Viewpoints: Air Disinfection Important In Covid Prevention; Mask Mandate On Transport Should Be Reinstated
Opinion writers examine covid transmission and mask mandates.
The New York Times:
How To Stop Superspreader Events Without Masks
At every stage of the pandemic, a disproportionate number of infections have been traced to a relatively small number of gatherings, also known as superspreader events. The recent Gridiron dinner, after which over 70 people tested positive including members of the Biden administration, is just the latest example. Some public health experts argue that tolerating these events is what living with Covid looks like. As far as we know, no one who tested positive after the Gridiron dinner became severely ill, but we don’t know if these cases also spread to workers and beyond. There’s little reason to accept this as a new normal. (Donald K. MIlton, Edward A. Nardell adn David Michaels, 4/21)
The Boston Globe:
Biden Administration Should Appeal Federal Court Decisions Invalidating Airline Mask Mandate
When a federal judge struck down the nationwide transportation mask mandate, the news was quick to reach travelers across the country. Pilots announced the judge’s ruling mid-flight, allowing their passengers to remove their masks if they so pleased. Some cheered and waved their face coverings in the air. And one after another, airlines began releasing statements announcing that they would no longer require their customers to wear masks on flights. Delta Airlines even took some creative liberty with their announcement, declaring that COVID-19 had “transitioned to an ordinary seasonal virus” — a statement so premature that the airline had to walk it back. (4/21)
The New York Times:
The Mask Mandate May Be Gone. Here Are Other Covid Policies To Support
When a federal judge struck down the mandate for mask wearing on planes, buses and other modes of public transportation on Monday, most major airlines wasted no time in ending their requirements. Passengers even cheered midflight when they were told they could take off their masks. The science on masking did not change this week, yet public health experts and policymakers are now forced to acknowledge what many will no longer do to protect others. (Aaron E. Carroll, 4/20)
The Airline Mask Mandate Has Ended. Should You Still Wear One?
After a judge overturned a CDC mandate that U.S. airlines require passengers to wear masks on airplanes, the TSA immediately stopped enforcing masking in airports. One viral video even showed a flight attendant walking down an airplane aisle asking people to throw their masks away. But with Covid cases on the rise again, what does mask-abandonment mean for public health? Even if you don’t have to wear a mask on a plane, should you? (Faye Flam, 4/20)