SAN DIEGO — News 8 continues to receive viewer questions about the mandatory mask rules in effect in San Diego County.
County officials said everyone needs to wear a face covering when out in public and when they come within six feet of someone who is not living in their own household.
We’ve also received a lot of emails questioning why people wear masks below their noses. It defeats the purpose.
It can be uncomfortable to keep a mask around your neck with a mask that has elastic loops around your ears. Some people simply pull the mask down below their noses, for comfort sake, and then pull it up whenever someone walks by, within six feet.
Several News 8 viewers wanted information on N95 respirators with exhale valves. A respirator mask does a great job of protecting the person wearing it, but it does not filter air coming out of the exhale valve.
So, if the person wearing the mask has COVID-19, they could infect other people by breathing out. In fact, N95 respirator masks with valves were banned in the Bay Area for this very reason.
It is, however, important for everybody to wear masks. A new mathematical study out of UC Berkeley suggests that if 80% of Americans wore masks, COVID-19 infections would plummet, as reported by Vanity Fair online.
We should also remember that some people are unable wear masks for medical reasons.
Oceanside resident, Chris Shideler, was one of several News 8 viewers who emailed saying they have obtained medical exemptions from wearing a mask in stores.
“It blocks my lower peripheral vision so that I can't see my feet, and I become a trip-and-fall hazard,” said Shideler.
Shideler said store customers sometimes make rude comments because he is not wearing a mask.
“He said 'hey, aren't you supposed to be wearing a mask?' And I said 'well I have a medical exemption. I have really bad knees and legs,'” said Shideler. “Then, he just looked at me very sarcastically and said, 'well, aren't you special?'”
Shideler said comments like that are hurtful. He’s not alone. Several people have contacted News 8 saying they cannot wear masks because of breathing problems or other disabilities.