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Make Up Your Daggone Mind!

Remember way back when (like a few weeks ago) where people were told to wear masks in public in order to stop the spread of COVID-19?

We have no idea what to make of this;

The World Health Organization is recommending healthy people, including those who don’t exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, only wear masks when taking care of someone infected with the contagion, a sharp contrast from the advice given by American public health officials who recommend everyone wear a mask in public.

“If you do not have any [respiratory] symptoms such as fever, cough or runny nose, you do not need to wear a mask,” Dr. April Baller, a public health specialist for the WHO, says in a video on the world health body’s website. “Masks should only be used by health care workers, caretakers or by people who are sick with symptoms of fever and cough.”

Okay.

Got it.

No masks unless you are in the health care industry or taking care of a person who has COVID-19 you shouldn’t wear a mask.

But wait!

The recommendation differs from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which urges individuals to wear a mask or face covering in public settings, regardless of infection, to limit the spread of the virus.

“We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (‘asymptomatic’) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (‘pre-symptomatic’) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms,” the CDC mask guidance says. “In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”

Baller noted that masks can give people a “false feeling of protection” and noted that sick individuals should wear one to prevent transmitting the virus to others.

The CDC recommended last month that people wear nonsurgical face coverings when out in public after previously advising only health care workers and people exhibiting symptoms to do so. A new study suggests that wearing masks could cut COVID-19 cases by 80 percent if people heeded the advice.

“Universal masking at 80 [percent] adoption flattens the curve significantly more than maintaining a strict lockdown,” a group of international researchers wrote in the study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed.

Okay.

Got it.

Wear masks because it helps stop the spread of the virus.

Glad we got that settled.

Or did we?

According to the New England Journal of Medicine:

We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.

The calculus may be different, however, in health care settings. First and foremost, a mask is a core component of the personal protective equipment (PPE) clinicians need when caring for symptomatic patients with respiratory viral infections, in conjunction with gown, gloves, and eye protection. Masking in this context is already part of routine operations for most hospitals. What is less clear is whether a mask offers any further protection in health care settings in which the wearer has no direct interactions with symptomatic patients.

[….]

…It is also clear that masks serve symbolic roles. Masks are not only tools, they are also talismans that may help increase health care workers’ perceived sense of safety, well-being, and trust in their hospitals. Although such reactions may not be strictly logical, we are all subject to fear and anxiety, especially during times of crisis. (emphasis ours)

Whew!

Glad we got that cleared up.

Clear as mud.



One Response to “Make Up Your Daggone Mind!”

  1. Truthful says:

    Exactly right, “Clear as mud.”

    What to do? Use common sense and interact without touching each other, at least in public.

  2. […] June 1, 2020, we wrote about the confusing and contradictory messages given by “medical experts” on the simple […]

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