I didn’t use to. Our streets are broad enough that I can socially distance quite easily, even if I run into anyone. Even on the narrower walking trails, it’s possible to get off and stay away from people. But I kept noticing that I’d run into people I know, sometimes with adorable dogs, and I’d wind up petting the dogs and chatting and breaching social distance. So, masks, every time.
And then recently I had an experience that confirmed I was right. I was walking Plushie (though he’s way fluffier than this old photo) and we passed a woman walking two dogs, around 40 lbs each. I went off the trail into the grass so they could pass, but the dogs decided Plushie’s butt required sniffing and came after us. Not at all belligerently, but it was still a little alarming, particularly as they were dragging their unmasked owner with them. I backed off further, trying not to slip on the mud, they followed and we were suddenly encircled with the owner in their leashes. Did I mention she was unmasked? I’m sure she didn’t expect a situation like this either, but it didn’t make it any less alarming.
Finally she had a bright idea of just sitting down, providing a dead weight that kept her dogs from chasing us further. Plush and I went off. I ran into her sans dogs when I was walking Trixie, and she apologized, adding that she’d only walk them one at a time in the future.
Like I said, I’m glad t least one of us was wearing a mask.