Masks at the beach? Local residents have mixed feelings

Coronavirus Local Impact

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – From Memorial Day weekend when the Chicopee Memorial State Park was allowed to open, wearing of masks seemed to be less of a priority than the enforcement insisted upon at the opening of state pools this weekend.

22News hoped to find out from swimmers and beach-goers why those not wearing a mask were clearly in the majority Sunday.

“I’m staying clear of everybody else,” said Darien Alvarez of Springfield. “I think it’s alright, the wind is blowing, we do wear a mask, one day off you know.”

“When this whole pandemic started, I was super scared about the whole situation. I wore masks, I would do everything to protect myself,” said Gabriel Mijal of Chicopee. He added, “Overtime, I kind of realized no matter what you do, you can’t control you might get it.”

Many park goers enjoyed their day in the sun wearing a face covering Sunday. Visitors told 22News, they believe in the protective value of the mask.

Since the reopening of Chicopee Memorial State Park, visitors have insisted repeatedly, they were led to believe they could skip wearing a mask as long as they obeyed the rules of social distancing.

In recent weeks, with an upsurge in coronavirus cases elsewhere in the country, face coverings have taken on a greater urgency as Massachusetts doubles down on its efforts to slow down the spread.

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