Dorchester resident, former executive of Codman Square Health Center, and resident Reporter health expert Bill Walczak co-authored an op-ed published Thursday in the New York Times that has gained traction on social media with its urgent message: protective masks for all.
Presently, the Center of Disease Control and Prevention’s position is that ordinary, healthy citizens do not need to wear protective masks. That position, and that of all government authorities, should change, argues Walczak in the opinion piece, which he penned along with Dr. Dara Kass of Columbia University Medical Center, Dr. Brian Jack of the Boston University Center for Health System Design and Implementation, and the Times’ Aaron Schildkrout.
“The most important new policy the government can implement to contain the spread of Covid-19 is to immediately recommend that everyone wear masks or face-coverings in public,” reads the op-ed.
While high-grade N-95 masks should be prioritized for medical workers, members of the public can wear homemade face coverings, contended the authors, who pointed to a trial that showed participants who wore surgical masks were 80 percent less likely to contract respiratory illness.
“Because face masks can be associated with a stigma, leaders and officials should lead by example by themselves advocating for and wearing face masks,” continues the piece.
“Wearing masks will not only reduce viral spread, it would also help us return to work, get back to school, and avoid what could be a devastating second wave of the coronavirus.”
Bill Walczak is a Reporter contributor who was a co-founder and longtime CEO of Codman Square Health Center. Read his latest Reporter column here.