Plastered across numerous social media channels and news outlets, you’ll find the latest updates on COVID-19. The notorious pandemic of 2020 seems to be stirring up controversy amongst people across the world. On one side of the spectrum, people are taking the initiative to wear the appropriate PPE (facemasks and gloves), and on the other hand, some seem to think COVID-19 is nothing more but the flu.
If the POTUS can Catch COVID, Why Risk It?
Early this month, the US. President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19. The President had undoubtedly become infamous for not encouraging social distancing and the use of facemasks. More recently, the President downplayed the pandemic’s severity by making false claims and comparing it to the common flu. On October 2nd, 2020, both President Donald Trump and the first tested positive for COVID-19. The President was recently in contact with his advisor Hope Hicks, who tested positive for COVID-19 early this week.
So, What Exactly is COVID-19? And Why Do Face Masks Matter?
COVID-19 is a viral pathogen that belongs to the family known as Coronaviridae. There are many different “types” of coronaviruses out there, and these have existed in animal populations for centuries. The virus we know today as COVID-19 originated from Wuhan City, a province in China, which continues to spread throughout the human community.
Those infected with the virus develop severe and acute respiratory diseases. Transmission of the viral particles occurs through droplets, aerosol, and fomites. So this means that sneezing, coughing, discharge, and saliva will all have the potential to spread the Coronavirus.
Anyone can contract the virus; those who do contract it may be asymptomatic (they show no clinical signs) or display a range of clinical symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and fever. The immuno-naive individuals, such as the elderly, children, or those with pre-existing medical conditions, are most susceptible to contracting this viral pathogen and so protecting those individuals becomes a priority.
Alright, so what’s PPE? and do we need it?
PPE, aka personal protective equipment, includes a range of items that are designed to contain viruses and bacteria. Containment of the virus will thus prevent a cycle of transmission. As we mentioned earlier, COVID-19 spreads from human-to-human, and it can also spread from objects-to-humans.
Personal protective equipment such as facemasks act as a barrier and break the transmission cycle. For instance, if a person with COVID wears a face mask, they inevitably contain the virus within that face make, and so they reduce the risk of spreading the virus to other people. In contrast, wearing a facemask will prevent a healthy person from contracting the COVID as the mask directly blocks the virus from entering your nasal cavity and mouth.
The CDC currently recommends using N95 respirators to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. The N95 respirator is a type of facemask designed to filter out various particles, both gaseous and viral. Healthcare professionals mainly wear these types of surgical masks as they are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 on a day-to-day basis.
It’s Time for A Wake Up Call.
Mr.Trump gained a lot of fame for notoriously downplaying the pandemic. On multiple occasions, he shunned away from the CDC’s recommendations on social distancing and PPE use; recently, his latest social media post comparing COVID-19 to the common flu sparked outrage amongst members of the medical community.
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