Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday April 9, 2020
Why we should all be wearing masks — and how our public health authorities got it wrong
For months, as the COVID-19 crisis escalated and Canadians and Americans watched people across Asia increasingly wearing masks in public spaces, our health authorities stuck to their long-held policies, strongly advising against this.
That is, until Friday. That’s when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reversed course, advising the public to use “cloth face coverings” to help slow the spread of COVID-19. They may have preferred to make this a quiet change on their website, but a characteristically bombastic press conference (and victory lap) by Donald Trump ensured that there was no saving face (no pun intended).
The Public Health Agency of Canada made the same policy change Monday, and I suspect that the World Health Organization will not be far behind. And with these reversals come an eroding in public trust in the very organizations we need people to trust the most, at the very moment when our collective survival most depends on that trust.
So what went wrong? (continued: Toronto Star)