May 17 2020

Wear a Mask for your Fellow Citizens around You

Published by at 12:52 pm under Immune System

Wear a mask for your fellow citizens.
You could be carrying the virus and not even know it, so do your part to protect others.*

 There is so much information daily regarding Covid-19 that I hesitate to even address it. But our goal at Body Biotics™ is to protect our customers, and to help them build strong immunity, avoid illness and achieve optimal health and well being with Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™.  We advocate for moderation, healthy choices, and achieving balance in our lives. We want to be healthy at the core so that our immune systems are strong and we can ward off illness.*

Since our goal is prevention and optimal health, I wanted to discuss prevention in this new and challenging time in which we are living. After experiencing weeks of sheltering in place for most areas of the country, businesses are starting to reopen and people are venturing out. How do we do this and stay safe? While vaccines and treatments are rigorously being pursued all around the world, we still don’t have that underlying protection we need. So we have to take care of ourselves and also do our part to take care of those around us.*

Most people are wearing masks and practicing social distancing and washing hands as always. Some, don’t seem to be as concerned. It made me wonder when I saw on social media people arguing about whether they should have to wear a mask or not. And, when visiting the grocery store, many people were masked free. That prompted me to dig a little and just get some basic facts regarding this. Just because we are opening up, does it mean we can relax about protecting ourselves and others? According to the Mayo Clinic, the answer is simple…wear a mask to protect others.1*

According to the Mayo Clinic, “…face masks, combined with other preventive measures, such as frequent hand-washing and social distancing, help slow the spread of the disease.”1*

At the beginning of the pandemic, face masks were not recommended because at that time, experts did not yet know the extent to which people with COVID-19 could spread the virus before symptoms appeared. Additionally, it was not known that some people could carry the virus but not have any of the symptoms. Both groups, those who have the virus and are not yet presenting symptoms, and those asymptomatic people can unknowingly shed the virus and expose others. According to  Gigi Gronvall, an immunologist and senior scholar at the John Hopkins Center for Health Security and an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health “…A growing body of results shows that people who are asymptomatic appear to have the same viral load as symptomatic cases. This means that, whether people have symptoms or not, they carry the same amount of virus inside them. This suggests that transmission is possible equally from both asymptomatic patients and noticeably sick patients…”2*

These discoveries caused the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to change their recommendations regarding face masks. They “…updated its guidance to recommend widespread use of simple cloth face coverings to help prevent transmission of COVID-19 by people who have the virus but don’t know it…”1*

Because there was a shortage of surgical masks and N95 masks and these need to be reserved for those on the front line, the CDC recommended cloth masks for the public and not the surgical and N95 masks needed by health care providers.1*

There are various types of masks out there, and they all provide varying levels of protection. The N95 mask, designed for health care workers, offers more protection than a surgical mask as it is designed to filter 95% of large and small particles. The N95 mask is designed to protect the wearer should they come into contact with someone who has the virus. That is why these masks should be reserved for health care workers and others on the front line.1*

Surgical masks, or medical masks, are loose-fitting disposable masks that cover the nose and mouth from contact with droplets, splashes, and sprays that may contain germs. It also filters out large particles in the air. Surgical masks may protect those you come in contact with by reducing their exposure to your saliva and respiratory secretions.1*

According to the Mayo Clinic, “…At this time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any type of surgical mask specifically for protection against the COVID-19 virus, but these masks may provide some protection when N95 masks are not available…”1*

A cloth mask is worn primarily to help protect others in case the wearer has the virus. So if you wear a cloth mask, and you are an asymptomatic carrier, or have the virus and are not yet showing symptoms, you are protecting others around you by preventing the spread of the virus unknowingly. And it has shown to work. “…Countries that required face masks, testing, isolation and social distancing early in the pandemic seem to have had some success slowing the disease’s spread…”1*

If you come into direct contact with the virus through a sneeze or cough, a cloth mask won’t prevent the tiny particles from getting through. But common sense suggests that some protection is better than none. When we  wear a cloth face mask, combined with frequent hand-washing and social distancing, it will minimize your chances of getting the virus if exposed as opposed to doing nothing at all. By doing multiple layers or adding a coffee filter under your mask, you can add some extra protection.1*

It is a good idea to wear cloth face masks when in public settings that are not always easy to social distance. Grocery stores, home and garden stores, and other places where there are lots of people can be places of community-based transmission. If you have a mask on, you are preventing the spread of the virus should you be a carrier and you are providing yourself some added protection. While it is your choice if you want to wear a mask or not, we don’t want this virus to spread, and if it can be prevented, then it seems logical that we all do our part.

When wearing a mask, do the following:

  • Make sure both mouth and nose are covered.
  • It should be snug.
  • Avoid touching your mask while it’s on your face…but if you do, wash or sanitize your hands.
  • Wash your hands immediately after removing your mask.
  • Wash your mask with soap and water in the washing machine. It’s fine to launder it with other clothes.
  • Don’t put masks on anyone with breathing problems, or who can’t take it off themselves
  • Children under 2 years of age should not wear a mask.
  • Continue to social distance, face masks are not a substitute.

Be considerate of your neighbors and those around you. This is such a challenging, stressful time for everyone and it is more important than ever to be kind and forgiving of people. Everyone is dealing with this in a different way and has different levels of fear for different reasons. So respect your fellow citizens, wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart, avoid touching your face, and wash your hands. Let’s work together and not tear each other down. And remember that trip to the grocery store is perhaps the only interaction a lot of people are getting…so let it be a pleasant one and treat each other nicely. Just be kind!

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

Resources:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-mask/art-20485449
  2. https://hub.jhu.edu/2020/05/12/gigi-gronvall-asymptomatic-spread-covid-19-immunity-passports/

 

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