A Memorial Day gesture from RIOC was a positive step for the cloistered state agency. It was cordial and helpful but marred by a gross mistake out of the gate.
UPDATED, May 31st, 2022: Despite the egregious mistakes, RIOC was so proud of this advisory, they repeated it. Twice.
by David Stone
A RIOC Memorial Day Advisory
“As we approach the Memorial Day weekend, please kindly continue to maintain social distancing, wear face masks/coverings outdoors,” the Advisory began.
Note: They got it wrong last year, too, although then they credited the guidance to New York State.
This is like getting medical advice from an intrusive neighbor. That is, you’re getting bad advice you didn’t ask for from someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
Wearing face masks outdoors is not only unnecessary but, in most cases, counterproductive.
In fact, by wearing a mask, you could be increasing your risk of infection. Masks trap moisture and bacteria close to your face where they can enter through your eyes, nose, or mouth.
So, RIOC’s well-meaning Memorial Day Advisory is wrong on the facts and, worse, it perpetuates a false sense of security.
It would be better if RIOC simply advised people to use common sense and good judgment.
But what’s missing?
As one annoyed reader noted, while offering bad advice about outdoor face mask-wearing, RIOC failed on indoor guidance. Even where mandates apply – Red Buses and Tram – the Advisory was silent.
Indoor mask-wearing is still recommended in most circumstances by the CDC and is mandatory for public transportation in New York.
So, RIOC’s outdoor Memorial Day face mask guidance is both wrong and incomplete. It’s a half-baked idea that does more harm than good.
But that’s just RIOC. And you can take for granted there will be no correction, even though they got responses in plenty of time for changes before abandoning Roosevelt Island for the long weekend.
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