Some health professionals want masks to be mandatory in public


A group of respected health professionals in Quebec is asking the provincial government to make the wearing of face masks mandatory in public spaces and open areas, where physical distancing measures are challenging to maintain. It comes at a time when emergency measures are slowly being relaxed – with businesses and restaurants opening and people being allowed to gather in larger groups in public spaces. With a second wave of the Covid-19 virus already appearing in countries across the world, the concern of second wave in Quebec is real. In fact, most experts say it is inevitable. Wearing a mask is one of the first and best lines of defense against the spread of the virus. However there are far too many people who believe it is unnecessary and choose not to wear one, regardless of the facts before them and do not understand (or refuse to believe) that even without symptoms one can still have virus and infect others with it.

“Pending the development of a vaccine, masks are now recognized as an essential tool to restore some normalcy in our lives and reconnect with the people and activities we love. Researchers in epidemic modeling say that for the measure to be effective, 80% of the population must wear a mask,” epidemiologist Nima Machouf said at a press conference outside the CHUM hospital in Montreal on Thursday morning. “Covering your face is an inexpensive measure that has been proven to effectively reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus… while we wait for a vaccine, the mask is now recognized as an essential tool to regain a bit of normality in our lives and reacquaint ourselves with the people and activities we love.”

Marie-Michelle Bellon, an Internal Medicine Specialist at the COVID-19 unit at the Notre-Dame Hospital COVID-19 unit, said, “The dedicated medical personnel who have put their mental and physical health in danger since mid-March must see that all is being done to avoid a second wave… caregivers who are dedicated must know that everything is being done so that they don’t get hit by a second wave.”

MNA Amir Khadir, a microbiologist-infectiologist at the Pierre-LeGardeur Hospital and former Quebec Solidaire MNA, said masks should be mandatory throughout the school system – except for primary schools and daycares. He said the the demand was supported by more than half a dozen Quebec medical associations and then offered a list of specialists who also maintained the wearing of face masks should be made mandatory in public spaces.

By: Bonnie Wurst –

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