Professor of evolutionary biology says universities should "lead with empathy" by reinstating mask mandates

T. Ryan Gregory says there is no good reason to have dropped them just as a wave is starting

    1 of 2 2 of 2

      T. Ryan Gregory's Twitter profile has a simple message: "Come for the science, stay for the snark. Or vice-versa."

      The University of Guelph professor of evolutionary biology certainly isn't shy about speaking his mind.

      So when he was asked what he thinks universities should be doing in response to the pandemic, he offered a blunt response over Twitter: "Lead with empathy."

      "Do not assume that infections are mild in a university-age population," Gregory stated. "Long COVID is real, and having a significant number of faculty, staff, and students ill at any given moment will be enormously disruptive (see e.g., airports and hospitals)."

      He also called for the immediate reinstatement of mask mandates on university campuses.

      "There is no good reason to have dropped them just as a wave is starting. None," Gregory declared.

      The Straight is posting Gregory's Twitter thread below as a result of the University of British Columbia dropping its indoor mask mandate at the end of June.

      Video: UBC president Santa Ono justifies the end of an indoor mask mandate by saying B.C. had passed the sixth wave of the pandemic.

      Meanwhile, B.C.'s second-largest academic institution, Simon Fraser University, cancelled its indoor mask mandate on March 11. This corresponded with provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry ending the provincewide indoor mask mandate, resulting in no more mandatory masking in schools and on public transit and ferries.

      Gregory, on the other hand, feels it's imperative to adopt a comprehensive approach to stem the spread of COVID-19, as demonstrated by the following tweets.