Commentaries Health & Environment

Op-Ed: State of Mask Wearing in the North End

Let’s all thank the small businesses that are keeping our community intact. The cashiers at The Golden Goose, butchers at Sulmona Meats, the workers at Bova’s and Parziale’s Bakery, the list goes on, who all show up to serve us every day, and they don’t have N95 masks to protect themselves from the public who walk in potentially contagious of COVID-19.

If someone comes into the store and gets them sick, put the risk of death aside, it could easily be 2-4 weeks of severe illness for them, increased chance of spreading to other customers, and near certain risk they spread the illness to their loved ones. At this point, if we as the public wear face masks, we drastically decrease the chance we spread the disease to others.

Unfortunately, the North End community is failing to wear masks. Just go for a walk around the neighborhood and you’ll find less than 50% of people following protocol. It’s not just the youth. The range of people disregarding the best interest of the neighborhood’s health spans the generational spectrum. 

To be clear, wearing a mask doesn’t do much to prevent you from getting sick, but it does a lot to protect your neighbor from contracting the disease if you’re infected and don’t know it. Out of respect for our neighbors and the people risking their health to serve us, the community should step up and take wearing masks seriously.

Somerville and Cambridge are now ticketing people for not wearing masks. The City of Boston strongly urges everyone to wear masks if in public. Despite Marty Walsh’s Boston Globe article shaming runners and cyclists, the city’s own text message alerts continue to emphasize social distancing and hand washing, and fail to consistently mention mask wearing.

The task is simple, let’s all do our part to keep each other safe and wear masks whenever walking about the neighborhood. Businesses can post the flyer below on their doors to remind customers. welcomes commentaries on community issues via email to or through our Submit a Post online form. Opinions are those solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of or other writers on this site. Responses to this commentary can be posted below in the comment section.

12 Replies to “Op-Ed: State of Mask Wearing in the North End

  1. Not sure why someone would NOT comply, regardless if you think it’s effective. It just instills confidence and some security for people you may happen to come in close contact to.

    I’ve exercised with one on for the last 6 weeks…it’s not ideal but it’s certainly do-able…and I wear glasses too so it makes it a bit more awkward….it’s not that big of a deal.

    I don’t consider myself “pro government” by any definition but….people just need to do what elected officials are asking us to do (can’t believe I just wrote that!).

    1. “Out of respect to our neighbors and the people risking their health to serve us” Anon I wear glasses as well and your right its not that big of a deal. STEP UP neighbors and do the right thing.

  2. To all the runners out there or who are running and not wearing masks: it is blatantly clear that you only care about yourselves. Wear a covering and when you see people walking your direction, pull the mask up. Then bring it down when you are not around others. If I am trying to get exercise by taking a walk and I have a mask on and you come up running behind med spreading your filthy germs, you are inconsiderate and selfish. Marty Walsh, we need to fine people for not wearing masks. Let’s go!

    1. I watched a demonstration using a dummy coughing. The droplets from a person coughing can travel up to 12 feet and linger in the air for several minutes. So WEAR A MASK! 😷

  3. “I wear a mask to protect your family, please wear a mask to protect my family”
    I am seriously considering getting a t-shirt made that says this, which makes me want to cry and laugh at the same time in it’s ridiculousness.

  4. I wish we would all wear them out of respect for each other. I do not want to get angry but……I just returned from CVS, the woman who is always outside on the sidewalk across from the CVS entrance today was standing right by the automatic doors and she was COUGHING a very heavy congested cough without a MASK as I started to enter. I said you need a mask (and would have gone home and gotten one for her) but she said she HAD one! I spoke with Angela the store manager who said she could not tell her to move away from the entrance as it is public property. After I got my prescription the woman was in same spot still without mask. I just called 311 – and was told that there was nothing to be done since she was not breaking the law. I would also add I went for jog (with mask) at 9:30 and would say 75% of the joggers not wearing masks nor is distancing observed.

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