Mask wearing now and before Covid?

There were masks even before 2020. Making them mandatory in a place with as much population density as Taiwan is logical from many standpoints where it isn’t in much of the rest of the world.

There were masks when you are walking alone in a park or riding a bike before 2020? I get masks on transit and in crowded indoor places but…


Also, I’m pretty sure it was illegal to remove your mask to drink water in your car, or even to drive alone without one (U-turn here), in Taiwan at one point.

Don’t recall that being part of ‘living normally in Taiwan,’ pre-2019.


Yes there was, there are threads on here about the best mask for cycling that go back to 2015

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People wore masks as they saw fit, which was often. Certainly not unusual to see people wearing them outside when alone, though chin diapers were much more common then. A lot of people wore them on bad pollution days (though obviously a simple surgical mask is next to worthless in this case) and when there was a lot of pollen in the air (allergies!). When I lived in more rural areas, I pretty much always ran or biked wearing an N95 pre2020, as the air quality can quickly take a turn for the worst when one farmer thinks it’s time to burn the past decade of whatever trash they’ve collected.

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Very common as far back as 1999 per my personal observations. I don’t recall the 80s very well as far as mask wearing.

Big time mask wearing for scooter riders and the bicyclists. Pollution was so bad due to the prevalence of 2 stroke motorbikes.


Wearing masks was common in all sorts of situations before Covid. There were even commercials about it.

(They stopped running this commercial after the pandemic hit)


Air quality gets pretty bad sometimes…

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Was it also illegal to drive a car alone without one in 2016?

I think the point is that it wasn’t illegal not to wear one.

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I feel like you are really exaggerating mask use pre covid.

People wore masks when they were sick and some wore some cloth masks when riding a scooter.

Nobody wore masks when they were not sick. Maybe you did and one or two others?

As far as wearing an N95 to exercise. I would say exactly one person in Taiwan did that. You.

I don’t know why one in a hundred people wearing masks pre covid keeps getting used as a reason to keep everyone masked up in virtually all public situations now.

And keeping young kids masked up for eight hours a day for two years won’t affect their speaking/learning at all. :crazy_face:


Yeah, post was meant for @Trillium

I’d say most people covered their faces while riding scooters. Don’t wanna get tan + there is so much grime on the road. I regretted almost all scooter rides that I didn’t have a mask on my face. Felt so gross for the rest of the day.

N95s, I know I’m not the only one, but Taiwanese have a lack of education on how bad air pollution actually is. Usually only other foreigners have enough sense to know that exercising on a bad pollution day without a proper mask is about as healthy for you as smoking a pack of cigarettes. A lot of people did exercise with surgical masks on though. The kids were required to wear them outside if the AQI was above 100 in Kinmen. In Tainan they didn’t let the kids go outside when it’s that bad, but most of them would wear the masks to come to school.

I never did, but most of my colleagues and students did. Especially the junior high kids, tying to hide from the world.

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This commercial is saying that if you drink that drink, you will be healthy so don’t need a mask.

How does that support healthy people wearing masks?

People did wear masks before covid. In certain situations. Nobody is against going back to that.

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I will also add, generally, that masks were not required in schools or outdoors until May 2021. There were various places that required them or not throughout 2020 and early 2021, but masks were optional in schools, outdoors, and gyms until the May 2021 outbreak. That’s over a full year of general normalcy that the rest of the world never got.

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And now they get normalcy and we don’t. :man_shrugging:

Okay, not quite 2019 “normalcy”, but open borders, no mask mandates and no more WFH/closed schools for the most part.


I would have rather had their normalcy.


They weren’t optional in schools in 2020. The kids could take them off when they went outside to play.

They have had two years and counting of this.

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Still, the point is that masks were not mandated when you were alone at that point. So yes, wearing masks while biking/scootering in high pollution areas (I do that) or wearing one on public transit/flights (I actually think I will continue that long term) makes sense pre or post pandemic but I think you know what FC and I are talking about.

It wasn’t illegal not to wear one before the pandemic.

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You are referring to filtration masks for air pollution purposes. Not mandatory mask mandates for 100% of your activities due to covid.

Now you decide to change it to mandates, your question was " There were masks when you are walking alone in a park or riding a bike before 2020? ".

The answer is yes, with supporting evidence on this forum, i have photos of myself here back in 2015 with a mask on while out and about in the city.

The masks will be around long after the mandates, they became part of the culture after the original sars outbreak, and will continue after this one.

Masks have never been politicised here, it’s not a green or blue thing more of a foreigner thing.
Yes there are times when I wish I could take mine off, yes there are mask dodgers out there local or other, who don’t like wearing them, and yes I will probably keep wearing mine at times even after the mandates.
To be honest there are times when I like wearing my mask as it gives me a degree of anonymity and prevents my well cultivated ugly mug from frightening babies.