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From “stop the spread” to “you do you”: NY mask policy has experts facepalming

Enlarge / “You do you” when it comes to masks on NY transit. (credit: MTA)

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority faced immediate backlash Thursday after unveiling a new mask-optional policy featuring the tagline “You do you” below a silly cartoon of a person improperly wearing a mask over just the nose, not the mouth.

Generally, the new policy lifts the MTA’s previous requirement that riders wear a face mask—properly. Earlier signage showed a cartoon person correctly wearing a mask, with the tagline “That’s the one!,” after several examples of how not to wear a mask, including over just the nose. The requirement and the sign came with the slogan: “Stop the spread. Wear a mask.”

But the new guidance dramatically flips the collective-effort messaging to a more individual-based approach to public health, with the slogan: “Masks are encouraged, but optional. Let’s respect each other’s choices.” The new signage repeats the same cartoon examples of how not to wear a mask for protection, but now labels them all as acceptable.

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