Masks Outdoors? That’s a Hard NO.

by Kerry Dougherty

Every writer has a favorite place to sit and create.

Mine is my screened porch. Most days I grab my laptop and coffee to head outside for most of the day. I’m there now, in fact, enjoying a drizzly, warm and quiet Sunday afternoon. There are no high-spirited beachgoers walking by with kids and beach chairs today. Just unseen birds singing in the trees and the occasional dog walker sloshing by in squishy boots.

I like to watch the world while I write.

Lately, working on my porch has provided me with a new distraction: I find myself pausing numerous times a day to watch the construction of a new house just across the street. The old place that stood there for at least 75 years was charmless and dilapidated. It was razed several years ago.

In its place, a gabled, three-story home is rising. I’m in awe of the skill it takes to build such a structure.

Since early spring, that property has been buzzing with workers. First there were the guys pouring the foundation, then the framers, the electricians, the carpenters and the roofers. I watched men blowing in insulation one day. Guys installing windows the next.

And I think of these hard-working men — skilled and unskilled — every time I hear Joe Biden mindlessly yapping about a “national mask mandate” — and the need for everyone in America to wear a mask outside for “at least” the next three months.

That’s insane.

Folks who work outside in the elements should not be forced into masks. In fact, no one should be ordered into a face covering while out of doors.

It’s unhealthy and in summer months it would be torture.

Virginia Beach just experienced the hottest July since 1993, with at least four consecutive days of temps above 100. The mercury has been bouncing between 90 and 95 almost every single day.

Yet the roofers next door were hard at work in the most punishing heat. Add a mask to that task and it would become unbearable and dangerous for men on ladders.

Suddenly Biden, a man who’s spent his entire life leisurely working in comfy air-conditioned, taxpayer-funded offices, believes it’s good public policy for roofers, lifeguards, letter carriers, game wardens, road construction crews and other outdoor workers to be wearing face coverings in blistering temperatures.

Nonsense. These workers aren’t sick. They aren’t making anyone else sick. They’re generally not in close proximity to other people while diligently performing their tasks.

Ordering them to wear masks smacks of some sort of creepy government experiment in social control rather than public health policy.

Biden keeps parroting some “experts” — perhaps the same discredited knobheads who predicted 2.2 million deaths in the U.S. if we didn’t shut it all down back in March — who claim that if everyone in the country wore a mask all the time for three months it would save 40,000 lives.

Clever. That prediction impossible to prove or disprove. And if you argue against it, the mask cultists accuse you of not taking the virus seriously. Or not caring about others.

You know what, I’ll risk that accusation. Masks outside ought to be a hard NO.

Two weekends ago Biden was photographed bike riding with a couple of aides. For reasons known only to the former vice president, Biden neglected to wear the one piece of equipment that might protect him while biking — a helmet — and was the only member of his little band wearing a face mask.

Yep, outside on a beautiful day.

That’s either virtue signaling or a fear so irrational that it’s devoured whatever was left of Biden’s common sense.

Let me be clear, I don’t care if Joe Biden or other terrified people want to wear masks every time they step into the fresh air.

But stop trying to force the rest of the country into this sort of moronic behavior.

This column was republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.

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38 responses to “Masks Outdoors? That’s a Hard NO.

  1. I agree with Kerry in principle — no outdoor mask mandates.

    As an anecdotal point of reference, though, I would observe that the landscape crews hired by my neighborhood’s HOA requires everyone to wear masks. Not just masks but long sleeves, long pants and hoods. I’ve often wondered how they bear it in the heat. But they do. On the other hand, that’s a decision made by their employer, the landscaping company, not the government.

  2. Totally. There is no way in Hades I would take a chance on it with breathing problems either.

  3. Well, I just heard Trump on Fox claiming it was his brilliant idea to shut it all down and without that it would be ten times worse, so perhaps he listened to the same knucklehead experts. Everybody is so fluid it makes the head spin.

    But agreed, the best evidence is that unless you are standing two feet from somebody for an extended period or in a packed crowd, there is little reason to believe the virus will spread while outside. However, the polling I’ve seen (some not public) indicates the fear level is still high and the vast majority of voters agree with Biden. So this is very much in line with political science.

  4. FWIW: My nephew works in the construction industry. He works indoors and outdoors. Fortunately he has been able to continue working throughout the pandemic–EXCEPT when he developed COVID-19 symptoms and tested positive. He was exposed on the job by co-workers under his supervision who commuted together to and from work and didn’t wear masks. During an inside inspection meeting to review their work he didn’t ask them to do so; apparently the company had no mask policy. His mother had been watching his kids and was tested because of underlying medical issues; she had similar symptoms but tested negative. Both families self-quarantined for the 14-day period. The employer wanted my nephew to take vacation days for his absence. My sister no longer tends to her grandchildren and other caregivers had to be found.

    There are no good answers to this dilemma and many others that Covid-19 has presented. Fortunately, this situation did not result in hospitalization or death for anyone with whom my nephew came in contact, nor in other known affected persons (by him). But it could have turned out quite differently.

    I can’t agree with “These workers aren’t sick. They aren’t making anyone else sick. They’re generally not in close proximity to other people while diligently performing their tasks.”

    Government mandate is one thing. Personal responsibility is another.

    • JALGT, Thanks for sharing your nephew’s experience. All evidence, even anecdotal, is useful in helping us understand what we’re dealing with. However, from your nephew’s account, the problem wasn’t the lack of an on-the-job mask mandate — it was workers failing to wear masks while commuting to work!

  5. Yeah, I agree. I don’t give a razzass about my fellow countrymen, either. I refuse to take even the slightest lifesaving measures.

    Hell, I didn’t buy War Bonds in 1943; why should I wear a mask while walking around the block now? Nuke ’em all.

    BTW, isn’t that an easy no for you?

    • You’ve got zero evidence of outdoor spread. That’s fear porn. It’s deeply embedded, of course, but without any basis. Now we know how this spreads. Indoors, we wear the masks. We don’t eat inside restaurants yet, and I’m not going into a movie, for example. I’m showing plenty of consideration for others, Nancy Boy.

      • Hey, cheaper than dropping a buck in the collection plate or wearing an American flag lapel pin and has the same proven effect. If Trump asked that we wear masks (fat chance), I would do it.

        But don’t sweat it. Responsibility ends at what is admissible in court and causality of infection has a high bar.

  6. I try to wear the mask on the narrower bike/jogging path. Some do, many don’t.

    • Lots of walkers out in this area every day (when no downpours). I saw masks in April, but haven’t seen one on a sidewalk since May. At the Y almost daily and inside the workout areas, few masks, and not on the machines or while pushing the weights. It’s working out just fine. Heading out, we don the mask until we’re in the parking lot. Easy peezy.

      • re: ” At the Y almost daily and inside the workout areas, few masks, and not on the machines or while pushing the weights. ”

        that seems counter to your other views about masks and their use in congregate venues… no?

        • My consistent advice to all is to follow the rules or advice being given, and in VA at this point you need not wear a mask when exercising if social distancing is maintained. There at the Y that is ten feet, and most machines are not available.

          • I cannot imagine a more unsafe condition than being indoors with a bunch of sweating and heavy breathing people – it actually sounds worse than a bar………

            I know we all pick our compromises but this one seems to contradict all the others…

  7. I wear a mass inside any building, except in my office, where I usually keep the door closed. I also put on a mask when a repair person has come to our house. I carry a mask but don’t wear it when I’m walking. Most people don’t; some do. Most people try to distance themselves when meeting on sidewalks or paths.

    I don’t pay attention to Trump on COVID-19 matters, including masks. Nor would I listen to Joe Biden. He’s probably the dumbest person to run for national office and, on top of that, the poor soul is afflicted by dementia. I would seriously consider listening to Kanye West on masks but wouldn’t necessarily follow his advice.

  8. Lyndon Johnson once said that Gerald Ford played too much football without a helmet. Maybe Biden has taken too many bike rides without a helmet. If elected, what will the over / under bet be for how long Biden serves as president? I give him less than a year before he resigns for health issues or is removed through invocation of the 25th amendment. And anyone who doubts whether Kamela Harris would initiate a 25th amendment proceeding to take power hasn’t been paying attention. The problem arises if Biden doesn’t agree that he is unable to perform the duties of the presidency. In that case the matter goes to both the House and Senate which have to vote to remove him with 2/3rds of the members voting for removal. While the democrats may control both houses nobody thinks they will have 2/3rds of the votes in both houses. So it could come down to a Republican minority deciding whether Loopy Joe or Comrade Kamela would be the lesser evil.

    The question of Biden’s cognitive ability is legitimate and the democrats certainly seem to be trying to keep him under wraps and away from the cameras. According to a Rasmussen poll 52% of voters either think Biden has dementia or don’t know vs 48% who say he is not senile.

    Are the democrats so callous toward the United States that they would knowingly run a candidate who has diminished mental capacity? As far as I know dementia isn’t reversible. It doesn’t get better. It only gets worse. If Joe Biden has obviously diminished mental capacity would the democrats knowingly lead America into a constitutional crisis instead of pulling their candidate now?

    Biden has been asked about his mental acuity. He responded, “I’ve been tested. I’ve been tested constantly.” Where was he tested and what were the results? Why is he being constantly tested?

    If Biden is elected and it becomes obvious that he suffers from rapidly declining cognitive ability how will that impact Virginia? How might such a situation affect the 2021 Virginia governor’s race and House of Delegates election? I have to believe that a lot of Americans would be very upset and angry if they come to believe that the democrats ran a candidate for president who was not capable of fully performing the duties of the office.

    • If we are going to rely on polls to judge a candidate’s mental fitness, here is one that says not only that voters view Biden as more mentally fit than Trump, but that less than half view Trump as mentally fit.

      I really think asking lay people if someone is senile is irresponsible. That is a medical judgment. My late mother-in-law used to say my father-in-law had “hardening of the arteries” (local term for senility). It turned out she was saying that every time he would not do what she wanted him to.

      • Biden claims he is “constantly tested”. Great. What are the results? In the same Rasmussen poll 61% of respondents said it was important for Biden to publicly address the issue. There is nothing irresponsible about wanting to know if the man or woman in control of America’s nuclear arsenal is mentally competent.

        You can’t watch the man without wondering if he’s all there. If he won’t provide an independent medical opinion on his mental capacity then he should expect people to form their own opinions.

    • My prediction:

      If he becomes president, Joe Biden will resign after two years and one day in office. That will allow his VP to have a chance of being president for 10 years (less one day) instead of the normal 8 years of a two term president.

  9. ‘knobhead’ predictions: it won’t come here; it’s not that bad; masks are not needed; 2.2M deaths; it will burn out this summer; it will be the worst fall in God’s history; masks are needed during sex; eggs are bad for you; eggs are good for you; life is dangerous

  10. Kerry Dougherty here has written a brilliant article. Her tale is a perfect metaphor for the quality of today’s ruling liberal elite.

    For example:
    “I really think asking lay people if someone (running for President of the United States under the mantle of one of the two major political parties) is senile is irresponsible.”

    • Right, we should just do as they say and worry about their senility later.

      USVI closed again. Dammit. Weren’t we told by one of those non-senile candidates that it goes away in warm weather?

  11. “It’s a matter of personal choice!”

    Yeah, like employees washing their hands after using the restroom.

  12. Geeze – this post from Kerry is tepid… Kerry-lite!

    I walk almost every day – an hour – which doesn’t seem long but it’s a L O N G time… and I pass a number of folks – some with dogs – some with friendly dogs that like to be petted and some with nasty dogs who will much enjoy giving you tetanus.. but I digress.. not a single person, nor their dogs wear masks. I cannot imagine trying to wear a mask during any kind of aerobic exercise to be honest which is the reason I’d never visit a gym these days.

  13. In terms of “sleepy Joe” – mentally deficient or not – it’s Trump election to lose – and Joe and Harris are on a wing and a prayer… that only succeeds if Trump scares off others – which he is entirely capable of – given his ignorance and willingness to just ignore the SCOTUS and run slap over Congress… the many will turn the country into a 3rd world country where he controls the military as well as the Post Office and anything and everything else he can get control of.

    Some folks want this. Others, including some GOP are totally weirded out by it.

    So, with 330 million folks, we are down to two for POTUS and the vote is for the opponent of who you like least. We’re in a world of hurt.

    • “So, with 330 million folks, we are down to two for POTUS and the vote is for the opponent of who you like least. We’re in a world of hurt.”

      I agree with that.

      I’ve also always wondered about Reagan’s second term. Was he beginning to shows signs of mental decline? While there was no medical diagnosis some people felt there were signs. And Ronald Reagan was 78 on his last day in office at the end of his second term. Joe Biden would be 78 on the first day in office of his first term.

  14. In the end – we used to be able to say that voters would decide.

    no more….

  15. Universities are having to deal with large outdoor parties without social distancing and with masks not being worn. Locally, large outdoor events, think Boardwalk Art Show and the like, are being cancelled for the same concerns. How would Kerry react if she was surrounded by a sizeable mask-less group on the boardwalk wanting to talk or get an odd autograph? Masks are appropriate outside when social distancing can not be maintained. Kerry politicizes everything and is not impressed by 170K American deaths. Maybe we should check with her this fall when the number reaches a quarter of a million.

    • If you’re uncomfortable with the behavior of the individuals around you, you’re free to leave.

      Can you define irony, if not just look at your statement.

      “Kerry politicizes everything and is not impressed by 170K American deaths. Maybe we should check with her this fall when the number reaches a quarter of a million.”

      You accuse someone else of making something political when you just made it political.

  16. Nothing really better illustrates the “it’s only outdoors” argument than professional and collegiate sports from a spectator point of view.

    Notice that Kerry is not making that outdoor venue her issue.

    why not?

    If spectators are outdoors then what’s the problem?

    If amusement parks are “outdoors” then again, what’s the issue?

    • You are attending those locations because of your own personal choice. You’ve weighed the options and determined under your own decision making process that you still wish to partake even with higher risks associated.

      The masks are to be worn when social distancing cannot be achieved.

      • You can jump out of a perfectly functioning airplane in the hope that a re-purposed bedsheet will deploy and break your fall sufficiently to live.

        You can jump off a cliff with an oversized rubber band tied to your ankle in the hope that the cord will tighten before you bash your brains out on the ground below.

        As long as you know the risks you should be able to drink in bars or attend crowded parties.

        Have you ever wondered why kamikaze pilots wore helmets? Presumably because the emperor told them to do so.

  17. Is the issue risk to you or risk to others?

  18. Five words: Republican, Texas, Governor, Executive, Order

    “Every person in Texas shall wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public, or when in an outdoor public space, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household;”

    Two more words: Herman, and Cain

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