Mandatory masks – heed the evidence

 

Sir, – An article published last week in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice by Trisha Geenhalgh makes a compelling case for the mandatory wearing of face masks as a means of “source control”.

Prof Greenhalgh notes that a mathematical model shows the transmission rate (R0) reduces to below 1 if just 60 per cent of the population wears a mask, even if these masks were only 60 per cent effective in blocking transmission.

If the choice in the “Irish context” (overcrowded schools and universities, and a public health system crippled by austerity and privatisation) is between an interminable lockdown and economic devastation or wearing masks in public spaces, then the experts should trust the Irish public to embrace masks. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN McKENZIE, PhD

Maynooth, Co Kildare.