June 22, 2021

Experts endorse Simón’s thesis and defend ending the outdoor mask

A group of tourists in Valencia.

A group of tourists in Valencia.

The face mask, beyond being an element of protection, it is also the symbol that the covid remains a threat. It will be, surely, one of the last flags to be definitively hung in the battle against virus, especially in indoor spaces, a reality that could be totally different in the case of outdoor spaces.

The director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simón, opened the door to reduce its use “in not many days“, some theses endorsed by the experts. In fact, according to these, this Wednesday you could go out to walk the dog, walk to the shop or go from one place to another on foot without having to wear the mask.

The outdoor mask does practically no role, getting infected outdoors is remotely unlikely“, says the researcher of the Fisabio Foundation, Salvador Peiró. The professor in Immunoparasitology of the University of Valencia, Rafael Toledo, complements him with a” they should have been removed for a long time.

We are one of the few countries in Europe that required a mask on the street because in others it was only mandatory when entering the premises, “says Toledo, who emphasizes that those who did not wear it have had epidemiological curves” very similar “to the Spanish one. we have had a mandatory mask “, he adds.

For his part, for Peiró “it is easier to say and control that the mask must always be worn“For this reason, he remarks that in the next regulations on the use of this garment” it will be necessary to spin very fine and explain when and why it has to be worn at a certain time or why not at another “.

Time as a factor

They are several factors that both experts reveal when advocating for the end of the mask in open spaces. In the first place, almost as Ortega y Gasset said in “I am me and my circumstances”, the defense of reducing the mask in open spaces does not depend only on the place but on the situation. “It is not the same to meet a person on the street while walking than to be at a soccer game, where you sing, shout and spend 90 minutes next to the same person “, reels the university professor.

Peiró remembers that the two main routes of transmission are aerosols and what are commonly called droplets, small particles of saliva in which the virus travels in case of contagion. Of the first type, the also doctor in Preventive Medicine and Public Health explains that it does not exist when one is outdoors, while for the second it is necessary to spend a time at a relatively close distance for the sufficient viral load to be transmitted.

It also includes as an important factor the advancement of vaccination, above all, among people over 60, the most vulnerable to covid and who have so far accounted for 95% of the deceased. “There are still many people to be vaccinated, but now a regrowth will not be the same as what we have experienced “, indicates the epidemiologist.

In this sense, Peiró remarks that both vaccinated people and those who have already passed the virus and have immunity against covid could act as “transmission barriers” against the virus. An important role in stopping the expansion of Sars-Cov-2 would be made by those people with a lot of socialization who have already passed it or are vaccinated and who, having antibodies against covid, do not spread the pathogen.

In the opinion of the Fisabio researcher, the disposal of the mask in open spaces will have to go hand in hand with good ventilation of the interiors. “In these spaces, infections are not face to face but one person can spread several and at a distance.” And he adds: “If the children have been cold at school, now we adults will have to be hot in the summer.”


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