The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance on Wednesday that encourages Americans to wear a mask while driving, just in case a stranger opens your vehicle door and sneezes on you. While it’s a relatively rare situation, the agency affirmed, it’s a problem that can happen to anyone, and therefore wearing a mask is a precaution worth taking.
“You can be faced with a variety of scenarios when driving or parked in your vehicle,” said a CDC spokesman, who admittedly used to poke fun at people who wear masks while driving. “You could be in a situation where someone attempts to hijack your vehicle while you’re sitting in it. Or you could run into a perfectly harmless scenario where a stranger opens your car door to say ‘hello’ and accidentally sneezes in your face.”
The spokesman also used the hit 1994 film Speed as a more extreme example. “You could even run into a Keanu Reeves situation where someone hops onto the roof of your vehicle, breaks the glass of your sun roof, and sneeze on the top of your head.”
The new guidance has brought some criticism from pundits. One astute observer noted that an alternative to wearing a mask while driving would be to always keep your doors locked when present in your vehicle.