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Monday, June 17, 2024
Coronavirus4 reasons Governor Gavin Newsom’s mask order is a good idea

4 reasons Governor Gavin Newsom’s mask order is a good idea

Governor Gavin Newsom finally did it.

Following in the footsteps of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Hawaii, and other states, per Newsom’s directive, California is now instituting a mandatory public mask-wearing order.

Mask-wearing (or face-covering-wearing, if you prefer) has become a contentious political issue as the U.S. faces this pandemic. But whereas the efficacy of masks in avoiding Covid-19 was debatable and widely dismissed in the pandemic’s early weeks, by now the science on the effectiveness of mask-wearing has grown reassuringly strong.

I’m no Newsom fan, mind you. His signing of AB5 alone—an absurd law that essentially makes California freelancers employees until proven otherwise—has had me bent out of shape for months. But he’s led with clarity, efficiency, and openness amidst this crisis, and on the mask front, he is absolutely going to help save many thousands of lives. 

So here are 4 reasons why all Californians should follow the new mask order…


1. Japan 

When the pandemic started, Japan’s healthcare system was on the brink of collapse. In the meantime, the country instituted no mass stay at home orders. Yet miraculously—or maybe not so much—Japan’s case count is at press time hovering around 20,000, in stark contrast with the U.S.’s 2.26 million. How did they do it? As it turned out, Japan’s low spread hasn’t been so miraculous after all. The country simply has a mask-wearing culture, namely attributable to its many residents with allergies, which expanded its mask usage as COVID-19 beared down.


2.  The National Institutes of Health Laser Light Scattering Experiment 

According to a study that used laser light modeling to track the behavior of human breath, masked mouths were found to be far less aggressive transmitters of disease than unmasked ones. You can watch a good video displaying the study’s process here.


3.  Masks interrupt saliva’s jet-like propulsion 

When we speak and/or breathe without masks, our spit takes on the trajectory of a turbulent jet, broadly distributing its contents around the general area. But according to one study, if you wear a mask, the jet travels a lot less far from “the airport” (i.e., your mouth or nasal cavity), to the tune of only 1.5 meters per masked person—as opposed to 5 full meters for those with uncovered faces. 


4.  In some cases, masks’ effectiveness when it comes to blocking the disease is up at 100%

This figure refers to unfitted surgical masks, which another study showed were actually foolproof when it came to guarding against the coronavirus in the form of respiratory droplets. 




Three forms of study. One noteworthy country. And that’s just a tiny sampling of the mounting data.

Experts repeat that at the absolute best, a COVID-19 vaccine will become available sometime next year—and even for that to happen, many variables will have to line up with historic efficiency. In the meantime, in terms of keeping our health and economy here in California functional without subjecting our species to undue danger, masks will serve as an invaluable tool.

Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro is a writer & filmmaker. As a screenwriter, he’s won a Fade In Award and written numerous feature films in development by companies including WWE, Mandalay Sports Media, Game1, and Select Films. He is also the resident script doctor for Rebel Six Films (producers of A&E’s “Hoarders”). As a journalist, Eric’s won a California Journalism Award and is co-owner and editor of The Milpitas Beat, a Silicon Valley newspaper with tens of thousands of monthly readers that has won the Golden Quill Award as well as the John Swett Award for Media Excellence. As a filmmaker, Eric’s directed award-winning feature films that have premiered at the Fantasia Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, and Shriekfest, and been endorsed by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Eric’s apocalyptic novella “It’s Only Temporary” appears next to Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” on Nightmare Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Horror Novels of All Time. He lives in Northern California with his wife, Rhoda, and their two sons.


  1. Your article is horrible. So I guess according to you, everyone has COvid19 Right now and everyone STILL has it IF they had it and recovered. By writing crap like this, you along with other main stream media is perpetuating the fear over a flu like virus. People get it and get over it. Some DIE from the FLU just like some DIE from Covid19. I’m sure that 60% of people already HAD COvid19 and don’t even know it since people like you are not telling others to get a Antibody test. I had it and I NEVER tested positive for Covid19. Now what? I need to wear a stupid face diaper to make YOU feel safe? I’m immune. So go shove that in your fasked up face. You live in FEAR and I hope when you go to bed, you stay in fear. I’m not wearing a mask since it is a guideline now a law. Horrible reporter.


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