Eshani Karu, MD — Covid-19 July 2020 — Protect Yourself First Wherever You Live
Covid-19 is again the top story of the day and it will continue to be a major topic of discussion for many months to come until a vaccine or alternative method of protection from the coronavirus is found. In the meantime there is an incessant drumbeat of negative news that is blasted at us no matter where we turn to on television, radio, social media. Day after day there are numbers being thrown at us and inevitably, they are numbers that can be overwhelming to any and all of us and the expectation is to go forward hearing them and not reacting. Are we as a society kidding ourselves? In the face of incessant negative news, I can only recommend that the first and foremost thing to remember is that we are able to control our own behavior as it relates to others in the outside world. We all have a choice to make and this is my recommendation: Wear a face mask covering your nose and mouth when venturing outside. Do your utmost to maintain the social distancing from people you don’t know of at least 6 feet. Wash your hands after touching surfaces, especially when you have ventured outside. Use hand santizer after using your hands to open and close doors when venturing out to purchase items or selected products off the shelves of stores if you are just shopping.
I’ve written before and am writing it again, if you wear a mask and maintain social distancing you have lowered the risk 95% from catching Covid-19 and potentially of getting the virus. If both you and a second person are wearing a mask, the odds drop to 1% to 1.5% chance of getting the virus.
So let’s look at a couple of numbers for July 16, 2020. The Los Angeles School District is going to keep the schools closed for at least August. They do not want school children to be interacting with each other, with or without masks. They do not believe that they can enforce mask wearing by 100% of the children and they are probably right, based on the behavior of our at large community. Approximately 11,000 cases of Covid-19 were reported in Los Angeles on July 14, 2020. 11,000 cases in just the city of Los Angeles. What we are not being told is how manyi of the 11,000 people that the number represented were wearing a mask at all times when they were outdoors away from their home OR how many people did they come into contact when not wearing a mask with people who had ventured outside without wearing a mask. In Japan today, July 16, 2020 it was reported that there were 600 new coronavirus infections throughout the entire country of Japan. 600 new cases in Japan versus 11,000 cases in Los Angeles. I would venture to say that the main difference in the infection rates is in direct proportion to the percentage of people wearing masks in public.
You and I cannot control the people we meet, but we can certainly make sure that we wear out masks and social distance.