As of June 15, our office has been fully open to patients, and we have loved seeing each and every one of you! As we have interacted with the public, friends, and family, we have discovered some confusion about the importance of masks. Our own Dr. Vandiveer has been studying COVID-19 since March and would like for you to consider the following:
50% of People With COVID-19 Are Unaware They Have The Virus
Some of these are pre-symptomatic and some will not show any symptoms. This allows Covid-19 to spread easily, silently, and rapidly. The CDC says these carriers without symptoms make it even more important for everyone to wear face masks.
The Virus Can Travel Farther Than 6 Feet
When someone is talking or laughing, the virus may travel significant distances, possibly greater than the social distancing 6 feet. That is why wearing any mask will protect others by reducing the spread of the virus significantly.
Some Masks Are Better Than Others
For a mask to protect you from someone else spreading the COVID-19 virus you must be wearing a mask that filters the air you breathe in. Studies suggest that homemade fabric masks may capture large respiratory droplets, but there is no evidence they impede the transmission of aerosols implicated in the spread of COVID-19.
Although there are some paper and cloth masks that are somewhat effective, the only predictable and highly effective mask for us to recommend that you wear is a KN95 mask if you want to protect yourself from the COVID-19 virus when you are out in public, at the grocery store, gas station, etc.
You Must Wear Your Mask Safely
Any mask is ONLY effective if you wear it properly so that it covers your mouth AND nose and is placed on your face so that you breathe through it, not around it. Your mask should be cleaned/sanitized after each use.
Be Sure You Purchase Authentic Masks
The KN95 mask is readily available on the internet and in such places as the Wilton Hardware store. However, it is common for both KN95 and N95 masks to be counterfeited. To test your mask, simply fill the mask with water. If it holds the water, the mask is authentic. You can also try to blow out a candle while wearing the mask. If you cannot blow out the candle, your mask is authentic.
Social Distancing and Washing Your Hands Are Still Most Important
It’s easy to feel an artificial sense of protection because you’re behind a mask, so please remember to wash your hands regularly and maintain social distance.
Please call us if you have any questions or concerns. We can’t wait to see you soon!