Forced to Wear Mask Outdoors

By | 24/10/2020

Switzerland is currently toying with the idea of forcing people to wear masks outdoors but it’s not clear whether this would be for cities or whether it would be for villages and even rural walks. If the obligation to wear a mask at all times is enacted then I have two reactions.

The first is that I never leave the house without a mask and that I wear it when I am forced to walk within a few meters of people. Since the end of March I have been staying as far away from people as possible, which is how I discovered all my new walks.

The second reaction is that wearing a mask outdoors in a city makes sense. It doesn’t make sense when you’re out for a two to three hour walk along main roads where you rarely cross paths with anyone. To be forced to wear a mask even when we are kilometres from any other human would really suck. I know it’s not a scientific term, but that’s a step too far.

No one had to say “Don’t socialise, don’t meet friends, don’t go to restaurants, don’t go to pubs, bars or nightclubs.” No one had to say “Walk along rural paths where no one else walks to avoid any and all human contact”. These are things I did of my own free will. It’s not easy, but the documentaries I have watched and the books and articles I have read make this logical.

If I have to wear a mask for the entirety of my three hour walks where my exposure to others may last half a minute or less then I will be quite disappointed. The reason for that disappointment is that we would never breath fresh air if this rule was enacted. We would always breath mask air. We will suffer from Vitamin D as a result of not getting any exposure to sunlight and we will fall sick, for a new reason.

From what I understand in the Le Temps article this will not include my cherished quiet walking routes, luckily. I will have to keep hoping for rain as the only valid reason for indoor training. 😉 (I know an ascii wink is not good form, but I want you to know this is meant to be taken as a joke.)

For Context Switzerland, yesterday, became world leader in highest percentage increase in the number of new cases. “C’est en tout cas le pays qui compte la plus forte augmentation de nouveaux cas de Covid-19 ces 7 jours: +106%,” Within this context Switzerland must take rapid and immediate action to get the number of new cases per day back in control.

“Reduce your contacts by half”

For those who understand French this article presents the situation.

The three points of the article are:

  • The situation is similar to how it was on the 16th of March.
  • only semi-confinement helped to reduce the number of new cases.
  • If the measures were taken today it would take three to four weeks for things to get back under control.

For months I have been saying that people need to take responsibility and that everyone has to do everything possible to reduce the risk of propagation of this virus, and as we see from the current crop of articles the scientific and medical communities say the same thing.

It’s a shame that ordinary people need to be confined for a pandemic to be controlled and then contained. It’s a shame that people can’t take a one or two month break from socialising during a pandemic to get life to return to normal as soon as possible.

The Guardian Article: Inside the Airline Industry Meltdown is an interesting article that looks at the growing number of planes that are being mothballed until better times come, about the removal from service of 30 aircrafts from a single airline etc.

source: https://www.corona-data.ch/ accessed on 24/10/2020

Switzerland got down to 11 new cases per day in June. Yesterday there were 6600 new cases.

Daily Percentage of Positive Tests and Daily Tests per 10’000 (Last 7 Days)
Source: https://www.corona-data.ch/ accessed on 24/10/2020
Newly Reported Cases per Canton
Source: https://www.corona-data.ch/ accessed on 24/10/2020

The amplitude of the second wave is much greater than the first as we can see from the graph above.

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