The Immediate Coronavirus Solution Without Wrecking The Economy: Mandatory Masks In Public!

The #StayAtHome policy is not a logical policy. It needlessly wrecks the economy while not being the most effective means of halting the spread of the coronavirus. Since the virus spreads only through droplets of sneezes or coughs, and since the points of entry of the virus are the eyes, nose, and mouth, it should be sufficient to end the crisis by mandating that all people wear face masks when they leave home. That way, there will be no spreading of the virus through sneezing and coughing in public. (Face masks are not 100% effective in hospitals, particularly in ICU’s, but they are practically 100% effective in public, as explained below.) Cough or sneeze droplets will be contained in the cougher or sneezer’s mask, and people nearby are doubly protected by their own masks. Having everyone wear a mask in public is absolutely necessary since we don’t know who is incubating the virus and is not yet ill but already contagious. The unpredictable first and subsequent coughs or sneezes of infected people will all be contained within masks.

If wearing masks in public were mandated and strictly enforced, business could go on as usual, as asymptomatic people and even those with symptoms would not be able to spread the virus in public. Life and the economy could return to normal, and the virus itself would be stopped in less than a month.

Mandatory masks in public would be 100% effective since infected people healthy enough to be walking around do not have a heavy viral load, contrary to the very ill. The fact that masks have not been 100% protective in hospitals should not lead to the conclusion that they are not 100% effective in public. The reason masks have not prevented all hospital workers from being infected, especially those in intensive care units, is that the very ill have a very high viral load.

#StayAtHome makes no sense when one considers that the majority of contagion occurs within households. It follows that masks should also be worn for 14 days at home to make sure no member of the family has the virus. After 14 days, no need to use masks at home, but wearing them in public is absolutely necessary until the virus disappears entirely. With mandatory masks in public there would be no new infections within a month.

With mandatory masks in public, no generalized testing is needed since the virus will no longer be spread in public. Testing would be logical only for those having symptoms.

#StayAtHome is particularly contraindicated if the virus comes in successive waves lasting months, in which case that strategy would be economically suicidal. Only mandatory wearing of masks in public (and at home for 14 days) is the solution for quickly ending the coronavirus crisis and for immediately restoring the economy and preventing a deep recession or even a Depression. That’s the logical, practical, effective, and immediate solution. How is it possible that we still don’t have mandatory masks in public, two months after the Coronavirus outbreak? Am I missing something? Update: Meanwhile, pneumonia vaccines should be tested to see if they provide some degree of protection against the coronavirus since it attacks the lungs.

© Edward Sonnino 2020

March 21, 2020


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Edward Sonnino

Born and raised in New York City. Best course in college: history of art. Profession: economic forecaster and portfolio manager. Fluent in French and Italian.