21-year-old COVID-19 survivor thankful for return of LA County travel mask mandate

To mask on, or to mask off?

That question remains at the top of many Angelenos' minds after Los Angeles County reinstated the travel mask requirement.

Now, airports, buses, trains and ride-share services across Los Angeles County all require mask-wearing, effective Friday morning. LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer explained the agency's decision is based off CDC's stance that masks being worn in public transit will help slow the spread of COVID-19.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: LA County reinstates mask mandate for LAX, buses, trains, taxi and ride-share services

Get your top stories delivered daily! Sign up for FOX 11’s Fast 5 newsletter. And, get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.

While it goes without saying that mask mandates are not popular among travelers and public transportation commuters across the country, FOX 11's Phil Shuman spoke with a young man who is relieved to see the mask mandate return to Los Angeles County airports.

A 21-year-old who considers himself healthy, Russell Trueman never elected to get the coronavirus vaccine

However, not only did he eventually get the virus, but the young man ended up in a hospital bed fighting for his life.

"It was really bad," Trueman said. "They said I almost lost my life twice…it was kind of weird hearing that."

He's not sure how or where he got COVID-19. 

Even though cases are down compared to the previous pandemic peaks, there's still a risk at public transportation vehicles and other encloses spaces with a large crowd of people.

At the time of publication and Friday's evening newscasts, Trueman said he is still quarantine after barely surviving the virus.

"We need the mask," Trueman said. "You need to stay indoors, quarantine – whatever you need to do to get rid of this."

Tune in to FOX 11 Los Angeles for the latest Southern California news.