Baker says masks key to ‘killing’ COVID-19

‘Part of this is about personal responsibility,’ he says

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER said on Tuesday that Massachusetts could eradicate the coronavirus if all residents wore masks whenever they were near other people for 30 days.

“If people would just wear these things religiously for 30 days, we could kill the virus,” Baker said. “Religiously wear them for 30 days. The virus can’t survive unless it can jump from me to you to you to you to you. It’s got a shelf life in each individual and the way it survives is by jumping from one person to the next. If two people are wearing masks, the ability the virus has to transmit from one person to another is profoundly small.”

Baker said Dr. Anthony Fauci and epidemiologists have made similar remarks. Fauci came out in favor of a national mask-wearing mandate last week.

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

The governor announced on Monday a series of measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, including a voluntary 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew; required 9:30 p.m. closings of restaurants, liquor stores, casinos, and other entertainment venues; smaller gathering limits; and a tougher mask requirement. The measures take effect Friday morning.

The face mask requirement now requires everyone to wear a mask in public places, even when they can socially distance from each other. Baker said on Monday that details would be forthcoming later in the week. On Tuesday, the governor said he and his wife regularly take walks and often take off their masks when no one is around and then put them on if they see someone.

“Part of this is about personal responsibility,” Baker said. “If everyone in Massachusetts commits to this – everybody – we’re going to have a heckuva’ holiday season and I would like to see that.”