What really happens

So about these people staging anti-mask rebellions at Trader Joe’s and similar – we’re getting some contradictory instructions on the subject.

The mask FAQ for King County, Washington, where Seattle is, is one source of such contradictory instructions.

Question one:

When am I required to wear a face covering?

You must wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth in an indoor public setting and at outdoor public spaces where it is difficult to maintain six feet of physical distance at all times. This means you don’t need to wear a face covering when you’re outside walking, but you would be directed to wear one while at a farmers market or visiting a crowded park where social distancing is not possible to maintain. You are directed to wear a cloth face covering for the entire duration of the time you’re in either of those settings.

Question eight:

What do I do if I see someone not wearing a face covering, even though they should be?

Nothing. Some people have conditions or circumstances that would make wearing a cloth face covering difficult or dangerous. Just wear your mask and stay six feet away.

But I can’t stay six feet away. That’s the whole point. We’re told to wear them “in an indoor public setting and at outdoor public spaces where it is difficult to maintain six feet of physical distance at all times” so it’s no good telling us to stay six feet away when we’re talking about places where, as you say yourselves, it is difficult to maintain six feet of physical distance at all times – like busy grocery stores, like Trader Joe’s.

So what if we’re in a crowded grocery store, or on a bus, and there are people blithely brushing against us while not wearing masks? Are we really required to assume that all of them “have conditions or circumstances that would make wearing a cloth face covering difficult or dangerous” and that they have to be inside Trader Joe’s or the bus and that we don’t get to tell them to back off or put on a mask?

It makes no sense. By this standard the Trader Joe’s workers who were trying to persuade the angry woman to (wear a mask? leave? stop shouting in people’s faces while not wearing a mask inside a store with a clearly stated rule that masks are required?) were misbehaving?

It makes no sense.

There’s also question four:

Do I need to wear a face covering on buses?

Yes, King County now requires individuals to wear face coverings while riding King County Metro buses. Metro operators will not prevent passengers without face coverings from boarding, but recorded reminders will play on the vehicle’s public address system informing riders of the face covering policy. Security officers will communicate public health guidance to riders who are not wearing a face covering or staying apart from other passengers.

Nonsense. None of that happens. People without face coverings board and none of that happens. No reminders play on the vehicle’s public address system informing riders of the face covering policy. No security officers are present.

None of this adds up.

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