The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Masks/ No Masks, that is the question

 

November 4, 2020



Upon researching Covid-19 on the CDC website, I found 8,911 results. If I just searched masks, I found 6,112 results on masks. The first travel-related case of COVID-19 in the United States was on January 21, 2020. The first Person-to Person spread of Covid-19 was on January 30, 2020. We now have almost 10 million.

Initially, about 200 test kits were distributed, testing up to 800 individuals per kit. If a Laboratory ordered a test kit, they would be sent one. One of the other problems was data originating from all 50 states and all tribal regions had roughly 50 different methods of collecting and formatting data, 50 legal policies on data, and 50 levels of detail on patients’ age, race, and ethnicity, if they reported these details at all. Many states lacked ample staffing and IT infrastructure needed to gather and report data. So, information was sporadic and conflicting.

Currently, the CDC has been under enormous criticism. However, since its beginning, it has been a part of solving numerous diseases. The Center of Disease and Prevention Control, CDC, was first known by Communicable Disease Center. It was organized in Atlanta, Georgia, on July 1, 1946; The first doctor was also its founder, Dr. Joseph W. Mountin. One of the first tasks of the CDC was to eradicate Malaria. Highly respected scientists came to the CDC’s laboratories. It has successfully worked many communities transferred diseases, including polio and the massive influenza epidemic. It had a vital role in eradicating Small Pox, Legionnaires disease, Toxic-Shock Syndrome, AIDS, Ebola in Zaire, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C, and Reye Syndrome.

There are several reasons people give for not wearing masks. The first reason is well said by quoting the Missoulian. Sen. Fred Thomas, R-Stevensville, state lawmaker, told colleagues in the Montana Legislature he believes “mask-wearing is a hoax to push government compliance.” People believe it’s against their rights to mandate face wearing. Some doctors have said it isn’t healthy to wear a mask, while others say it doesn’t stop us from getting Covid-19, and since it doesn’t work, why wear it.

An article put out by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons AAPS list so many variables. Those variables make it difficult for the average person to understand all the ramifications. Some of those variables are droplets containing the virus compared to air born, air currents, humidity, and how we wear the mask and if it fits appropriately. How long we wear the mask, what kind of mask it is, and whether it has a filter system as well. They listed various mask options, including t-Shirts at a 10% efficiency rate, cloth masks 38%, sweatshirts 40%, towels 40%, medical masks 55% efficiency, and N95 with a 95% efficiency rating. Moisture retention while wearing a mask, self-contamination as well remain some of the issues. Pulse oximeters show that not getting enough oxygen is not an issue, although some feel very claustrophobic.

However, concerning the Covid-19 disease CDC Director Dr. Robert R Redfield said, “We are not defenseless against COVID-19. Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”

I thought it was interesting how much virus you get exposed to determines how severe your symptoms are. With Covid-19, you can have an extensive range from no symptoms, even though you are infected, spreading the disease to others, and building up your immune systems in the process. If you receive larger amounts of the virus, you will have severe complications and maybe death. Wearing a mask lessens the risk by eliminating large amounts of virus. If we all wore a mask, we would weaken the virus, build up our immunities, and keep our economy healthy.

What isn’t often talked about enough is the necessity of building up our immune systems by healthy living. This is the real answer on how to fight COVID-19 the best way. These issues will be explored in future articles.

These measures are near-universally encouraged by public health departments all over the world. As we all know, “The use of surgical masks as an infection control measure is common in East and South-East Asia. It was recommended early on in the pandemic by governments in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan for healthy persons in crowded public spaces. At the same time, masks were also recommended for symptomatic persons in Japan and Singapore. In contrast, Western countries have been slower to encourage any adoption of masks. However, there is a growing recognition that this should be part of public health policy for mitigating the spread of COVID-19.” The CDC in the United States recommended cloth face-covering in April 2020.

The Mountaineer’s primary purpose, from the beginning, is to keep the community connected. This topic has done a lot of damage, from expressing opinions and beliefs that tear down other individuals to actually yelling at someone because they disagree with you. Everyone has four options: 1) You believe in wearing a mask, so you do. 2) You believe in wearing a mask, but not enough people do, so you stay home unless it is necessary to go out. 3) You don’t believe in wearing a mask, so you don’t; 4) You don’t believe in wearing a mask, but you do because others may be at risk, and you care about the community at large. Everyone has rights in this country, but with rights comes a responsibility to the community.

 
 

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