Defensive Mask Wearing

Subway Crowd - New York, New York

Subway Crowd – New York, New York

The downtown Number 4 train was considerably more packed than the Number 7, as seen from yesterday’s post. This density is more in keeping with what I expected in New York. So crowded. I changed my behavior.

In June 2022, mask-wearing was still prevalent in New York. In fact, some stores required them — not so in Austin. Sometime in 2021, most places became mask-optional. With the relatively low density of Austin and using private transportation (aka. my car), I stopped wearing masks. Dictated not by any political statement, but rather, spread-out Austin didn’t seem very risky.

Subway Crowd - New York, New York

However, surrounded so closely in tight quarters, I felt compelled for more protection. Luckily my camera bag had a mask readily accessible.

Subway Crowd - New York, New York

I know that, to some extent, politics have influenced the use of masks. However, I think environment and location are critical factors too. My politics have not changed when visiting New York City for a week. In the subway, however, I needed to use a mask even when not required — the calculus changes with the surroundings.

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