Mostly mask-less, but cautious
On a warm Saturday afternoon two days before Memorial Day, the tables outside a restaurant and coffee shop on the corner of Main and Court streets were mostly full, and the people sitting at them seemed quite happy to be out of the house. The Sun asked all seven about their protective-mask wearing habits – and what they’ve seen of others when they’ve been out and about. Madeline Fletcher and Yasmina Hussien are 2019 graduates of Georgetown University who live together in Lexington. They said they came to Versailles because Hussien’s boyfriend lives in the area and they wanted to support locally-owned shops outside of Lexington. Neither was wearing a mask – but they often do, they said. “ … We’re roommates, and even going to the grocery store together, I’ll wear a mask,” said Fletcher. “Sometimes, I won’t,” said Hussien. “I work Monday through Friday at Sherwin Williams, so I have to wear a mask – we’re required. So yeah, I wear it frequently. So when I’m off work at the grocery store, I don’t – depending on the grocery store, I will say.” Fletcher estimated that 85 to 90 percent of the people she sees in public are wearing masks, and Hussein agreed. A few feet away sat mask-less Georgetown residents Herve Antoine, who came to America from France 22 years ago, and his 12-year-old daughter, Ellis, who’s rereading “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” “When I’m outside, no,” Herve said of wearing a protective mask. “But yes, when I go to Kroger, I have a mask in my car, but we chose to stay outside, so I’m not (wearing one today). And we live together.” Herve said he wishes more Walmart and Kroger shoppers wore masks, but admits that if he’s just running into a store for a minute, he sometimes goes without one. “Outdoors, I don’t really care, but yeah … I’m guilty of that. I would prefer to have a mask inside …” he said. “We don’t wear masks,” said Ellis of herself and her friends. “Like, I’ve seen two people about my age wear a mask, but I don’t wear one.” “But she doesn’t go out,” added her father. “She’s been staying home.” At the table nearest the intersection of Court and Main streets sat a masked Chris Jacovitch. “I probably don’t need to be wearing one right now, but if I go inside anywhere, I will. I started back to work this past week, too, and they’re requiring us to wear masks. But obviously, not at home,” he said. Jacovitch said the Louisville law firm he returned to requires employees to wear them anywhere they congregate – and that outside of work, he feels comfortable with the mask-wearing habits of others. “ … This is really the first day we’ve been inside anywhere that’s been open, so I mean, you know, just walking down the street, it’s not many people (wearing masks), which feels OK. I think that’s good, like, everything I’ve read says you need to be in a sort of a enclosed space with somebody else and you need to (be there) for sort of an extended period of time. So if you’re just sort of walking down the street, it’s very few people, but almost 100 percent (are wearing masks) when you go outside. At least, that’s what I’ve seen today,” Jacovitch said. A few feet away sat Austin Horn and Adam Horn, brothers presently living at home with their parents, were enjoying the warm weather and doing a bit of studying. Neither had donned a mask. “Whenever I’m in a public space and it’s inside, I’ll wear a mask, or if I know I’m going to be in close proximity to other people,” said Austin. “But outside, I generally feel pretty safe, based on what I’ve read, as long as it’s not a huge group.” “Same for me,” Adam said. Austin, who worked for the Frankfort State Journal last summer and is now employed by NPR in the nation’s capitol, said he was back home “kind of indefinitely.” “I don’t know, I’m still paying rent in D.C,” he said.