To Wear A Mask or Not?

How does one decide what to do when the science and data are not conclusive? Take mask wearing. In the early part of this pandemic, Dr. Fauci of the NIH, told CBS 60 minutes on March 8, “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.” One month later, the CDC recommended it. Interestingly though the studies they offer on their website, discuss corona virus asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic symptoms, not ones regarding the use and effectiveness of masks.

While experts across the country appear undecided, Governor Pritzker has made it mandatory. According to the State Coronavirus Face Coverings FAQ: “Executive Order 2020-32 requires that any person over the age of two wear a face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain a six-foot social distance. Face-coverings are also required in public indoor spaces such as stores. Exceptions may be made for individuals with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from safely wearing a face-covering.”

Like so much of the “science and data” during this pandemic, the goal line moves frequently. Initially the goal for the draconian Stay-At-Home order was to flatten the curve so we did not overwhelm our healthcare facilities. When we never did, the goal line moved to reducing overall spread and a five-phase plan releasing us from the Governor’s grip only when a vaccine or treatment is readily available. How long will that be? Your guess is as good as mine.

Like you, I want Illinois to re-open safely, which by all the numbers we have been doing, however far too slowly. Wirepoints illuminates that Illinois’ hospitalized patients peaked between April 15 and April 18. A full two weeks before Pritzker’s facemask order went into effect. While the Governor recently claimed, “I think what really turned the corner in Illinois was the use of masking everywhere,” the data suggests otherwise.

My opinion? Wearing a mask, like reopening, should be a personal choice.