Should you wear a face mask? Coronavirus prompts debate over effectiveness

Justin Trudeau

Date Published: March 31, 2020

Source: Global News

Image Source: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow in North America, there is controversy regarding the role that face masks have to play in the spread of the virus. Prominent Canadian public health officers, including Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, maintains that while face masks can reduce the spread of COVID-19 when worn by someone already infected, it does little for healthy individuals. This position is supported by Dr. Kevin Coombs, an infectious disease expert and professor of microbiology at the University of Manitoba, who states that the droplets containing COVID-19 are small enough to pass through the masks available to the general public. Dr. Lisa Bryski, an emergency physician, believes that in this current situation, it is important to start rethinking the symbolic significance of a face mask – whether they should signal to someone that they are protected or serve as a reminder to follow social distancing. 

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Summary by: Sophia Duong