Day 3: Are you really wearing that mask while you walk?

I would like to address something that I’ve been asked: “Are you wearing the mask all the time on the walk?” The answer is most definitely “Yes!”If there is absolutely no one in sight, I might take it down off my nose a bit, but it goes right back up again when I see people.

This is NOT out of paranoia – It is out of respect for the law and for all the people around me.

  1. Wearing a mask while out in public and potentially coming into close contact with other people is now required in most areas of Southern California: https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Mandatory-face-masks-Southern-California-new-laws-15203484.php  
  2. I agree 100% with Dr. Sanjay Gupta MD who says- “Everyone should assume that they have the virus and are able to give it to others.”

So, while I am fairly certain that I do not have COVID-19, I wear the mask nonetheless out of respect for and to protect other people.  I can tell you that most of the hundreds of people I saw out at the coast yesterday were NOT observing social distancing and very few were wearing masks!  ☹
As a medical professional, this is very disturbing to see, since it means that my hospital as well as all the others in the area will soon be flooded again with the next wave of COVID-19 patients in the coming weeks.

Just to be clear: the mask I am wearing on the walk is not an N-95 respirator mask – I wear paper masks or the cloth one in the photo above that my sister Veronica sewed for me with golf images on it. 🙂

Maybe being a surgeon, it just doesn’t feel as strange to me to wear a mask as it may feel to others.
In addition, I have found several other benefits to wearing the mask while walking:

  1. not having to breathe the full extent of car exhaust,
  2. not having to breathe all the pollen this spring (I have mild asthma / reactive airways!)
  3. AND it keeps my air humidified which actually makes the breathing easier!

So, yes, I am wearing a mask outdoors on my walks – not just for photo ops, not to fuel anyone’s fears or to make any political statements — but because it is the right thing to do, legally, socially and for my own comfort and well-being!  So, even if it looks goofy, I like it and I will continue to wear it!!

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