PAAO President’s Message

November 2020

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

In these extraordinary times, we should wear a mask with a smile to express, even in an invisible way, kindness and solidarity to everyone around us.
– M.N.Burnier Jr.

In 2020, a mask has been integrated in our everyday lives. We wear them to protect the people around us, we wear them to show good example to our children, and we wear them to protect ourselves and our loved ones. The sacrifices we make today will affect the lives of millions of people in the long run.

The WHO recommends children over the age of 12 to wear masks under the same conditions as adults in public, especially if the 1-meter distance is not guaranteed. The decision for children aged between 6-11 should be based on the widespread transition area, the child’s ability to use the mask, adult supervision, the child learning and psychosocial development, and their surrounding settings and interactions.

Make sure to wash your hands before and after mask use, and ensure it covers your nose, mouth and chin. It is important to remember that our masks do not hide our smiles; we express our smiles in the many mask designs we choose to represent ourselves through.

“Masks are a key measure to suppress transmission and save lives. Masks reduce potential exposure risk from an infected person whether they have symptoms or not. People wearing masks are protected from getting infected. Masks also prevent onward transmission when worn by a person who is infected,” exemplifies the WHO.

The WHO recommends taking some simple precautions, such as physical distancing, wearing a mask, keeping rooms well ventilated, avoiding crowds, cleaning your hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue. The WHO advices to wear a surgical masks if you are over the age of 60, have underlying medication conditions or are feeling unwell. Fabric masks could be worn and should be secured with elastic loops or ties, include multiple layers, be washable and reusable.

At the McGill University Health Center, we express our smiles in our research and have chosen to integrate them through our mask designs. This is our MUHC-McGill University Ocular Pathology and Translational Research Laboratory mask design, and we are looking forward to wearing it with honour and pride throughout our labs and hospitals.

Our masks display the BIOPSY logo (the Laboratory Alumni Society) linked to the importance of our commitment to diversity in our lives.


Miguel N. Burnier Jr. MD MSc PhD
PAAO, President