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From The Spanish Flu To COVID-19: A History Of Anti-Mask Sentiment

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The National Library of Medicine/Public Domain
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A small piece of cloth has sparked a big debate in the U.S. -- some Americans believe mandates to wear a mask infringe on their personal freedoms. Turns out, this has happened before.

Marian Moser Jones, associate professor in the University of Maryland School of Public Health, tells us about the Anti-mask League of 1918. Jones admits that today’s social distancing and mask-wearing mandates can feel inconvenient, but says we can learn from the Spanish Flu pandemic. Plus, how did that deadly flu play out in Baltimore?

To learn more about Baltimore during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, visit this Baltimore Sun linkThis program originally aired on August 5, 2020.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Melissa Gerr is a producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'
Maureen Harvie is senior producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.