Day: June 1, 2020

Do Runners Need to Wear Masks?

Jane Rosen began yelling sometime in April. By May, it had become routine. The incidents usually occur near her minivan, which she parks alongside Central Park in New York City.

As she attempts to enter or exit the vehicle, a cyclist or a runner will whiz by, so close she can practically smell them. “I scream, ‘Where is your mask?’” said Ms. Rosen, 73.

Her daughter warned her that these confrontations could end badly. But it feels worth it, she said, because lives are at stake. She’s had about 18 such confrontations. The figure would be higher, she said, if she ventured out more often.

Melissa Mayen, a high school senior in Washington, D.C., had also been avoiding going outside. Then in mid-May, she set out for a ride for the first time in nearly a month.

She was startled when a man, walking across the street, yelled something about

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It’s Not Whether You Were Exposed to the Coronavirus. It’s How Much.

When experts recommend wearing masks, staying at least six feet away from others, washing your hands frequently and avoiding crowded spaces, what they’re really saying is: Try to minimize the amount of virus you encounter.

A few viral particles cannot make you sick — the immune system would vanquish the intruders before they could. But how much virus is needed for an infection to take root? What is the minimum effective dose?

A precise answer is impossible, because it’s difficult to capture the moment of infection. Scientists are studying ferrets, hamsters and mice for clues but, of course, it wouldn’t be ethical for scientists to expose people to different doses of the coronavirus, as they do with milder cold viruses.

“The truth is, we really just don’t know,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University in New York. “I don’t think we can make anything better than an educated

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