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Science has a lot to say about the effectiveness of wearing a mask to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but the communication of that science has been corrupted by a combination of partisan divides, sensationalist media stories, distrust, false dichotomies and letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

The studies on masks aren’t perfectly definitive, but that’s typical of many issues involving health risks — from mercury contamination to cancer screenings. It’s still better to make decisions based on an incomplete body of evidence than to ignore evidence altogether. In this case, it helps to add a dose of situational awareness and common sense.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
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