The XKCD says “Movies and shows” so I thought first of how much I’ve been noticing it in TV shows. I was going to bring it up last week, when I watched “Law & Order: SVU” new season premiere episode, which was showing people masked then removing masks in scene after scene thru the whole hour. They even had people filing into an official building and the security desk inspection of briefcases etc now included a forehead thermometer scan of each person passing thru the gate. There was also a whole lot about how the police no longer have the confidence of the public etc — another change of writing perspective all the law enforcement shows are going to be dealing with.
Anyway, I just watched the Episode 2 of that same show, with a little less of the fraughtness, but still a lot of indecision about when to show masks, and when to let the actors show their faces! Here are three screenshots in quick succession from an early scene (8 or 9 minutes in). A detective from the group of regulars (left below) has gone to a school to ask about a student, and is talking with a counselor or assistant principal (right below).
In the first shot, they have just rounded a corner, and the students who were milling around have disappeared into classes. Maybe it’s because the students aren’t still around, but there is no really clear reason suggested why they can unmask. We see the detective starting to pull her mask off in first shot, then they both are mostly unmasked in second shot. They then have a standing-close face-to-face conversation, no mention of why that’s okay.
Oh y’know what, I should have done last week’s! The story did use a twist about masks — they had the suspect in to their station under pretense he was just helping with interview, and at some point asked him to accept a better (filtered) mask from them — then they sent the one he had been using off to get a DNA match from the crime scene.