This Is the Single Easiest Way to Help During the Pandemic
I wear a mask to protect you. Will you wear one to protect me?
Cover your face. This is the new guidance from the scientific community. In addition to social distancing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending all Americans wear a nonmedical face mask when out in public. Everyone should wear a face cover to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Let’s be clear: The purpose of a mask is not to protect you from the virus. We wear it to prevent others from catching the virus from us. Face coverings are about protecting others.
Wearing a mask is not about protecting yourself. A face covering is now an act of kindness toward others.
My mask protects you. Your mask protects me.
After finishing a long hospital shift, I stopped by the grocery store to get food for my family. I donned a face mask. No one else in the store had one. I brought a few from our office to give to strangers. Some happily accepted them. Others declined. One brushed me off, flippantly stating, “I don’t need that.”
I wanted to respond, “Wear it for me, not for you.” Wearing a mask is not about protecting yourself. A face covering is now an act of kindness toward others.
America must get this message: SARS-CoV-2 does not care what you think or what you believe. Many question the value of donning a mask if they feel fine. But we now know the virus is often spread before someone begins to feel sick. This is called viral shedding.
To protect those we love, and everyone else, we must cover our faces. According to recent data, asymptomatic carriers spread the virus. This is not surprising news as many viral illnesses follow this pattern. An asymptomatic carrier is someone who has the virus but does not know it. Through no fault of their own, a carrier is contagious and passes viral particles to others.
Until widespread testing is available, the safest course of action is for every American to live as though we are all asymptomatic carriers. The sad truth is any one of us may be shedding the virus and…