The government restrictions at Level 4 of the national lockdown demand that anyone leaving their home must wear a face mask or some form of face-covering.
It is evident while walking around town that many people are ignoring this directive.
These regulations are intended to prevent virus-carrying moisture from being spread to others. The virus, Covid-19, is present in an infected person’s body fluids such as saliva and mucus. Coughing or sneezing can spread the virus many metres meaning anyone in the vicinity can be infected.
See this Mythbusters episode to see just how far your body fluids can travel if not wearing a mask (as well as covering your mouth with your elbow and using a handkerchief – https://gocitywide.com/sneeze-germs-safe-mythbusters/).
The problem is exacerbated when one is running as the moisture you expel can linger in the air meaning anyone following, even a “normal” safe distance can still catch the virus.
Face masks are therefore obligatory, not to protect the wearer but to protect those around them should they be infected. And remember, Covid-19 can take 14-days before it becomes symptomatic so, even people that seem fit and healthy can be infected, and symptoms may only manifest themselves 14-days after exposure.
Most people will exhibit mild symptoms as a result of infection and some might never be aware that they were infected. However, for some infection will mean hospitalisation and, in extreme cases, even death. It is therefore mandated by the government that face masks must be worn when outdoors.