‘Rona Virus – Face Masks – When and Where to Wear

Wearing a Face Mask. This is still a matter of choice in many parts of the world, though there are places that have made it mandatory under certain circumstances. There does seem to be agreement that home made masks will not block the entry of a virus. These masks might, however, reduce virus spread by asymptomatic carriers. The effectiveness depends on the mask material, how well it fits, and the competence of the user. Social distancing is still considered to be the best way to prevent the virus from spreading.

The best article I have found to date, that discusses masks, is this one: Understanding Health Canada’s advice about Wearing Masks in Public. (Read the Author’s About page if you would like to know Blair King’s credentials.) He discusses Conscientious Mask Wearers, Conscientious Non-Mask Wearers, and Non-Conscientious Mask Wearers.

Wear a mask when you can’t social distance but when in public at a safe social distance it is just as safe to not wear masks. To be clear, if you see me on a bus; I will be wearing a mask. If the store asks me to wear a mask; I will wear a mask because that is store policy. But in situations where I can safely social distance, I will follow our health professionals’ advice and keep my hands to myself while keeping a safe social distance and not wear a mask.
– Blair King, Understanding Health Canada’s advice about wearing masks in public

Of course, this is one man’s opinion and it might not mesh with everything you have read in your preferred mass media or what your friends tell you on social media. So be it. Mask wearing is still a choice in most situations. It is not the right or responsibility for any of us to comment on or shame others for the choice they have made. (This topic is discussed at ‘Behind the Mask’ at the blog ‘A Life Well Lived’.)

I’ll end this with a story that shows how hard it is to know what to believe these days – even when you get information ‘straight from the horses mouth’!

When we were getting ready to drive from Arizona to Alberta, I read mass media stories about states closing their borders. So I researched the entry/exit rules for the three states we would be driving through – Utah, Idaho and Montana. Each state website talked about 14 day quarantines if you entered the state, but that didn’t apply to visitors who were only going to drive through the state. Overnight stays were allowed too, as long as they weren’t in parks that had been closed. We were good to go for that part of the trip.

Then there was the Canadian website (returning Canadians without symptoms section). It said “You must wear a non-medical mask or face covering while traveling to the place you will quarantine (self-isolate). Go directly to your place of quarantine, without stopping anywhere, and stay there for 14 days.”

Hmmm. We had our own vehicle, we had masks… but why would we need to wear them in our car for a 4 hour drive? What if we needed gas or a bathroom break?

Fortunately, the people who write these things aren’t the people who greet you at the border and let you into the country. It was a normal border crossing, with a short discussion about Covid and some questions about where we were going to stay during quarantine. Last, but not least, we were told we MUST put on a mask IF we had to stop before we got home.

So, which mask type are you?

10 thoughts on “‘Rona Virus – Face Masks – When and Where to Wear

  1. I have made some masks for our local hospital and I also made them for people who asked (such as my parents who are in their 80s). I have not worn one when shopping yet….but I do try to maintain a distance from people. (Some because I don’t want to be glared at.)
    I have a niece who is a nurse….she was told by the head nurse that people who wear masks but do not cover their nose with them don’t make sense. Her head nurse went on to say that wearing a mask that way is rather like wearing a condom with the end cut off. That one made me laugh ….a lot! Every time I see someone wearing a mask without their nose covered I now, think of that statement. They probably wonder why I am grinning like an idiot!

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    1. Like you, I do not wear a mask when shopping. If I can’t social distance then I just stay away. Of course, the circumstances here in Alberta are much different than the circumstances in large metro areas. Hopefully those who do wear masks do not become militant about it with people who don’t wear a mask.

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  2. I’m all in on wearing masks if required. I’m just tired of people telling me I should keep doing it after the pandemic is over.


    1. There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to masks – everyone should have the right to do what is best for them and the people they come in contact with.

      Personally, I don’t care if I do get Covid – there are only a few outcomes and I’m not afraid of any of them. The one thing I don’t want to be doing for the next few years is living in constant fear of something that is driven by the hysterics of mass media coupled with government control.


  3. Not many people out our way are wearing masks in stores, etc. (we’ve had very few positive cases in the region and none is our area). I pull on a stretchy bandana-style wrap (it goes around my neck) whenever I go out, just in case its required. My husband keeps a medical-style mask in the car (in case the Beer Store requires it. LOL!) I suspect I’d be more tempted to wear one if I was going into the ‘city’, but right now our rural area doesn’t seem to require them.


    1. I pretty much discount the hysteria over ‘cases’. Deaths are a better indicator of what is going on – except we know that many countries count deaths ‘with covid’ and ‘from covid’ as the same thing. It is going to be months and months before we have a firm idea of risk, though from what I’m seeing – advanced age with comorbidities – and living in a care facility – is where the bulk of the damage was done in Canada.

      We’ve been shopping at the local grocery and hardware stores without masks too. They all have a social distancing protocol that works just fine.


  4. I’m pretty much in line with Blair King’s quote. I wear a mask if it’s required or when social distancing is difficult. Though lately I also wear a mask in any store that requires their employees to wear them. It’s my little act of solidarity with them.


    1. All very sensible Christie… sorry – Christi. My daughter is Christie, so I just want to put an ‘e’ on the end.
      I have not worn a mask yet… but we don’t really go much further than the local grocery store, hardware store and our GP’s. Of course, we are visibly seniors – I haven’t paid attention to what reaction that gets from mask wearers. Either they think we are nuts for not wearing a mask or too senile to know we should, I suppose.

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