The Mask: Historical Reflections on Personal Protective Equipment, with Lessons for the COVID-19 Era

In his recent Class Day presentation, Professor Keith Wailoo, chair of the Department of History, revisited the strange, yet strikingly familiar, debates over the wearing of masks in the 1918 flu pandemic, complete with angry discussions over the closing of commerce, the limits of the state powers of public health, and the quest for a vaccine. His talk uses this history to offer lessons for mask-wearing in the COVID-19 era.