Expert makes plea to wear masks

A University of Chicago doctor is given the podium at Gov. Pritzker's daily press briefing.
Mask mandates and indoor dining bans are not sitting well with many.
Photo credit USA Today photo

SPRINGFIELD, IL (KMOX) – In his daily coronavirus update, Illinois Governor J.B.
Pritzker invited a University of Chicago infectious disease expert to make the case for wearing a mask during the pandemic.

Dr. Emily Landon admitted there has been conflicting advice from health experts since the pandemic began, “Inconsistent recommendations are NOT evidence of a conspiracy,” she said. “Nor is inconsistent data. They are evidence of a changing knowledge of epidemiology.”

The comment was made to the media as the state faces pushback from a growing list of regions facing bans on indoor service at bars and restaurants.

Dr. Landon added that wearing a mask can actually lessen how sick someone gets should they contract coronavirus because it reduces the virus load in the body. “A lot of us believe this is contributing to the lower mortality rate than earlier in the pandemic.”

Dr. Landon’s plea included references to research that most people who are infected are contagious before they ever feel sick. Many never show symptoms and have no idea they’re infecting others. She said a restaurant could be perfectly safe from 6 to 8 PM, then a super-spreader from 8 to 10 because one infected person comes inside.

There has been widespread disagreement about the ban on indoor dining in the Metro East, and other places in Illinois.

Dr. Landon said the last time the ban was imposed, it worked in stopping the increase in positivity rates. Chicago goes under the indoor service ban Friday.