What If I Hate Masks? Top 20 COVID Covering Questions, Expert Answers

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click to enlarge Dr. Eric France is the chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. - YOUTUBE
Dr. Eric France is the chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
11. Is it okay to leave my nose showing while wearing a mask?

The mask blocks droplets. Droplets come out of your nose, so it is important to cover your nose and mouth while wearing a mask in order for the mask to be as effective as possible. Instructions on how to put on, wear, and take off a mask properly can be found here.

12. Should outdoor joggers and cyclists be wearing masks, too?

If you are exercising in a crowded area and are able to wear a mask comfortably while recreating, we encourage you to wear a face-covering. If you are not able to exercise comfortably while wearing a face-covering, choosing an area with less people is preferable.

13. Should I leave my mask on if eating indoors at a restaurant when not actively eating/drinking?

Customers don’t need to wear face coverings when eating or drinking, but are encouraged to wear a mask at restaurants when they aren’t actively eating or drinking. For example, customers should wear masks or face coverings on their way to be seated, when walking past other tables, and on their way to the restroom.

14. Will leaving my mask in the sun in my car in Denver this summer kill any germs on it?

We recommend washing and drying your cloth masks in a washing machine and dryer to properly clean your mask.

15. Should I open my door to people wearing masks?

Because Coloradans are encouraged to wear masks in public, delivery drivers, people selling goods and services door-to-door, census workers and campaign volunteers should be wearing masks. Additionally, you can minimize your contact with others by selecting no-touch options for delivery services and encouraging those that visit your front porch to physically distance themselves if you decide to engage in a conversation.

16. Does wearing sunglasses or eyeglasses with the mask provide extra benefit?

Wearing a mask will help you prevent spreading droplets to another person and another person’s droplets landing on you. Your glasses can provide an extra barrier for your eyes and may help you avoid touching your eyes.

17. What are the best types of masks to wear for protection, if I can't get N95s?

Any cloth face covering will work. You could wear a bandanna, a scarf or make your own. Here are some things to think about when choosing your mask. Masks should:

• Be clean and in good repair.
• Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
• Be secure.
• Include multiple layers of fabric.
• Allow for breathing without restriction.
• Be able to be laundered and machine dried.

19. I found some N95s in my shed. Is it okay to wear them out, or am I hoarding supplies that hospitals need? Should I donate them to a hospital?

You should only wear masks that are clean. If the masks are unopened and clean, you can donate them at

20. If N95s are the best and might prevent community spread more effectively, why can't average consumers find them?

N95s are most effective when they are fitted properly. For the general public, a cloth mask or facial covering is enough to help reduce community spread. Additionally, the supply chain is stressed right now, as the entire globe tries to source personal protective equipment for hospital staff, first responders, and other front-line workers. This is another reason that N95s are not as readily available to the general consumer.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts