ULV students, with so many others amid the pandemic, are exercising outdoors – biking, running and hiking – more than ever. And although outdoor activity is safer, 10 out of 12 ULV students believe wearing a mask is still a must on trails and other popular outdoor spaces, according to a recent informal survey.
“I believe that runners, bikers and hikers should be required to wear masks if they’re going into environments where they may run into other people, or if a group of people joins them,” said Ryan Pean, freshman business administration major.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the main way by which people are infected with COVID-19 is through exposure to respiratory droplets carrying the disease.
Although hiking and biking take place outside, hikers and runners still need to maintain a social distance of six feet and wear a mask to protect themselves and others, the CDC says.
“As someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, I strongly believe that people should be wearing a mask at all times to put an end to this pandemic,” Matthew Guandique, freshman business administration, said.
Daisy Manjarrez, freshman legal studies major, agreed.
“I believe they should wear some type of face-covering because the water droplets you exhale can spread COVID-19,” Noah Gomez, freshman criminology major, said.
“I believe they should wear a mask because there are usually other people around them,” Anahi Pineda, freshman psychology major, added.
Oxygen levels, heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and exhaustion rates are not significantly affected by wearing a mask during moderate-to-strenuous aerobic activity, according to a recent Mayo Clinic report. However, those with chronic lung diseases should speak to their health care providers before exercising with a mask, the Mayo Clinic report advised.
“I think runners and hikers should be required to wear a mask when they are in close range with other people, especially those who do not live in the same household,” Allyson Torres, freshman biology major, said.
“If you go to a crowded place, the COVID droplets can travel,” added freshman Joachim Marcus.
Two ULV students, however, argued against continuous mask-wearing during outdoor exercise.
“They shouldn’t necessarily have to wear it while exercising but should have it on them just in case an emergency happens, or they pass by someone for safety precautions,” Alana Olvera, freshman biology major, said.
Abelina Nunez can be reached at email@example.com.