The Masking on America’s Streets Today

I want to unmask my true feelings about the Masking of America and how to get people to care enough for one another to be a little more considerate while walking outdoors.

First off, you should always honor social distancing and stay at least six feet away from persons. And you should always wear a mask when entering a business establishment, supermarket or one of my favorite places, a Target store.

But you don’t necessarily need to wear it when exercising by walking on the street, pushing a baby carriage, or attending to your dog outside in suburban areas like the town I live in , Conshohocken, PA.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t address whether people should wear face coverings while exercising outdoors; it only specifies what people should do when they come into contact with others. For the time being, whether or not you choose to wear a face cover when you’re outside is at your own discretion.

Unlike going to the supermarket where it might be harder to keep six feet of distance in narrow aisles, “people generally do not need face coverings while walking in their neighborhoods and practicing social distancing,” said Judith Lightfoot, DO, chief of infectious disease at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, New Jersey.

In rural and suburban neighborhoods where the foot traffic is light and people honor social-distancing guidelines, some people choose to walk without face coverings. You may feel comfortable doing this because you’re outside in fresh air, and you aren’t coming within six feet of anyone else in your travels.


Now for my real gripe. Everywhere you look in America, it seems, there are discarded gloves and masks in streets and parking lots, left behind by people who couldn’t be bothered to find a nearby trash bin.

I counted seven masks on a walk a few weeks ago and I called the borough government to complain. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember exactly where each discarded piece of crap was located except for the local library where kids usually play. It was removed within hours. The next day I carried a plastic rubber type of glove my son gave me and I picked up ten masks and got rid of ‘em properly.

discarded mask.jpg

People who discard their masks should be fined for their disregard for others


In New England, someone abandoned their gloves in a cart at Costco, leaving an employee to fish them out and sanitize the cart before it could be used again.

It got so bad in New York City, that Ryan McKenzie, a restauranteur who lives in Manhattan, began cleaning it up. “I couldn’t believe what I saw so I went to the store and bought a grabber and for the last two hours in three square blocks of the East Village, this is what I found,” he told HuffPost. “It’s abhorrent and needs to be brought to people’s attention.”


In the wake of complaints, local authorities are reminding folks of the penalties of littering.

After receiving so many reports of gloves and masks left behind in Parsippany, New Jersey, the local police department issued a warning on Facebook: “Clean up and properly dispose of your used gloves and wipes. If you do not, you can be charged and fined up to $500.”

In Yorktown, New York, the current fine of $500 for littering will be doubled to $1,000 for the first violation for anyone caught improperly discarding face masks and gloves.

Let’s hope our fellow Americans can pick up after themselves before a discarded mask or a  glove cause the virus to spread to you or me.

20 comments on “The Masking on America’s Streets Today

  1. These litter-leaving is a huge mystery. Did we just not notice it before when so many were on the street everyday?
    In UK people camp out – and huge a skilful of stuff behind.
    Nothing seems to happen in their brain-space: What happens to it? Oh, it just… goes away.
    Weird, strange.

    Liked by 1 person

    • contoveros says:

      It could be that people are careless and their face masks fall out of their back pockets. But it is a shame the local governments don’t have some unemployed person travel through the town and pick up after the near-do-wells.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are, I suspect, overgenerous.
        And how it all comes down to money: where would that extra come from to pay for the job? Don’t ask. Certain people would never tighten their over-surplus belts.


  2. Here in L.A. people for the most part are following the guidelines in stores and restaurants but there is always one or two I spot on an outing. On to your complaint about the litter issue … it’s SO bad here. In general litter is a problem but the number of masks and gloves lying about is ridiculous. It’s especially startling I suppose as I just moved here in March from Eastern Washington state, the difference in care of community is quite drastic. I’m not sure I understand the factors at play yet but your article makes me more curious. And I have to say … compelled to do my part. I’m taking a garbage bag and gloves to pick up those discarded pandemic items on my next walk. Set the example right!

    Liked by 1 person

    • contoveros says:

      It is happening all over the world. Check the article from Great Britain:

      In addition, there is an environmental problem in our own waterways, particularly in your home state where actions are being taken to clean up the masks and gloves and stuff from the San Francisco area.


      Governments should put out alerts and warnings and then charge the people with fines for causing these dangerous conditions.

      I been using my mask religiously and storing it in my coat pocket. I have an extra one in the car and another near the doorway of my home. We have to care for others as if we were each other’s mother. (That’s kinda like a Buddhist thought, I believe.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for this information! I’ll delve in here. I too keep masks within reach in my jacket pockets and car and on the counter right beside the front door. It was not easy to develop the habit but it’s in place now! Which is good cuz this thing is not ending soon. We got a ways to go and I sure don’t want to catch this thing or inadvertently spread it! I like your comment about caring for each other like we’re each other’s mothers. Kinda beautiful when I contemplate for a moment. Care giving doesn’t come so easy to all but for me, I want to care and leave as much of the world better, for my space in it as possible. Glad to find a kindred soul ☺

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Here in L.A. I see the same. On our nightly dog walk I see a number of discarded masks. Our uncivilized communities have so much to learn if we are to survive. I truly believe this pandemic is a test and we seem to be failing in a number of ways. Our environment suffers (let alone the horrors we possibly face if of catching this virus) and we can’t seem to collectively get it right.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. bernard25 says:

    Bonjour ou bonsoir mon amie, ami

    Je pense que cette journée sera illuminée de soleil
    Je viens te souhaiter une belle journée
    Sous une mélodie chanter par les oiseaux

    Journée de bonheur ou rien ne viendra te perturber
    Cette journée sera de beauté
    Bonsoir Amie AMI

    Pour cette nuit
    Je te souhaite une nuit de repos bien méritée
    Remplit de rèves flatteurs
    Des rèves que toi seule à le secret de bien gardé
    Sache que certains reves peuvent devenir réalité
    Que cette journée et soirée te soit des plus agréables
    Bisous amicales Bernard


    • contoveros says:

      For those of us who can not read the French language, Google has translated the comment above:

      Hello or good evening my friend,

      I think this day will be lit by the sun
      I come to wish you a nice day
      Under a melody singing by the birds

      A happy day where nothing will disturb you
      This day will be beautiful
      Good evening Friend

      For this night
      I wish you a well-deserved night’s rest
      Fills with flattering dreams
      Dreams that only you have a well-kept secret
      Know that some dreams can come true
      May this day and evening be most pleasant to you

      Friendly kisses Bernard


      (Merci, Bernard. Bonne journée et bonne nuit aussi!)

      (Thank you, Bernard. Have a good day and night also!)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Mouse hammocks … but no joke, it’s disgusting, masks, gloves, sani-wipes, easy to put them where they belong, as medical waste the fine should be double! Thanks for speaking out!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. i4deeps says:

    thats a lesson for all the countries and societies.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. contoveros says:

    Here is a comment from Facebook:

    Patty Kline Capaldo
    This is so irritating! I’ve seen masks lying on the ground two feet from a trashcan. What is wrong with people???
    Michael J Contos
    I kinda blame their parents for not forcing their kids — now adults — to be considerate toward others and to look out for their neighbors.

    You and I would have been disciplined and taught to respect others if we dropped such nasty stuff to the ground outside.


  8. contoveros says:

    The following comment was left at a friend’s Facebook site after this post was “shared.”

    Jane Koopstra-Kraal
    In Holland, masks are only required in public transportation. But more and more people are getting infected since pubs and restaurants are open again and the distancing is not respected, especially by young people, who go on partying and crowding together at the beaches. There may be more restrictions coming as a result. One that has already been introduced is that students starting in September are not allowed any parties or introductions. And when visiting a pub, an outdoor terrace or pub name and phone number are registered, so you can be traced when any visitor was infected when you were there too.
    Wearing a mask and discarding it properly is a very simple chore for people the world over and the sooner we realize we have to care for one another — particularly the youth — the better off we will all be. . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mike says:

    Hey Mike, you are far better off in Philadelphia then we are out here in uncivilized Ohio.There are a lot of people out here who simply don’t believe in wearing mask because the virus is “a Democratic hoax”. I report businesses that are not Making their employees wear masks. Idiots.

    Liked by 1 person

    • contoveros says:

      I have not seen anyone trying to get into a store or business without wearing a mask and I am grateful for such consideration. I feel bad for you guys having to live with a bunch of people who deny science and have so much hate for an opposing point of view that most of the civilized world has adhered to and see some promising results. That’s probably why America which has only four percent of the world’s population has one-fourth of all the virus cases on the planet.

      I guess you know who we can blame for such failed leadership . . .

      Liked by 1 person

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