It’s like Driving Drunk

Many people refuse to wear a mask when in a public setting. Whether it’s because they feel that they are invulnerable to the virus or they forego mask wearing as a political statement, not wearing one is just plain wrong!

If you are like me, you are probably overwhelmed by news, statistics, articles and blogs about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease it causes. As COVID-19 continues its relentless spread throughout the U.S. and in many other parts of the world, we are learning more and more about the virus and most of what medical experts learn and pass on to us is not good.

It appears that virus transmission indoors is a major problem. According to Dr. Benedetta Allegranzi, who leads the committee on infection prevention and control for the World Health Organization (WHO), the possibility of airborne transmission in public settings, especially in “crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings, cannot be ruled out.” This is why so many areas in the U.S. have not allowed restaurants to open indoor dining or bars to reopen or, in many cases, if they have opened local governments are mandating their re-closures. Large indoor gatherings, for sporting events and political rallies and conventions, also pose health risks as “spreading events” for the virus.

 

This leads to another observation – younger people are becoming a larger segment of the population to be tested positive for COVID-19. While some of this increase may be explained by increased testing for a younger demographic, according to a recent npr article, “…some public health experts said the increase is because some younger adults may perceive they are less at risk than their parents or grandparents and are more likely to venture back into society as it reopens — that could mean going to restaurants or social gatherings or returning to the workplace.”

This brings up the crux of my blog: as I recently read somewhere, not wearing a mask in public settings is like driving drunk.

Health experts are constantly reminding telling us to keep social distancing, wash our hands frequently with soap and water, and wear a mask if we cannot social distance. Unfortunately, many people refuse to wear a mask when in a public setting. Whether it’s because they feel that they are invulnerable to the virus or they forego mask wearing as a political statement, not wearing one is just plain wrong!

 

Wearing a mask prevents you from spreading the virus, whether or not you are asymptomatic, to others. Those “others” include people you care about, friends, family members and those who rely on you as caregivers. The group receiving care are generally seniors, who are the most susceptible to serious medical problems and even death if they contract COVID-19.

 

Wearing a mask offers coronavirus protection for you but it is mainly to protect people around you, who may include your parents and grandparents or the loved ones of others that you might inadvertently infect. Not wearing a mask when around others is like taking the wheel when you have had too much to drink. Both can lead to devastating results.

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