Defusing the culture war over masks outdoors

Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an update to their coronavirus masking guidance. Fully vaccinated people can now go maskless outdoors, apart from in crowds, and even people who aren’t fully vaccinated can exercise maskless outdoors alone or with their household. Everyone should continue to mask in indoor settings. President Biden announced the changes at an outdoor press conference. He walked up to the lectern masked; when a reporter asked what message he was trying to send, Biden grinned and said he wanted people to watch him take his mask off and not put it back on til he got inside. The update was anticipated, but it was nonetheless a big story, and there was no shortage of takes (and jokes) among journalists. “If even one of you tries to write a ‘Why I Miss Masks’ essay for The Atlantic,” the journalist Laura Bassett warned, “I’m going to launch myself into the sun.” The need (or not) to wear masks outdoors has been a subject of media coverage—and impassioned debate—for a while now. Last weekend, Shannon Palus, science editor at Slate, made the case that it’s time to end the practice, because “evidence shows that being outdoors is very, very safe.” Numerous medical experts agreed, but some readers vehemently did not; one Twitter user commented that Palus has “blood on her hands.” The debate continued yesterday on either side of the announcement. “This is a good thing,” Joe Scarborough said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, of the anticipated... Continue reading at 'Columbia Journalism Review'

[ Columbia Journalism Review | 2021-04-28 12:29:35 UTC ]
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