Last week I posted about the coronavirus taking China by storm.
My dear friend who reads my posts on a weekly basis, had just been to a doctor recently. Through discussions regarding staying healthy and avoiding this virus and other nasty germs, the doctor explained to my friend that wearing a mask, in the grand scheme of things, was “counterproductive”. The mask is only good for about 10 minutes and then the bacteria that you expel in your breath collects in the mask. The moisture from breathing adds to this bacteria and the mask becomes a “petri-dish” of nastiness.
All photos from China show people wearing surgical masks. So we assume that this is a good idea. I saw a news story the other day where a woman was arrested for being on the street in China without a mask on.
If you go on the web and look into the prices of surgical masks, the asking prices have skyrocketed. It’s called “price gouging” or straight up “taking advantage” of a bad situation.
But, according to my friend’s doctor and other experts this “surgical mask” craze is a bit misleading.
Face masks help fight against many respiratory infections spread through droplets and that includes the coronovirus and the flu. These viruses spread through the air by someone coughing or by us touching a contaminated surface with our hands and then touching our mouths, nose, eyes prior to washing our hands. Wearing a face mask can prevent these droplets from hitting your face before dropping to the ground.
A major caveat: The general poplulation does not know how to use the mask. Quite often people will put their hands underneath their mask and therefore put germs under and near their mouth, nose and eyes. With the moisture of breathing, these germs can make you ill very fast.
The Center for Disease Control is not suggesting the general population wear face masks unless you have been confirmed to have or are being tested for the 2019-nCoV (Coronovirus) and are in the same room as other people.
The best mask in this case is the N95 Respirator, a much thicker mask than a surgical mask. Painter’s masks are worthless and surgical masks were designed to keep the surgeon’s mouth and nose out of the surgical field in an operation room setting.
The best way to keep protect yourself from this and other viral illness is:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If you don’t have soap and water then use hand sanitizer.
- Keep your hands away from your nose, eyes and mouth. Not a good idea to “chew your fingernails”. It’s a good time to kick that bad habit to the curb….
- AVOID CLOSE CONTACT WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE SICK. That is my number 1 mode of attack. I’m trying to avoid people with cold/flu and places that would be potential places to catch a virus.
- If you are sick…STAY HOME! Don’t spread it to others.
- Frequently disinfect objects and surfaces that could harbor germs such as countertops.
This Coronovirus story is changing with every news cycle so pay attention. So far the big threat is still in China but there are cases in Canada, USA and other countries.
It is a scary situation…..and as I type this, round 2 of Ebola in Africa has started. If this Coronovirus crosses into Africa and mixes with Ebola, we have a very serious WORLD problem.
But…we aren’t going to go there in our minds. We are going to stay positive, stay proactive, and stay informed.