I am fortunate enough to have a beautiful reservoir within a half mile of my house. Over the years in the 3.5 mile circumferential stroll it requires I’ve seen 3 black bears, 20 or so American Eagles, Swans, Mergansers, deer, chipmunks and 20 billion Canada geese.

I don’t wear a mask when I’m out there, because at most I’ll see 100 or so people during the walk. Everyone is very good about social distancing and actual propinquity lasts a few seconds at most when we’re walking in opposite directions. About 80% are wearing masks, or at least have them around their neck. Those wearing them around their neck grab them and cover their mouth and (sometimes) their noses.

This is a terrible mistake. The only way the pandemic virus can cause you serious trouble is if it gets to your mouth, nose or eyes. It will never get through your skin. Unless you carefully washed your hands before leaving for the reservoir, you might have it on the skin of your hands. Do not give it a free ride to your mask where it will happily reside getting a shot at entry every time you inhale.

Amazingly, this is not generally known, and people seem genuinely surprised when I tell them this. Most of them thank me.

Places like the reservoir are among the few where you don’t need to wear a mask. So protect yourself if you wear one, and don’t touch it.

Lots of people seem to be using cell phones on the walk, which is even worse, should they contain the virus, as contact is much more prolonged than a simple mask adjustment. How many people clean their cellphones?

One happy point now that winter is almost on us in these parts. The crucial spike protein of the virus (which is how it gets into your cells) deteriorates and becomes nonInfectious after storage for a week at 4 centigrade (about 40 F). What an overnight chill does for it is anyone’s guess. This is from a non-peer reviewed preprint —

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