• Joel Brown

    Staff Writer

    Portrait of Joel Brown. An older white man with greying brown hair, beard, and mustache and wearing glasses, white collared shirt, and navy blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey background.

    Joel Brown is a staff writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. He’s written more than 700 stories for the Boston Globe and has also written for the Boston Herald and the Greenfield Recorder. Profile

Comments & Discussion

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There are 4 comments on Masks. Distancing. Race. How to Have Hard Conversations during Hard Times

  1. It’s interesting that the two dates chosen are both Jewish holidays – the first is Rosh Hashana ( the Jewish New Year) and the second is Simchat Torah. Maybe you can choose a date when traditional and observant Jewish students could participate?
    Just asking for what some students need. . .

  2. I’m not sure that students need practice in peer pressure. Masks should be worn on campus because that is the administration’s policy.

    My guess is that the hesitancy of some to wear masks may be based, in part, on the fact that their efficacy in stopping some viruses is still unclear. For examples related to the scientific debate, see:

    * https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article – which finds “Although mechanistic studies support the potential effect of hand hygiene or face masks, evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials of these measures did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.”

    * https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31142-9/fulltext – which found large reduction in risk of infection, but with only low certainty.

    1. I agree they should be wearing them because it’s policy, but it’s not uncommon to see many still not complying.

      As for scientific debate, I’d argue that students (and some non-student adults) not wearing masks is based entirely on the entitled “you can’t tell me what to do” and “it won’t make me very sick anyway” arguments.

      The masks help prevent spread and wearing one shows the people around you that you care about the well-being of humans other than yourself. It’s not complicated.

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