From “The Mask Fiasco,” a 4.1 N.Y. Times piece by David Leonardt: “When the coronavirus began spreading, officials seemed to be promoting two contradictory ideas: First, masks would not help keep people safe; and second, masks were so important that they should be reserved for doctors and nurses.

“It reminded me of the line credited to Yogi Berra about a New York restaurant: ‘Nobody goes there anymore — it’s too crowded.’**

“The truth has become clearer in recent days. Masks probably do provide some protection. They’re particularly effective at keeping somebody who already has the virus from spreading it to others, and they may also make the mask’s wearer less likely to get sick.

“‘Coronavirus appears to mostly spread when germ-containing droplets make it into a person’s mouth, nose, or eyes,’ Vox’s German Lopez explains. ‘If you have a physical barrier in front of your mouth and nose, that’s simply less likely to happen.'”

** What Berra meant, of course, was that cool people in his realm had stopped going to the restaurant in question because the unwashed masses had discovered it and had made it noisy and more or less impossible to get a table.