Letter to the editor: Mask etiquette on the trails of Summit County | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Mask etiquette on the trails of Summit County

This letter is not about whether or how well masks work or whether the county or the state can make you wear them. It is also not about how much risk there is of spreading COVID-19 in an outdoor environment. It is a set of ideas that I hope we can all follow to make everyone on our trails feel welcome and maybe a little bit safer.

  1. Take a mask with you when you walk/hike. Few, if any, of our trails are wide enough that you can really say that maintaining a distance of 6 feet will always be possible.
  2. If you meet someone approaching you on the trail and they put on a mask, please put yours on, too. Put your mask on even if they step off the trail to get more distance.
  3. When meeting another hiker on a narrow trail, it is a good idea for someone to step off. Don’t play chicken if you have a good spot to do so and still match the mask wearing of the other person.
  4. If you are passing someone from behind let them know you are there when you are still a bit behind. If they put on a mask, put on yours, too, and don’t try to pass until they get to a place they can step off. If they don’t step off right away, and you think they could have, ask if it’s OK to pass.

This does not mean wearing a mask all the time, unless it is really crowded. Then it would probably be a good idea to be masked anyway. Today, I encountered four groups on the trail. Two groups did respond to my mask in just this way. We were all happy to say, “Thank you for your mask.”

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