Whatever it takes
I am reminded everyday of the havoc that COVID-19 has caused in all of our lives. So many of us are stressed out and panicked about the future and rightfully so. My husband is a financial advisor and so I listen to him talk about the economy and how if this continues for much longer how it will devastate the market. He talks about things I don't understand but I recognize the sense of urgency- it reminds me of times when I am advocating for a patient, trying to get others to understand why we need to take certain actions immediately and not wait.
It should be obvious to everyone at this point that COVID-19 is highly contagious and that we know very little about this virus. There is not a vaccine available and while there are medications in trial, there is not a proven medication that can treat COVID-19. The majority of the population may get COVID-19 and recover without any issues, there are some that will require medical intervention and then there are others that will die due to complications from COVID-19. This is not the flu- we have vaccines and medication to treat the flu.
This is different and requires us to respond differently.
Mask wearing or facial covering can effectively reduce the transmission of COVID-19- if facial coverings are being used effectively. So what does this mean exactly?
Cloth face coverings should:
Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
Be secured with ties and or ear loops
Include multiple layers of fabric
Allow for breathing without restriction
Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change in shape
I see a number of people wearing masks/facial coverings in public already but we must all wear them in order to provide the highest level of protection possible. One could argue that no one really knows the effectiveness of cloth masks and their ability to filter droplets so their really is no reason to wear a mask but I would say that is not true. I would say anything is better than nothing.
This extra precaution could potentially prevent unnecessary deaths. I realize that wearing a face covering in public may be uncomfortable or burdensome at first but it should become the new normal for everyone as we all navigate through this uncharted territory. The lock down will end, businesses and restaurants will reopen and when they do WE will be prepared as a community to do whatever it takes to keep each other healthy.