A study carried out by Forbes Health found that in the US, around 25% of adults rarely wear masks, and 23% never do. As COVID-19 cases climb in much of the world, and community case transmission remains high in some states this news is worrying to see.
Although nearly half of US adults don’t regularly wear masks, we can also view this data with the ‘glass half full’ view - just over 50% of US adults are still wearing masks 'sometimes' (or more often), and around 75% are wearing masks from time to time.
This means that (approximately) 25% of adults rarely wearing masks likely do so in high-risk situations where masks are essential. While these numbers are down from 2020 and 2021, it shows that many people are aware of the risks of COVID-19 and still willing to wear a mask when in dangerous situations.
Officially, the CDC mask recommendations have changed greatly since the pandemic's peak. The CDC now recommends that masks be worn on public transportation - further mandates are left to the states, as opposed to being managed by the CDC.
With this in mind, it’s interesting to see the stats from the other side. 14% of US adults report wearing masks in indoor public spaces, and 16% ‘often do’. While the data is omitted from the article, we can assume the remaining 20% or so percent ‘sometimes’ wear a mask.
Perhaps most interestingly, 12% of those who rarely wear or don't wear masks have also told others not to wear a mask. On the flip side, 26% of adults who wear a mask admitted to telling someone else to wear a mask.
Overall, the Forbes Health study is interesting because it shows that despite mask mandates no longer being present in many states, masking is still common. Furthermore, around 75% of U.S adults still wear masks rarely or more commonly.