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Guy Page

Guy Page is the editor and publisher of the Vermont Daily Chronicle.

CDC Science Brief: Community Use of Cloth Masks to Control the Spread of SARS-CoV-2

hands with latex gloves holding a globe with a face mask

CDC position on masks: SARS-CoV-2 infection is transmitted predominately by respiratory droplets generated when people cough, sneeze, sing, talk, or breathe. CDC recommends community use of masks, specifically non-valved multi-layer cloth masks, to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Masks are primarily intended to reduce the emission of virus-laden droplets (“source control”), which is especially relevant for asymptomatic or presymptomatic infected wearers who feel well and may be unaware of their infectiousness to others, and who are estimated to account for more than 50% of transmissions.

Masked to Death

woman in brown dress holding white plastic bottle painting

Early on in my research, back in March 2020, as the virus began to spread, I sought the most reputable sources of information for which masks were most effective if any. Any good scientist knows the Random Controlled Trial (RCT) is the gold standard for deriving scientific evidence for determining efficacy or lack thereof. As I poured over the research it was abundantly clear – masks do not work for stopping viral transmission. Neither in hospitals, nor in communities – nowhere could I find even one study that concluded masks available to the public could help prevent the spread of any virus, including this new one.