Do you still mask?

We stopped generally masking early this year, but as holidays approached we’ve started again in an attempt to be healthy for family events. With kids it takes at least 3 weeks for us to clear even a cold out of the family.

No, not really, not unless it’s required or I know I’m sick. I have chronic sinusitis so it can be hard to tell sometimes. I am fully vaxed and so I don’t worry for myself too much anymore.

I often mask, but not always. Now that it is cold outside it is actually quite pleasant. I mask in shops and public transport, including planes and airports, and when I feel it getting too crowded. So I voted yes, personal preference, though it is not really correct.

I put no. Obviously, I’ll mask when it’s required (doctors, vets, dentists, PT) and I’ll put on a mask if someone asks me to.

It still bugs the heck out of me at, say physical therapy where masks are required, when I’m all masked up and others are wearing it below their nose or, worse, as a chin diaper. If the facility is going to require it, they should enforce it.

Me, too.

Well, maybe for you. It’s a choice. You don’t have to go naked-faced just because most of the people around you have made that choice.


I have a whole mask wardrobe, now. N95 masks for when i feel at higher risk, or when I’ll be wearing a mask for hours (the bands across the back of the head don’t stress the ears.) Patterned kf94 masks for a high degree of protection with easy on and off. And hey, sometimes they match my shirt. White kf94 masks to give away when someone near me wants one. Larger kf94s that i bought when i was looking for a good fit, that i also give away. Some nice large comfy surgical masks that feel too valuable to part with, but I’ll probably never use. The expensive reusable n90 mask i wore when it was hard to get good disposables. (It has a very tight fit, and may give better protection than the others. But it’s less comfortable.)

I get that they are uncomfortable if you are sweating a lot (although i wear a mask when i dance), but in an air conditioned supermarket, i barely notice it.

We are fully Covid vaxxed, along with flu and pneumonia, so our answer is no at this time, though I had to mask at a medical facility I visited recently. However, we continue to exercise caution by avoiding retail and grocery stores during busy times, especially places that allow little space between shoppers and have inadequate air circulation.

Flu cases are on the rise in our area, and we have noticed a lot more people masking lately. The one time we let our guard down and went to a restaurant, a couple of months ago, my wife came down with something (not Covid) that lasted several weeks, though I was unaffected.

I’m fully vaccinated and boostered, so I don’t mask anymore. However, I will make an exception to that if I have to be around someone who is for any reason more vulnerable than the average person. For example, I have a friend whose daughter is fighting cancer. I absolutely will do anything to protect her!

I currently have some kind of nasty cold / flu / covid, so when I recently went to buy a covid test kit and various essentials, I wore a mask.
I’m not sure this fits the general practice question of the OP, so I didn’t answer the poll.

I voted medical necessity, but it’s a combination of that and personal preference. I have multiple risk factors, but am not immunocompromised and am fully vaxxed including boosters. I’m not sure whether I’d be masking if I were 30 and healthy; but I might be.

I briefly stopped masking in the summer of ‘21, then started again when it became clear that vaccines are only partial protection (though a whole lot better than not being vaccinated.) I no longer mask outside, though I would if requested – I have a mask handy at outdoor farmers’ market and actively offer to mask if someone comes up to the stand wearing a mask; and I’d mask outdoors if the area were crowded, but that’s not a situation that comes up much in my life. I don’t mask indoors in very small groups of people I know and trust; but I do mask indoors in public places, which has become unusual around here but not extraordinary.

I also avoid crowded places in general, avoid large gatherings, eating indoors at restaurants even if not crowded, and so on. My family, which is scattered across multiple states, is having holidays partially by Zoom this year, and that’s how I’ll be joining them.

ETA: at this point I think I’m more concerned about long covid than about short-term hospitalization or death. I’m having trouble managing my workload in my current physical condition, and that’s unlikely to improve. I really can’t afford to add more problems on top.

I’ve pretty much stopped masking except where required. I always have one in my pocket, and will put it on once in a great while. But generally, no.

I just got off the subway (NYC). Moderately crowded, only two-three people in each car I was in were masked. I was in Venice and Milan a couple of weeks ago, and saw very few masks in either airport, in the cities themselves, or on Trenitalia trains. That’s been the case in NYC and everywhere else I’ve been (only California and Massachusetts, actually). I stopped masking last summer, and haven’t been infected yet, although exposed multiple times that I know of.

Basically, I’m fully vaccinated (a total of four Moderna shots, plus the pfizer omicron booster. That’s five separate shots), I’ve had Covid (Delta variant). I’ve had my flu shot. My estimate of the actual risk, and actual real-world efficacy of masking makes this seem reasonable to me. (But that’s me and me alone! I certainly respect others’ decisions).

When I think I will have sustained exposure in an indoor setting. So Court. Otherwise no.

I’d have a hard time finding a mask these days. I think there’s probably a few in my car somewhere. Most days I don’t see anyone wearing a mask. Sometimes, one or two people. We eat at restaurants, and do everything else we did pre-covid. I’ll confess I had to double check the date as I started reading this thread. At an office holiday party last week, there were three or four people wearing masks, but most were not. (a few employees stayed home because they were sick with Covid)

Covid is definitely still making the rounds, but almost no one is masking.

I see a certain likely connection between few people wearing masks at your office and multiple employees being ill with covid, probably on any given day.

Is the assumption simply that everybody’s going to get it occasionally, but nobody expects either to get significantly sick or to have significant long-term effects?

That’s my assumption, Although I’m certainly aware it could be worse. People seem to prefer returning to normalcy with the risk over masking and other precautions to reduce (but not eliminate) the risk. If it was as clear cut as “wear a mask and you won’t get COVID” then it might be different. When I got COVID (Sept 2021) I had been wearing a mask everywhere for around a year.

Since the Danish health authorities don’t think it’s neccesary, I don’t. Should I be somewhere where it is mandated, I will of course wear one.
Voted no.

No. I’m vaccinated and had two boosters (including the super-duper new-and-improved booster this past fall), so I’m not so worried about contracting or spreading the virus anymore.

No. I got covid in September and felt all “super immune” for a couple months, until I got my latest booster last week. Now I’m like…do I feel even more super immune or what? I was wearing masks in crowded places up until I got it. I think I got it at a bar, where it’s tricky to stay masked if you’re trying to eat and drink.

I see some other people wearing masks and for some reason I feel jealous? I know I have the choice to wear one if I want, but I decide not to wear one. I should really just stay home.

I chose no, because 99.9% of the time we’re not masking. We’re all vaccinated and as boosted as we can be, and we all had COVID in either May or July. At this point, according to the public health officials and even my personal doctor, there’s no need to mask up at this point since community spread is low, and we’ve done what we can- it’s basically in the same sort of category as the flu- something we will just periodically get from now on.

That said, my FIL has severe pulmonary issues and COVID would likely do him in, so when we’re going to visit him, we typically mask up for a week or two ahead of time, and do our COVID tests before visiting.

Otherwise, the only time we’d mask might be somewhere extremely public like an airport, or if we ourselves are sick. I had what I think might have been RSV in November, and wore a mask when out in public since I coughed for nearly 4 weeks.

I chose “no” as the closest option to my real-life situation. But there are exceptions. I do wear a mask:

  • In healthcare settings where a mask is required
  • Visiting elderly relatives
  • In a dense indoor crowd setting (rare for us)

One thing for me that really turned the page on mask-wearing was when the guidance went from “top-end well-fit cloth masks are reasonably effective” to “N95 or don’t bother”. I had found N95s too expensive (and generally too difficult, online ordering notwithstanding) to source reliably. I got nice cloth masks from my work gratis, and those helped keep me COVID-free for nearly two years. Once cloth masks were pooh-poohed, and our governor lifted indoor mask mandates (March 2022), I committed myself to leaving masking behind in settings where I could reduce my risk otherwise (e.g. avoiding dense crowds).

I can see, for example, that people in different areas reckon grocery store and retail risk differently. Here in suburbia, grocery stores are huge and you rarely need to shop in a dense crowd situation. Most retail is not too different, and I don’t frequent tight, intimate broom-closet shops. I understand that the calculus will be different in dense downtown urban areas.

Public transportation is not a thing – so no crowded subways, buses, or trains. Restaurants? We go out way less than in 2019, but when we do we go when it’s slow, or seek to sit outside. 9 out of 10 places out here don’t seat people all that close together, anyhow – I don’t feel at particular COVID risk in a 1/4 full restaurant where the nearest patrons are several paces away.

I think that’s certainly the case where I am. Everyone is 4 x vaxxed, and have switched brains to regarding it as similar to getting a bad cold or flu - stuff that happens sometimes. TBH, the one time I did get covid, it wasn’t as bad as the cold I currently have.