Mask fiasco

This week, the New York Times published a piece by information scientist Zeynep Tufekci, “Why Telling People They Don’t Need Masks Backfired”. The main idea is that the message (ordinary people will not be protected by wearing masks during a pandemic) was obviously contradicting the very real need for masks by medical providers. The essay covers several of the reasons why mask-wearing is helpful, even if it is imperfect.

I appreciated the tone and the ending of the piece:

Research shows that during disasters, people can show strikingly altruistic behavior, but interventions by authorities can backfire if they fuel mistrust or treat the public as an adversary rather than people who will step up if treated with respect.