The numbers continue to rise
The total number of COVID-19 cases in the state and the Lee County numberscontinue to confirm the significant and worrisome rise in COVID–19 cases. However, face masks have become a go-to topic of conversation and debate for many.
While many see mask-wearing as a must, others feel like they don’t need to for a variety of reasons. Some reactions to wearing face masks include: “Hardly anyone is wearing one/It won’t protect me, it just protects the other people/I’m in good health/We keep our distance so don’t need it/I can barely breath/It’s too hot/I forgot mine. Some refuse to wear one because they think it’s a conspiracy.”
One person we talked to, shared an online screengrab entitled “the dangers of face masks,” with inaccurate and extreme information. It included a picture of an alleged doctor in a lab coat next to it, and it said things like: “Mask is supposed to be used for a limited time. If you wear it for a long time: Oxygen to the blood reduces. Oxygen to the brain reduces. You start feeling weak. May lead to death.” So, there’s that.
Protecting others, not you
So, what do you do if you’re worried about the results of people not wearing face masks when social distancing is not possible? Communication, knowing the facts,and your tone is key.
Don’t challenge them.
The key to eliciting someone’s support of universal masking is acknowledging freedom of choice, and discussions need to be centered around education. Provide your friends and family members with the information they need to make choices about their health and safety, and help them to understand the responsibility we all share to protect those around us from the spread of COVID-19.
Make the point is that wearing a mask when physical distancing cannot be maintained is a measure you can take to help protect yourself and others.
Remind them that as the United States and Lee County faces an even more increasing number of COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises all Americans to wear face masks. Experts also say COVID-19 is two to three times more contagious than flu so that the virus can spread rapidly from person to person from gatherings.
Do face masks work?
Masks act as a physical barrier to protect you and others from viral and bacterial particulates. Many people unknowingly infect others by going out and spreading germs by coughing or touching others.
The CDC recommends that we wear masks or cloth face coverings in public settings that might make it hard to practice social distancing etiquette. You can go out in public areas without a cover if there is no one nearby. Otherwise, regardless if it’s close quarters or spaced out, you should wear a mask with others around. Wearing a face mask is a precaution and courtesy to yourself and those nearby you.
Wearing a cloth face mask is recommended as an extra layer of protection. That means that you should still be following any shelter-in-place orders in your community. But when you’re venturing out to the grocery store, pharmacy or hospital, it’s wise to wear one.
Finally, CDC experts say recent studies show that a significant number of individuals who have the coronavirus don’t have any symptoms. In other words, they’re “asymptomatic.Furthermore, those who eventually develop symptoms (or those who are “pre-symptomatic”) can spread the virus to others before they show any symptoms.
The coronavirus can spread among people who are less than 6 feet apart, whether that’s by talking to one another, coughing, or sneezing or even if none of those people notice symptoms commonly reported with COVID-19, like fever, shortness of breath or coughing.
The CDC recommends keeping these criteria in mind when wearing a mask or face cover:
· It should be snug but comfortable against the sides of the face
· It needs to be secured with ties or ear loops
· It should be made with multiple layers of material
· It must allow you to breathe without restriction
· It should be able to withstand machine washing and drying and not get damaged or change shape
Please, let’s watch out for one another.
ECCL Leadership Team