The time has come to mandate masks

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  • Lisa says:

    No thanks. Want to wear a mask? That’s your prerogative but as a healthy person, I will not wear one for this cold.

  • Joyce says:


    • Jacob says:

      Hi Joyce,
      While it is clear that disagree with the proposition, it’d be more interesting to hear why you disagree.

      Nobody wants to wear masks when indoors in public or when social distancing isn’t possible, but nobody wants to get COVID-19 either.

      Many opposed seatbelts when they were first required – perhaps you still find the use of a seatbelt draconian.

      Note, you can simply avoid wearing a mask by staying home.


  • rickk says:

    Yep, masks will fix all…
    BTW there’s this fantastic bridge in Brooklyn that I’m willing to sell to you for a great deal

    • Jacob says:

      Hi Ricky,
      I’m currently not shopping for bridges, but thanks for the offer.
      Masks are not going to fix everything, but like bridges, they’ll help us get to where we need to go – in this case our destination is reducing transmission.

  • Mike Fraumeni says:

    And yet there is no law requiring flu vaccination and the flu does kill many people. You are able to have the flu and wander about anywhere you want legally including long term care facilities. Once a vaccine is readily available that works well, will masks still be mandated to be worn? I believe any discussion on masks should include a discussion on vaccines to put the issues into perspective.

    • Jacob says:

      Hi Mike,
      You’re right that the flu is dangerous. Vaccines are important. There are some that think flu vaccines should be mandatory. But that is not the current issue before us. Just because we can – and perhaps should – legislate other public health measures, the fact that we haven’t doesn’t diminish the need to find appropriate policy responses to the current pandemic.

      We should also reconsider how we approach long term care facilities and the potential exposure of residents to infectious diseases.

      I agree that the ability to vaccinate against COVID-19 will change our approach to masks. Until such a time, however, masks are our best line of defense as we open up society.


Bailey McMaster


Bailey McMaster is finishing her first year of law school at Western University.

Brendan Weiler


Brendan Weiler is finishing his first year of law school at Western University.

Thomas Petrella


Thomas Petrella is finishing his second year of law school at Western University. 

Jacob J. Shelley


Dr. Jacob Shelley is an Associate Professor jointly appointed to the Faculty of Law and School of Health Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences, at Western University. He is also the Director of the Health Ethics, Law & Policy (HELP) Lab. He has a doctorate in law (SJD) from the University of Toronto and is an editor of Public Health Law & Policy in Canada.


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