The total number of coronavirus cases in the United States has increased by two dozen over the weekend, up to 89 from 65 cases on Friday. There have also been two reported deaths in the U.S. New cases have been confirmed in Rhode Island, Oregon, Florida, Washington State, and New York. Many people are taking additional precautions to protect themselves against the virus, but the Surgeon General is saying they are wasting their time with one effort. The health official has said to the public “stop buying face masks.”
Why You Should Stop Buying Face Masks
You may think that sounds a bit odd, however, it turns out surgical face masks may actually increase your risk of contracting the coronavirus. This is especially true if you are not wearing it correctly, which most people are not.
The Surgeon General’s office shared a sternly-worded message to the people in the U.S. on Saturday, stating…
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!
— U.S. Surgeon General (@Surgeon_General) February 29, 2020
The only time you should wear a surgical mask, according to health officials, is when you are sick and have to leave your home. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others. The Surgeon Generals says that if you are ill, the best possible thing you can do is stay home and avoid contact with others. If you must leave, to go to the doctor or otherwise, wear a mask.
Wearing one isn’t necessary if you aren’t sick and in public though. In fact, most people wear masks incorrectly and it can increase your risk of getting sick. Believe it or not, the panic surrounding the virus is spreading faster than the coronavirus itself. But, if you want to protect yourself, the best thing you can do is listen to health officials.
How to Protect Yourself Against Coronavirus
The U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams stated, “You can increase your risk of getting it by wearing a mask if you are not a health care provider. Folks who don’t know how to wear them properly tend to touch their faces a lot and actually can increase the spread of coronavirus.” There are a few things you can do to ward off the virus though…
- Wash your hands properly. You need to scrub under your nails, the front and back of your hands, for at least 20 seconds before rinsing.
- Cover your mouth and nose. When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose. The coronavirus is spread through saliva droplets that dissipate when you cough or sneeze.
- Seek out early medical help. If you are sick, go to the doctor as soon as you possibly can. Doing so can help you get ahead of any illness and rule out coronavirus.
- Avoid contact with live animals. This specifically refers to animals in live markets and similar situations.
- If you’ve traveled, you need to quarantine yourself. This may seem a bit over-the-top, but if you have traveled to an affected area, like China, you need to avoid contact with others for 14 days. This includes going to school, work, and even running errands. Additionally, if you develop flu-like symptoms after visiting an affected area, do not leave your home until you’ve consulted your physician.
All in all, this isn’t the first (and it probably won’t be the last) pandemic the U.S. will ever see. Take the precautions above to help protect yourself but, as the Surgeon General said, stop buying face masks. They’re likely a waste of money!
Readers, are you concerned about the coronavirus? Do you think it will become more of a problem in the U.S.?