. Why use a mask when you can just stay 1,5M away from eachother and venues have to make sure that you can keep that distance? That's kind of the idea here it seems like. Personally i do have masks at the ready, just in case a 2nd wave hits hard. But I haven't used them yet in the rural part where i live. And i've only seen like 2 or 3 people do so far.

When Covid19 hit us at the start, the government was very focused on making sure that the scarce amount of medical mouth-masks we had, would go to the medical personnel that needed it. The general population was told that there's no need for a mask as long as you keep 1,5m distance from others and how the use of a mouth-mask didn't necessarily protect people better. Either because non-trained folk would still put their hands all over this dirty mask or they would feel boldened by their mask and therefore ignore the 1,5M distance. Or it would be too difficult to teach people how to properly put on a mask (eventhough i've straight up seen a guy do that in a talk-show nonetheless). On one hand, great that they want to make sure that healthcare workers are not running into mask shortages and can't do their job. On the other hand, it does feel like they're not telling an honest story and refuse to back down from their initial assumption that 1,5M distance is the ultimate remedy. Somewhat politically motivated perhaps.

Now slowly but surely they do acknowledge that mouth masks can help us in situations like public travel, where you can't keep that 1,5M distance. But in other situations like a football stadium or restaurant they still seem to be 100% on the social distancing hypetrain, to the point where mask-use is often not even brought up. This leads to interesting situations where they do allow some audience to be in football stadiums, but say they're not allowed to cheer or sing out loud. Instead, they should just have a buzzer with them that they can press when a goal is scored, according to the PM. The use of masks in a situation like that doesn't even get mentioned.

They also kept ignoring the notion that aerosols can stick around in indoor environments and travel through HVAC systems, effectively rendering the 1,5M distancing moot if people stick around in the same space. I do think that after the first wave mostly died down, they eventually agreed that this was a valid concern, but they haven't really changed policy regarding to this as far as i know. The initial 1,5M distance advice still rules supreme.

Personally i think the response to the virus was mostly based on the scarcity of masks instead of scientific studies. Especially when you look at all the countries around us using masks liberally. Surely they're not all wrong, right?

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Sombre

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Rural North West UK

Every single person I see out on the street is wearing a mask. Everyone in a shop has one on.

In my entire county of about 65,000 people, we've had about 200 deaths.

We're doing ok

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stantongrouse

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London here. Very few people wearing masks but I've still not been to a large supermarket yet to see what they are like for it. If I go to our little grocery shop I'll almost certainly be the only mask wearer or use the sanitiser by the door. I don't think it's anything other than other people think they're only popping in for one thing so there's no risk. The number of infections and deaths is still high but there is a definite feel here that there are more people just starting to fall back into the pre-pandemic habits. No one wears masks when out walking/exercising/meeting up in any of my local parks (but then the government haven't suggested that we do) and the giving people space when walking seems to become less of a thing too. Most nights the police have to disperse a gathering of some kind the park on my road which usually means all the rubbish just gets left there. Running in the morning has become like a crazy plague trash obstacle course.

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north6

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#29  Edited By north6

@onemanarmyy said:
@warpr said:
a lot less hugging and kissing cheeks in northern Europe :)

Personally i think the response to the virus was mostly based on the scarcity of masks instead of scientific studies. Especially when you look at all the countries around us using masks liberally. Surely they're not all wrong, right?

Yeah, this wasn't limited to your country. It wasn't even until early June that the WHO said anything other than "there is no need for healthy people to wear masks", flatly contradicting our CDC (which didn't even recommend masks until April). Granted, most places were in full lockdown then, but it was a message delivered about as poorly as can be imagined by all involved. As you say, initially it was driven by an extreme scarcity in masks, and a really confusing lack of nuance around "Just wear a cloth mask, don't hoard n95 / medical grade". It's only recently that it's turned into the most bizarre political wedge I can think of.

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SethMode

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@sombre: Deaths due to COVID-19? Because if so, that's...a lot.

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SethMode

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The mask scarcity thing seems crazy for two reasons to me: 1) it seems like ages ago because this year has felt like several in one already; and 2) I totally understand it conceptually but also can't fathom it while living somewhere that acted with basically full transparency and public interest from the word go. It makes sense though, as depressing as that is. And the misinformation that was borne from it has the potential to be a real longstanding problem, especially in countries like the US where it seems like no one knows what's going to happen next.

Just want to generally say a thank you to everyone giving perspectives on all of this. Again, anecdotal as it may be, it's really good to hear stories from different countries and areas of countries about what people are seeing and experiencing. Stay safe, everyone!

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hermes

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Uruguay here

I live in a small town that has no current active cases (that we know of) and that has relaxed stuff quite a bit. Masks in public areas are rare, but they are enforced if you enter businesses and other enclosed public areas. However, many of the younger generations are pushing their luck with it. Big groups of people, wearing no protection, and sharing straws from single drinks... To top it of, we are in winter (-5°C/23°F have become the normal here), so all kinds of respiratory viruses are running rampant. So far, we have been extremely lucky, but I fear it will explode when it catches.

The situation is different in the capital, due to a much larger population density and about 200 active cases, people are taking things more seriously.

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clagnaught

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I’m in the suburbs in the US and have been isolated in my apartment for 99% of the past 4 months. Masks are hit and miss but generally seem like a miss. I recall driving home and seeing a Home Depot, a hardware store, being surprisingly full. As I drove by, I saw people wearing a mask while looking at soil. When of the few places I went to during the lockdown was an auto parts store to buy a battery for my car. None of the store reps wore masks when I was in there. The first time other customers had masks, while the second time nobody besides me had a mask on (out of the three people in the store). The one time I went into work, I saw three people leaving / going to the gym. Nobody had masks on. I’ve been getting groceries delivered, but the one time I went into a store, it was very hit and miss. All the cashiers had masks, while maybe half of the customers did not.

My state is not the worst in terms of cases, but still, just wear a mask all. I just checked my state versus the entirety of South Korea. Assuming the numbers I looked at are accurate, your population is around 17 times what my state is, while yesterday we had 30 times more new cases than you all. In the US, our spikes are hundreds or thousands of cases. And it is largely consistent across all 50+ states and territories. (As a frame of reference, places like the US Virgin Islands are relatively low, so it’s not like every place has 1,000+ new cases a day) And still, not everybody wears a mask here.

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MobiusFun

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I live in rural Maryland. I only go out about once a week but every time I do, there's at least one person not wearing one. What surprises me more than people not wearing masks is how many people still don't understand how the masks are for protecting others and not yourself. Doing something for the safety of others is apparently a tough concept to grasp around here.

This isn't super related but, I haven't been to an eye doctor for about 5 years and wanted to get a new pair of glasses back in March. The pandemic happened so then I had to wait even longer. I was able to get an appointment with an eye doctor earlier this month. They were pretty good about keeping people 6 ft apart and even gave free masks to everyone who entered including the people who were already wearing one. But man, you know how masks make your glasses fog up all the time? Well the weird goggle device you have to look through to read tiny letters on a far wall ALSO fogs up. I'm not totally sure if some of the letters were blurry due to my eyes or the fog, lol. My new glasses let me see things far away just fine though so I think the fog wasn't too much of a factor.

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DJRebyB

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I live in the middle of Louisville, where we've seen a spike in cases over the past two weeks. A mandatory mask order for any place inside was put in place about two weeks ago. I work in the heart of downtown and mostly everyone I see is wearing a mask or has it around their neck in case they get near people, the main exceptions being teens and joggers.

My experiences outside of the city and directly surrounding areas, and have been a little different. A lot of people I played football with in high school that live in a neighboring county post noting but anti-mask memes and conspiracy theories on Facebook. I went to visit my parents who live just 20 minutes away from me, and it was like a different world with barely any masks in sight. They had me pick up a pizza and only one person had a mask out of the 10 or so people in the place.

It's hard to see it getting any better here soon with both our state fair and the Kentucky Derby coming up.

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mellotronrules

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nyc here (specifically queens- normally i'd be working and commuting to manhattan but not since march wfh).

in most professional and/or places of commerce- i see good masking. stores are requiring it and i personally haven't witnessed any karens having a blow-up (though you do see it in the news).

anecdotally though- when i take my bike out around the neighborhood for some exercise i see a lot of dopes either A) letting the mask dangle around their necks without covering their breathing holes or B) doing the 'i've got my mouth covered but my nose must be free' thing.

so i guess it's more or less decent, but by no means perfect.

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Goboard

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#37  Edited By Goboard

It took around 2-3 months into the pandemic before I started to see a majority of people wearing masks in the part of NorCal I live in. I only really go out every 2 weeks early in the morning to get groceries and that's pretty much the only time I've left the house to go anywhere. With the infrequency of my outings and the number of people I encounter the numbers only imply what is apparent from the nationwide discourse, enough people just couldn't give a shit. They could give so little of a shit that the bare minimum is too fucking much for them.

The area I live in is also one that had around 15 days of power shut-offs from Sept-Oct last year due to high winds and fears of fires caused by PG&E's abysmal management of their infrastructure. Last year I went to local coffee shops to work, but with the pandemic and lack of effort on the part of the public it's unlikely anyone will have anywhere to go and safely work when that time comes. Even if the issue is half the scale it was last year that's still well over 500k people without power, many working from home will be put in a similar position public facing workers have been in from the jump. I've seen no signs from the state that there are any plans on how to handle this, so I can't even begin to imagine how much worse that situation will make an already unfathomable one.

What gets me the most is that even when numbers climb 4-5 times where they were when shutdown began initially, the general tenor has remained the same. The scale of death, job loss, pain and trauma shows no signs of bearing any change in the weight of the moment on a vast enough number of people. Only a small amount of change in the actions they take, but none in the emotional toll. If it weren't for the BLM protesters and folks working in hospitals continuing to hold the banner of something better my ability to see any meager future would be lost.

For those who have read The Peripheral by William Gibson, the present moment really feels like it's approaching an inflection point of The Jackpot.

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imhungry

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Checking in from Singapore, masks are worn by pretty much everyone when out and about, surely helped out by the government giving out masks along with its mandate to wear them. People have definitely gotten more lax about social distancing since we moved into our 2nd phase of reopening about 6 weeks ago and you might see people neglect to put their masks back on after finishing their meal and continuing to converse unmasked but by and large the majority of people are still doing the basics like it's become second nature.

Part of being in a country that has experienced pandemics fairly recently and has a solid healthcare system that has kept Covid-19 related death rates extremely low means that while everyone is familiar with and performs basic precautions easily, there's a degree of complacency that everything will mostly shake out fine which can be dangerous.

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martyns

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Vancouver BC. Mask wearing is probably 30-40% in stores, less on the street. We've been incredibly fortunate with our cases so far (dropping as low as 5 new cases a day in the entire province), but since things have started opening there's been an uptick.

Our CDC has done a fantastic job at reacting early and decisively on a lot of matters and that's kept things where they are, but it does feel like people are getting complacent. Hopefully I'm wrong.

As an aside, they're fast tracking alcohol consumption in parks, so that's a covid win I can get on board with.

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ghost_cat

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#40  Edited By ghost_cat

@goboard: It's insane that, even with a +150k death toll, people are just going about as usual business without a care. I hope the state rolls out orders soon to fine every person outside their house without a mask on.

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riostarwind

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#41 riostarwind  Moderator

I was feeling quite crazy for a bit back when the virus first started to get serious in the US. It really seemed like me and my Dad were almost the only ones wearing masks whenever we went out. It was only after our governor decided to mandate everyone have masks indoors that it has been more consistent. At least at grocery stores everyone has their masks on now. Getting some fast food has been rather hit or miss. While not perfect the fact I see more people with masks on now is a win in my book.

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NexivSelecaf

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Nother 'Merican here.

In stores, yes. In public, 50/50, though those who don't are usually around their own homes from what I've noticed. Personally, I wear a mask if I know that I'm going to be around other people, but I don't when I'm riding my bike since I'm mainly within 6' of moving vehicles.

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ajamafalous

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I live in central Austin. I've only left my apartment a handful of times since March, but from that and from looking out my window/taking out the trash/doing laundry, I'd guess that masks are somewhere between 60 and 85%. Seems like a lot of people aren't wearing them if they're walking around/riding a bike, but when I've gone to the grocery store nearly everybody is. I believe it's currently mandated in Austin and is like a $2000 fine not to be wearing one, but it doesn't really seem to be deterring the people who are choosing not to. I live near UT and just yesterday I saw two people selling a sofa to two other people (presumably college move in/move out) and none of the four were wearing masks while buying the sofa or loading it into the truck.

I will say that I had to go to the ER last week for something non-covid related and, except for the masks and the covid test for being checked in overnight, you wouldn't have been able to tell that there was a pandemic going on. I went at like 8PM and there wasn't even another person in the waiting room when I got there.

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Kemuri07

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In the suburbs in ‘Murica . Jersey to be exact. In my neck of the woods, most people are wearing masks. Mostly because we got hit the hardest so people are still cautious.

Also our Mayors aren’t literally leading us to the slaughter.

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mikewhy

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Canada checking in. Actually, one of the Atlantic provinces. We've been doing so well that our "bubble" has expanded to 4 provinces. We get new cases once in a while, in the low-single digits, and sadly more often than not it's from someone outside of the country.

Gatherings are still limited and social distancing is still required. There are a few people that oppose the rules and masks, but they're properly shunned and ignored.

The number of people wearing masks doesn't seem that high, but we've actually just made them mandatory for indoor public spaces. It's suspected that's to normalize them, before an announcement is made that we're opening up to the rest of Canada.

All very reasonable.

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frytup

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Here in the San Francisco Bay Area the vast majority of people wear masks indoors in public spaces. In theory you're also supposed to be wearing them outside if within 6 ft of other people, but compliance there is spottier.

My county is now supposedly fining people caught not following state guidelines. I've never actually seen it enforced. Fortunately, there's very little politically-driven refusal to comply around here, but that doesn't mean some people aren't being ignorant and stupid.

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petesix0

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#47  Edited By petesix0

Here in smalltown England(pop 15-20k), people seem to be uniformly wearing masks in and around shops(Like they've been warned to), but apart from that, I've maybe seen two people who were wearing a mask outdoors. The R rate in England has been supposedly low enough to give the impression that the country can "get on it's bike again", but by and large so many seem to think it's a problem that exists elsewhere in the world. I've seen a few headlines suggesting the R and the death rate here are going back up after the easing of the lockdown, meanwhile the national government has decided the best way to handle things is by saying "New powers are being given to local government to respond to Covid"...which currently involves the press and government publicly shaming individual towns and districts for dragging the side down whenever infections flare back up.

Or as they called it, a "Wac-A-Mole strategy".

(Literally as I finished writing this it was announced that a substantial part of the north-west of England is being told they have new restrictions about meeting people who are not from their household indoors, because infections have risen.)

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TheFlamingo352

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My job took me to a lot of states a month back. Oklahoma was the least-masked place I've seen since corona hit. I'm back in NYC now though and, depending on the neighborhood, I see probably 70-90% of people wearing masks.

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Nightriff

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I'm in rural Idaho, masks are maybe 50% in my city, which is better than what it was in June.

At my work, masks are mandatory for employees but is not enforced. Several of my immediate coworkers pretty much outright refuse to wear a mask, even after asking them too.

And just today a coworker was sent home with a fever of 103 for the second consecutive day; and another, who wore a mask at least, who's family has tested positive for corona and was sent home for a 2 week quarantine.

I hope this scares the shit of my other coworkers to wear their fucking masks, but if i don't see them with masks tomorrow even after today, I'm going to HR and complaining, really tired of the selfishness of some people who are too good for masks.

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mikewhy

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@theflamingo352: That's just wild to me. For each trip to and fro a state, I'd expect you be required to have a 2-week self-quarantine. So even gong to one state and back, would require 28 days of quarantine. That you were able to visit multiple states in one month is mind-blowing.