This post was updated on May 22, 2020 at 9:56 a.m.
KOSU has been asking our listening community and texting club members to tell us how they feel about wearing masks in public.
People who have responded were asked to choose if they always, sometimes or never wore a mask in public - or if they did, but stopped. They were also asked what informs their decision.
Add your voice to the conversation by texting 'MASK' to 844-777-7719 or enter your phone number below to get started.
Below are some of the responses we've received:
"I always wear a mask in public."
“Doing my part to protect society, especially my elderly parents who I take care of.”
“Until a vaccine or antivirus is found it is our civic duty to protect each other from this unknown, invisible monster. The only change from March to now is time. I feel that we cannot put magic deadlines on the end of a pandemic. Until scientific studies prevail with a cure, we are still just as at risk of spreading.”
“Concerned about virus, the response and a possible 2nd wave."
"I stay home except for groceries. I feel a little safer with my masks on."
“I'm an immunocompromised asthmatic with three small children; wearing a mask is a small inconvenience to safeguard all of us.”
“As a parent, I don't have the choice to go without a mask. If they catch this virus, odds are, it would be from me. My family's health is too important to me.”
"I sometimes wear a mask in public."
“The density of people around us. We recently got bikes, so when we’re riding in a park or anywhere outside, we’re not wearing masks. Every time we go inside a building though, we go by the CDC guidelines of keeping distance and wearing a mask.”
“I wear a mask every time I go to the grocery store, Walmart or Walgreens because there are so many people that don't appear to be taking any precautions. That environment feels risky. I don't wear a mask when I go to work in an office building or when I go to the park to walk because those environments do not seem as risky. There's a much, much lower amount of people in those settings. I don't wear a mask anywhere else because I intentionally don't go anywhere else. If I had to go to someplace with a high volume of people, I would wear my mask. I wish more people in this area had the same mindset and took this pandemic more seriously.”
“It depends on where I am going and how many people I expect to be there. If I'm going into an indoor space I almost always wear a mask. It it's outdoors and I don't expect there to be many people, I may skip the mask.”
“If I'm inside a building or around a lot of people I always wear a mask. If I'm outside I typically do not wear a mask, but I social distance at least 6 feet, usually more!”
“They don't really protect me. But if I have the virus (and have not been showing symptoms) I lessen the chance of infecting others. I'll wear in crowded areas. I'm 67 and have remained at home except to visit the supermarket.” -Steven B
“I'm not going into any stores unless I have to, I am always wearing it at the grocery store and hardware store but fail to put it on every time for quick trips into gas stations.”
“I want to protect other people from exposure to my potential viral transmission in enclosed areas.”
"I never wear a mask in public."
"Most of the corona response has been, in my opinion, kabuki theater. The masks, in most circumstances, are virtue signaling."
"I'm a physician, and the science does not support wearing a mask. In fact, the science supports not wearing a mask as a general rule in public. No one that I know in healthcare wears a mask in public, nor should they."
"...Older, sick, immune compromised or people with underlying conditions should quarantine at home and/or wear a mask in public. The mask is really a false sense of protection because if you are within droplet range of a sick person who coughs or sneezes, then you touch your mask, your hands are contaminated and then everything you touch is contaminated. And it's virtually impossible to wear a mask for a very long without touching it."
“I don't wear a mask because I can't breathe wearing one. It makes me like I’m suffocating.”
"I did wear a mask in public, but I stopped."
"Watching where the cases are developing. We haven't seen many new cases in my county, Creek. I avoid confined spaces, if unavoidable, I would wear a mask. Out in the open a mask is not necessary, I think." - Jeremiah A.
"The media and politicians are using scare tactics to try to manipulate the next presidency."
This report is part of the America Amplified initiative using community engagement to inform and strengthen local, regional and national journalism. America Amplified is a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and KOSU is part of the America Amplified network.
Kateleigh Mills crafted this callout to hear from the KOSU listening community, texting club and others on how they feel about wearing masks in public.