Haven't been here for ages, but a couple of things now that I spotted the thread:
Outdoors mask wearing without people around you is useless and mostly counter-productive. Particularly with low temperature areas where the moisture of your breath condenses on the mask. Don't do it, unless mandated by law.
The surgical masks themselves will NOT stop the transmission of virus if this thing is airborne. They'll mostly block spit, coughs and sneezes up to some degree. You'll still need to distance, and if you cannot, it mainly becomes a matter of time. If you really need to be in proximity of people indoors or in mass transit and want more protection, use N95/PPE2+ masks instead. Those at least will have a chance to stop aerosols. You are NOT supposed to wear N95 masks for extended periods of time, in hospitals they put additional oxygen in the air where they wear those things.
You should NOT go to the tests or be tested if you don't have some symptoms. The PCR-testing is not nearly good enough for - like most medical instruments aren't - screening asymptomatic people. The pre-test probability needs to be increased with some kind of symptoms for this to make sense. I don't get why companies would mandate that to their workers. The positive PCR-test has significantly higher predictive value in higher virus prevalence areas, starting around 5 %.
Testing asymptomatic people in low prevalence settings will actually generate false positives regardless of the specificity of the instrument. It's next to impossible to push the measurement system to the required specificity of 99.999 % that would be necessary. There are examples of measurement system generated epidemics, gonorrhea in UK for example. More here
. Doing that is a judgment between additional diagnostic costs of finding false positives and savings made by finding them early. Most of the time it doesn't pay off, particularly with cancer. With corona, the cost is mostly about quarantining a number of people out from their work.
Otherwise, life is actually quite normal here, except it's me who has to socially distance for about a year. It's a combination of bad luck with colleagues having pregnant wives in the Spring, and due to hunting season in the Autumn. There are some elderly people in the group, so have to take care. I got some respite of that, for about three months during the summer where the virus was essentially extinguished from the country.
Generally, I think the public should understand that the PCR tests are not 100 % correct, and there are necessarily false positives leading to unnecessary quarantining of some people. Quarantining should be viewed more as a pre-caution for most of the people. Its only in the higher prevalence settings where the predictive value of the positive test will actually be quite reliable. If people don't get sick while in the quarantine, and you don't tell them this, they'll start to ignore the entire quarantining at some point.