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Yes, an unsymmetrical argument pretty obviously, so yes it's different: your health your decision if you want to take additional measures.


If you are contagious, though, your not wearing a mask might increase spread of the disease, so your colleagues do have a valid interest in your wearing a mask. But not in your not wearing one. 


Here, it's just the boss playing boss. And then boasting about it.

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13 hours ago, abcdefg said:

Very few face masks in use here.

Could that be because firstly, there are very few cases in the US so far, and secondly, wearing face masks is just not part of the culture in the first place? In China, it's completely normal to put on a mask if you have a cold. In the Netherlands, no locals do this, ever. The only people who wear face masks here are Asians. Isn't it the same in the US? It might change if the virus really gains ground in the US or in NL, but that hasn't happened so far.

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I haven’t seen anyone wearing a mask in the Chicago area, despite there being at least one case of human-to-human transmission here. I happened to walk through a university campus the other day, and not even the Chinese students were wearing masks. I have heard news outlets talk about the epidemic, but apparently awareness of the issue is poor enough that some people believe that coronavirus has something to do with Corona beer.

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6 hours ago, 889 said:

But would you ever even think of ordering your colleagues who nonetheless wanted to wear masks to remove them?

That's such a hypothetical question for me (looks around home office, wonders where said colleagues would sit, and if they'll be friends with me) that I struggle to answer. 

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After just now reading the latest posts in the "Still in China" thread, I feel very grateful to have left when I did. 



Hong Kong is de facto blockading itself from the Mainland. From Saturday, anyone coming from the Mainland will be quarantined for 14 days. This blocks HK as a last-chance exit from the Mainland, unless you have two weeks to spend in quarantine. (from @889)


Recap: Flew Kunming to Hong Kong on Cathay Dragon Friday 31 January. My onward flight from Hong Kong to Dallas on Cathay Pacific (codeshare with American Airlines) was postponed several times and finally cancelled. Spent three tense days in Hong Kong trying to make onward arrangements. Was able to book a seat on Japan Airlines JAL from Hong Kong HKG to Tokyo NRT with connections there on another JAL flight to Los Angeles LAX.


Spend the night in Los Angeles and got out the next day on a non-stop American Airlines flight to Dallas DFW. Had been screened and questioned in Los Angeles by border protection authorities but was not detained. It was a pretty disorganized process. In Dallas I rented a car, reserved in advance from Avis, and drove to my home in NE Texas about 3 hours away.  


My checked suitcase went missing, but American Airlines helped me trace it. A courier delivered it to my house last night about 11 p.m. I gave him a $5 tip and a bottle of water. 


This morning I went to buy groceries. When I pulled up into my driveway to unload, my next-door neighbor came over and started to give me a welcome-home hug. (This is Texas.) I told her better not, just to be on the safe side, so we chatted a couple minutes at arm's length. We are old friends and I've known her and her husband a long time. 



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The only people who wear face masks here are Asians. Isn't it the same in the US?


A (US) relative of mine has very poor lung function due to damage from chemotherapy and has to wear a mask when she is out in public.  It is to help prevent her from getting infected by someone else with anything that wouldn't bother a healthy person but could kill her.  I assume she's not unique in that respect.


But it is indeed rare to see anyone in the US wearing a face mask, even during seasonal flu outbreaks.

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