Few people seen wearing masks as Nashville eases restrictions

Posted at 9:05 PM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 22:05:02-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — With Davidson County easing restrictions, you may have seen fewer people wearing masks.

We spent about 30 minutes on the corner of Third Avenue S. and Broadway to see how many masks we could spot and ask people what they think about masks in the first place.

In 30 minutes, we saw four people wearing masks. Now that’s not including bar staff hanging out by their doors.

These were just everyday people on a Tuesday afternoon, walking down one of the busiest roads for foot traffic in Middle Tennessee, most of whom were visiting Nashville.

“I feel it’s up to each individual and if you are nervous or hesitant, I would suggest not to go out,” said Justin Caron who was visiting from Michigan.

Caron and his family made the decision not to wear a mask and he says it’s liberating. Back home, the rules are far more strict and he appreciates having the choice in Nashville.

We also spoke with Peggy Barnes who coincidentally just moved from Michigan to Nashville. She too was showing her family Lower Broadway and once again, none of them wore masks.

“I don’t mind. You can wear a mask. I don’t care to have a mask right now,” said Barnes.

Most restaurants and bars in Nashville only make it mandatory for their staff to wear masks, so it’s more a suggestion for everyone else.

Garry Thomas carries spare masks with him just in case a restaurant denies him service.

“When I’m required, I’ll wear it, but actually it makes it hard to breath,” said Thomas.

Barnes says she too travels with a mask, but leaves them in her car.

At the halfway mark of our unofficial survey, we spotted Gordon White who would end up being our fourth and last person wearing a mask.

“I think it’s the right thing to do. I think it’s the safe thing to do,” said White.

Now I’ll admit the sample size wasn’t perfect, so make of the numbers what you will. At least for Gordon, he worries another spike in COVID-19 cases will surely follow.

“I have my fingers crossed that it’s not what we’re going to see, but I am worried that it’s what we’ll see in a month,” said White.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, Metro Public Health say they received 95 complaints against Nashville businesses for not following COVID-19 restrictions. Most of which involved employees not wearing masks.