Mandatory face masks necessary to save lives

In Summary

• The Law Society of Kenya has filed a case seeking to halt mandatory wearing of masks unless the government can provide free masks

• Bandanas are an effective substitute for face masks

Finished face masks await packaging
Finished face masks await packaging

The Law Society of Kenya has filed a case seeking to block the mandatory wearing of face masks or, alternatively, to get the government to distribute free face masks (See P9).

In response, the government states that public health measures are already helping to protect the poor and vulnerable in society.

The LSK has adopted an extreme binary position - either masks for all or none at all. This is unrealistic, especially at a time when there is a global shortage of face masks.


Public awareness of the coronavirus has been rapidly evolving. Some silly socialites and young people still want to party but most Kenyans now realise that the best way to protect yourself is to socially distance yourself and to regularly wash your hands. And to wear a mask.

If you don't have a mask, you can use a bandana or strip of cloth. The police and Health ministry accept that as an effective substitute.

So it is not difficult for everyone to use a mask or bandana. It can't do any harm to wear one, and at best it may save lives - including your own!

Quote of the day: "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, that's creativity."

Charles Mingus
The American jazz musician was born on April 22, 1922