The COVID-19 surge is here, social distancing and mask wearing a mustBy Veita Bland, M.D. / November 5, 2020
The surge that all were warned about has arrived. We were unaware as to when it was coming but that it was coming as the colder months approached us. We are seeing more than 80,000 new cases daily in the U.S. and we are rapidly headed towards 100,000 new cases a day. The experts like infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci are continuing to warn us that the high number of cases will get worse, especially if behavior does not change.
We are also seeing many more children infected with COVID-19. This is a dire event as we see the death count quickly surge nationwide past the 234,000 mark. Each life lost is a tragedy.
This tragedy will continue if we are unable to change the mindset of the community, the country and the world. The surges are not isolated to America. Unfortunately, this war is being waged widely around the world. In each geographic area that we see increases in cases, epidemiologists say such areas have factors in common: 1. a pure disregard for social distancing protocols and 2. no national mandate for wearing masks.
Now that the election is concluding, I sure hope that masks will be thought of as a life-saving tool and not as a political statement.
There is a proper way to wear a mask. Many people just put a mask without taking the time to carefully place it in a protective manner. A mask should be securely molded to the nose to eliminate those and it should fit under the chin. I suggest that some type of metal or moldable material be present to contour around the bridge oof the nose area. I often see are patients with large gaps in their mask. Let me remind you that the COVID-19 virus is air borne. If I cough and you just happen to come into my space, the virus could certainly fall in those mask gaps and possibly infect you.
I recommend that you mold masks to your face and then take a selfie to make sure it is properly fitted. When a mask is molded properly to the face, the fogging of one’s glasses occurs less. I believe wearing those “cute” masks is better than nothing but a properly fitted mask is better to protect others and also protect yourself.
I understand that people are social beings and want to connect with others. I receive reports often from patients, who have experienced instances where others have crossed into their personal spaces. Again, this breach of space can be interpreted as a political statement for some. However, your right to have that space is vital to maintaining your health. A statement such as “Please respect my personal space,” is one I have used and has proven to be helpful. The “space invader” will usually apologize and step back. There is nothing wrong with demanding that your personal space be respected.
If we can wear face masks, practice social distancing, disinfect living and workspaces, get rest and relieve stress, we may be able to avoid a third surge.
Dr. Veita Bland is a board-certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on N.C. A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wed. Email Dr. Bland at email@example.com.