Featured Health & Environment

Reader Poll: Should Masks Be Mandatory in Boston?

Starting Wednesday, April 29, face masks will be mandatory in the cities of Cambridge and Somerville; anyone in a public space without a face covering could receive a $300 fine.

Mayor Walsh adjusts his mask during a media briefing on April 7, 2020. Mayor’s Office Photo by Jeremiah Robinson

The order, an attempt to the slow the spread of COVID-19, applies to anyone over the age of two and includes individuals in restaurant/store pick-up zones, parking lots, common spaces in multi-unit buildings, and those walking on sidewalks and in parks. It also applies to cyclists and runners.

In the City of Boston, it is strongly encouraged that individuals wear a face mask when leaving their homes, but as of April 28, 2020 it is not mandatory.

What do you think? Should masks be mandatory in Boston? Vote in our poll and add your comments in the section below.

Web polls are unscientific and reflect only those who choose to participate. NorthEndWaterfront.com polls do not have any official significance and are only intended for the interest of our readers.

36 Replies to “Reader Poll: Should Masks Be Mandatory in Boston?

  1. I think he should consider it espically in the hotspots it would be a step in the right direction. Then as a suggestion (more room for explaining down below.

    First warning Verbal citation
    Second and beyond $600 fine (Double the fine as a wake up call).

    Amanda Stoll Brookline and Lawrence has also applied with the rule of mandatory use of masks as of today. In Lawrence it is over the age of 5 and a $300 fine. To add to the post.

    1. Hundreds of dollars fine seems like an awful lot considering how difficult things are. What about $50? Or even $25? That would give you something to think about. It could go up pretty steeply for repeat offenses, or egregious endangerment like coughing and going really near people.

    2. $600?????? Are you alright? that would be the highest civil citation the city of Boston has ever seen! You think the people you mentioned who congregate in Nubian Square are going to pay the $600? What about the people who congregate in North Station? You have a better chance (less than 1%) of actually getting the coronavirus than you do of them ever paying or being penalized for not paying! The city and the police can give all the citations they want and none of them will be followed through with. The DA here doesnt want to prosecute people for shoplifting, assault and battery on a police officer, drug possesion, and breaking and entering. You think people are going to be held accountable for these fines? I DONT.

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did make it that much. It was a suggestion obviously. It is Boston and Brookline, Lawrence made the fine $300 and those are just towns. It wouldn’t be impossible honestly to come up with that fine. Maybe that price would make people change their minds. Sorry about that L you took with your debate in the what’s the 311 with the seven kids drinking.

        1. Sorry about that L you took? LOL what are you 12? Im sure the mayor will take your suggestion very seriously as you seem very mature. Boston should have a $600 fine because they are a city and towns have been as high as $300? Good point sir. You should run for mayor next. You have my vote!

          1. $600 fine could be the final straw $300 fine is still possible as a second offense. It still could be a wake up call Don’t worry it’s just a opinion. And people these days use terms like dub, L, gucci, you name it. I am very mature. I’m not even like those seven fools. I want this deadly virus gone. I honestly guarantee people would wake up if I proposed a $600 fine it I was mayor it be a test to see.

  2. Nubian Square aka Dudley some guys handed out bags of masks today from a source. I guess they heard the loudspeaker.

  3. I think masks should be mandatory. However, as a compromise absolutely mandatory entering a bank, any retail store, supermarket, and/or a restaurant for pick up, We must be compassionate and considerate and take precautions to protect ourselves and each other by wearing a mask.

    1. I agree with that. It will get people used to wearing the masks if they are barred from entry to places. It will probably be more affective than fines in the sense, it you want to get in have a mask on, otherwise go home and get one. Incentivize people to wear the mask.

  4. I think this is going to be our new way of life. Asians have been living like this for years. I always
    watch Asian Countries before the Covid 19 broke out & they have been wearing masks for a very long time , maybe because most of these Flus & Viruses are from their countries

      1. It’s true that in China residents have been wearing masks for years because the pollution is so bad they can’t even see the sky . Most Corona viruses have originated in China at wet outdoor markets . Bats are usually the origin of the viruses.The saliva or feces of bats are spread to animals than spread from animals to humans.

        1. I agree that the pollution is bad in China. Do you really believe that the virus started in the wet markets. Its a fact that it started in a Lab by one(stupid) man.

      2. I think that is partly true, but I have seen Chinese tourists wearing them inside at highway rest stops. This was before the virus outbreak, at least from what we know. But I could see people giving them a wide birth thinking that they must have something. I started wearing the mask to the supermarket over a month ago. I spotted some others wearing them too, but I did tell the checkout that I wear it for protection, not because I’m sick. Now at least you no longer feel the need to explain yourself.

  5. I am claustrophobic and I also wear glasses therefore the masks make me very dizzy and I hyperventilate and my glasses get fogged up. Any and all suggestions, would be helpful?

    1. The fogging up is because your breath is going out the top edge of the mask: they should have a little soft metal strip that can be form fitted around your nose. Some don’t, and it’s a problem. I usually just take my glasses off, but that can be a problem too. I have one of those cords they can hang from.

    2. My husband has been using for years ..CLARITY DEFOG IT its an anti fog kit for eyeglasses. It a squeeze bottle with a microfiber cloth. There are many out there but he finds this one works the best. He gets it on Amazon, its $15.99.

    3. Probably impossible to get now, but one of my sisters found a mask at Lowes Hardware with a button on the front to make the mask breath better. They were more expensive than the regular N95 types, but they are made for people that have to wear eye protection and have the same issue as you. Problem is getting that while we are in the pandemic. She sort of saw this all coming and went back to get them for the rest of her family, buy they had been cleared out. Might be worth a call first to see when they plan to restock.

      1. When ordering masks I read the best rated masks to wear. The one mask that was described as a mask that the public should not wear is the N95 with the valve . The explanation given was that by releasing the breath through the valve was your releasing the breath into the air which is the equivalent of not wearing a mask. From what I read the N95 should be worn only by nurses and because the public was buying & hoarding them that the nurses on the front lines were washing their N95 masks and reusing them. The masks are to prevent the wearer from releasing droplets & particles and spreading them. into the air. According to the research bandannas are useless.

  6. Fines should be given in the North End also because we are a hot spot and to many walking around, biking or skateboarding without masks.

    1. I was wondering about that. The numbers in the Globe as they show statistics by neighborhood , have us plus East Boston, West End, Beacon Hill, the busness district and Back Bay in one demographic. About half a dozen zip codes, where as, the other districts are counted by no more than two zip codes in each demographic. I was wondering how many we had in the neighborhood.

  7. Anon The elderly are one of the most literally important things on my mind when it comes to that neighborhood and this virus. My Father’s oldest sister is recovering from the virus a former North Ender (won’t say the last name and what nursing home in MA she is at). I am aware that the North End’s nursing home/Casa Maria, Michaelangelo are all risky.

  8. You have to figure that there are carriers all around. As sick as some people get, there others who aren’t infected and aren’t aware of it. As Dr. Fauci claimed, this a very efficient virus. By that, I figure he means spreads very easily. Not a doctor, but I figure the inconvenience of the mask is one way to make it less efficient.

  9. We deleted some comments made above saying the North End had no positive cases of COVID-19, which is not true. While the Boston Health data combine neighborhoods, we know of many positive cases specifically in the North End.

    The Boston Health zip code COVID-19 case map reports 236 cases across the North End, West End, Downtown, Back Bay and Beacon Hill as of last week:
    We will update this later today when the new weekly data is released.

    Regarding the NE Rehab & Healthcare facility on Fulton Street, they had 3 cases/deaths earlier and recently tested all residents resulting in two additional positive cases, both with no symptoms. Those cases have been isolated and the facility will continue to test on a regular basis.

    Lastly, in case you haven’t noticed we, unfortunately, have posted an unusually high number of obituaries in the past month.

    1. Matt. Thanks for your comment. In any case ,how anyone could be inconvenienced by a mask during this pandemic is beyond me. How do you reach the public about the danger here. Read about what the patients in hospitals feel like. It is very painful and all we need to do is wear a mask.

  10. I’m not sure why some are saying the North End has not had any Covid-19 cases I know of 3 that have passed and 5 that are still house bound. So please, be careful out there.

  11. Charlie Baker orders people in Massachusetts to wear a face covering in certain public places. $300 fine for non-compliance. It’s a moot point at this stage. Better get them on.

  12. In addition to some people not wearing masks , I have observed people taking advantage of the light traffic and are driving 60 – 70 MPH throughout the City of Boson with probably 30 % of them still talking on cell phones &/or texting.

  13. I believe that although this is inconvenient, masks should be mandatory until the pandemic ends. We do not know if we are carriers, and a mask will at least reduce the possibility of infecting other people. These are simple things, I don’t understand why many are against it. It is not so difficult to put on a mask and go to the store or somewhere else. It would be selfish not to wear a mask.

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