One day, historians will excoriate America’s top doctors and medical professionals for their collective failure preparing the nation to fight the Third World War. MIT professor Lydia Bourouiba has researched dynamics of coughs and sneezes for years and warns in newly-published research current CDC guidelines are based on outdated models from the 1930s.
“There’s an urgency in revising the guidelines currently being given by the [World Health Organization] and the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] on the needs for protective equipment, particularly for the frontline health care workers.”
Rather than the assumed safety of 6 feet, Bourouiba warns “pathogen-bearing droplets of all sizes can travel 23 to 27 feet” and “residues or droplet nuclei” may “stay suspended in the air for hours.” #Stayback and #MaskUp
The photo above shows a group of medical professionals traveling March 27th from Atlanta International Airport to LaGuardia to assist the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic. No masks! Hard to believe these are some of America’s experts.
“The big mistake in the US and Europe, in my opinion, is that people aren’t wearing masks.”
Gao Fu, director general, Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention
UPDATE 3.31: CNN reported today Walmart will now take workers’ temperatures at stores and warehouses before they begin shifts. Any employee with a temperature above 100 degrees will be sent home to seek medical treatment, if necessary, but will be paid for showing up.
The company will also make medical masks and gloves available for employees who want to wear them. “They will be high-quality masks, but not N95 respirators — which should be reserved for at-risk healthcare workers.”
Our front line troops are primarily women. Male leaders have again endangered our heroes. Their arrogance and professional malpractice is criminal. Spread the Word. Not COVID-19. Wearing masks helps defeat the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
“Our heroic front line healthcare workers who are leaving their families behind every day, often self-quarantining from their own spouses and children, to put their lives on the line to test and treat strangers they swore an oath to serve.”
U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams (2.29):
“Seriously people. STOP BUYING MASKS!”
“They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”
The recommendation by Dr. Adams is dead wrong. Masks are effective preventing the spread of the virus. SARS-CoV-2 is airborne. The virus passes easily between people.
The virus can spread from Person A to Person B when talking, sneezing, coughing or simply breathing around others, particularly in a closed room or tight quarters such as an elevator, car, bus, airplane, grocery stores or office locations.
Social (physical) distancing isn’t always possible (see bus below). #MaskUp to protect yourself and others.
In addition, wearing a mask reminds people not to touch their face, which some experts believe is the #1 way people become infected with COVID-19. No hands or fingers to your eyes, nose, ears or mouth! #MaskUp to remind you not to touch your face.
#MaskUp for Victory
International data is clear: nations that masked their population have proven to be more successful slowing the spread of COVID-19 than nations that did not. Why then is the U.S. behind the knowledge curve? There appear to be four main reasons:
- Many U.S. medical professionals claim masks do not work to slow or reduce the spread of a contagion.
- Many U.S. medical professional fear wide spread public use of masks might lead to self-infection, as people may handle masks improperly.
- Some U.S. political officials claim masks give citizens a false sense of security, thus they engage in more risky behavior.
- Some U.S. medical professionals believe asking citizens to #MaskUp will result in a shortage of masks and PPE, and leave medical teams with insufficient supplies.
Scientific data we have collected during this pandemic document masking the population is highly effective. The first opinion suggesting masks are ineffective is incorrect. “Stealth Transmission” of SARS-CoV-2 demands widespread mask usage.
The second concern is reasonable. Americans do not know how to properly wear masks. Rather than peddling fear each day on nightly news programs, our TV and online media personalities could teach people how to properly wear their masks, as well as how to safely dispose of soiled or contaminated masks. Journalists follow the rule, “If it bleeds, it leads.” They prefer to scare viewers rather than educate.
The third objection is typical of “nanny government.” Political and business officials treat our population as though we are children. Assuming people will engage in risky behavior is condescending. Do people engage in risky sexual behavior solely due to the prevalence of condoms? Maybe yes; maybe no. However, condoms certainly reduce unwanted pregnancies and STDs. Nobody suggests eliminating condoms in society. None should recommend not masking our population in a time of world war against an invisible enemy.
The fourth objection is valid. There currently is a shortage of masks. Industry needs to make more. But citizens can make their own. This is not a reason to deny Americans the protection they need. There are many DIY videos and articles on the Internet how to make masks that effectively protect both the user and others.
Remember GW Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003? The president set the timeline. He could have waited to attack. There was no need to rush. A couple of months after the fall of Baghdad, a U.S. troop reported to American media that their teams had to scavenge through rubbish piles to find materials needed to “up-armor” their Humvees and other personnel carriers.
U.S. soldier: “Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles? And why don’t we have those resources readily available to us?”
U.S. leadership had not properly equipped our troops for this type of war. Leaders in comfy chairs and air conditioned offices were fighting the last military engagement, while our heroic troops were battling a 21st century foe. We see the same failure of leadership at this time.
Additionally, how is it possible the U.S.A. doesn’t have enough masks for our population? Our political representatives failed to prepare us. SARS, MERS, swine flu, ebola … there have been many warnings. American officials did not equip us with modern technologies.
In WWII, citizens in European nations received gas masks. Why haven’t Americans received a face mask to protect against SARS-CoV-2 or other viruses? We could use them each winter as we work collectively to reduce deaths from influenza. It appears our officials are willing to accept 20,000 – 80,000 American deaths each flu season. We could do better.
Hollywood released Contagion in 2011. The movie portrays the scenario we currently suffer near perfectly (see Trailer). Only significant difference is Contagion features a rapidly-spreading and lethal airborne virus that kills within days. SARS-CoV-2 is relatively harmless to about 80% of the population. We’ve had at least two presidents and over ten years to prepare. We weren’t ready. We still aren’t fighting effectively.
COVID-19 is likely our last warning. If this panic, lockdown, loss of income, crash of our national and world economies, as well as death and suffering is not sufficient to wake up you or our elected officials, then we will perish as did the dinosaurs. This is our final warning!
Reality v. U.S. Fiction
Aides and representatives of England’s Royal Family have tested positive for COVID-19. The queen is pictured wearing different masks. It’s uncertain if she has the disease, but she dons a mask to protect herself and those around her. Shouldn’t you?
U.S. law enforcement have not been wearing masks to this point. NYC police now suffer massive infections in many departments. This is now a national security issue. Will we suffer looting, civil unrest and violence, while ranks of law enforcement are decimated by SARS-CoV-2? States and the federal government are releasing inmates from jails and prisons. We are on the verge of total collapse.
Here in Hawai’i, HPD Chief Ballard does not require officers to wear face masks. I’ve criticized the chief previously for her lack of up-to-date public health protocols. Her officers know how to arrest and shoot a citizen. Their commander doesn’t know how to protect her own heroic service members or the public.
In a perfect world, we would stay home and shut down everything for about 14 days. COVID-19 generally unveils itself to an infected person during this period. We would know who is, and who isn’t, infectious. We could isolate those with the disease; heal this small portion of our national populations; and get on with our lives.
Unfortunately, we need to move around to buy food, make repairs, keep electricity and water flowing, and provide other essential services. The solution in our imperfect world is to #MaskUp when outside and/or around others.
Practice social (physical) distancing at all times. Clean all surface areas with approved disinfectants. Wash hands frequently. #MaskUp. Open windows to allow in fresh air. Sunlight and warm air helps to breakdown SARS-CoV-2.
The virus is like a seed. It’s dormant until it plants itself in a host. SARS-CoV-2 has a coating made of fat. The fatty shell remains firm in cold, dark and slightly damp locations. The virus loves AC, as cold air preserves it. Sunlight is an excellent disinfectant. Warm, dry weather over 80 degrees helps deteriorate the fat coating. Simple soap and water disintegrates SARS-CoV-2 effectively — but you need to create lots of bubbles to break down the fat coating.
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Ko’olau of Kaua’i. I am the Defiant One
“I Believe We Can”