The state of Michigan is getting back to opening up manufacturing jobs today. And lots of factories and shops are going to need to change some of the ways they do things to protect their workers. In some places this may be pretty easy. Others will struggle if they normally have people working closely together. Most are requiring their employees to wear masks. Lots of businesses are now also requiring customers to wear them as well.
And starting on Friday last week we are requiring them for everyone coming in for appts as well. The hospital is also requiring them for anyone going in. If you don’t have one we will let you have one from our limited supply but please try to BYOM (bring your own mask). We aren’t sure when we will be able to get more.
I got some crap for this already on Friday. Some people are having a real problem with this. Many have read some things on social media that are saying that somehow a mask increases their risk of infection. Or something.
So I’m here to tell you, that unless you keep messing with it and keep touching your face, that they won’t worsen the problem. Trust me on this. They protect you. And even more importantly they protect everyone around you if YOU cough.
Think of it as a swim diaper for your face. Your two year old can’t swim in a public pool without one, not because the pool is worried about him getting dirty. But because they don’t want to recreate the Baby Ruth Scene from the movie ‘Caddyshack’.
In this case, the mask is protecting everyone from something far more dangerous.
There’s a video out there I saw that recreates a cough or sneeze and shows snot goblets spraying out to 12 feet away. Not 6 feet. 12 stinkin’ feet!! Then they put a mask on and it was less than 3 feet, kind of just dribbling out the sides. Not perfect. But way way less.
So most of the ‘trapping of infection’ that some people are worried about is all coming from their own face/nose/lungs.
And that’s why you should probably wash your mask later. Or change it out after a few wears if you have disposable ones. In the meantime, for the short time you’re wearing it, you’ll be fine. Just stop messing with it once it’s on (which IS hard, I’ll admit, but you learn to train yourself)
I wear one all day. So do all of my employees. So do all health care workers, more than we ever have in our careers. I’d also add that surgeons and OR teams have been wearing masks when they do their jobs for decades.
So let me ask you this—do you really think that what you read on Facebook, whatever source you might quote, somehow knows more than all of the world’s health care workers and surgeons? That there is some kind of ‘lost knowledge’ that somehow we missed the memo on and that we are all clueless and we should just do away with masks and because we are more likely to get sick wearing one? Because some anonymous guy on Facebook or YouTube says so?
C’mon. Give us just a little bit of credit. We can’t cure this virus but that doesn’t make us complete idiots.
But it’s not really about that. For most that have a problem with it, I think they feel It’s somehow impinging on their rights.
So here’s the deal. While it is your right not to wear a mask where you’re not required to, It’s also the right of any business, factory, health care facility, home, whatever, to demand you wear one inside. We don’t let you bring guns inside our office either. You can certainly carry a gun legally all you want. But unless you’re a police or parole officer it’s staying in the car if you want to see us (btw I own guns. So don’t start. I just don’t want them in my office. Not everyone is comfortable with them). We also don’t allow smoking in the office either. Or snakes (someone tried that once. A big boa constrictor around her neck).
And we aren’t trying to make a big political statement about guns. Or snakes. Or masks. So don’t try to turn it into one. We are simply trying to protect ourselves and our Patients. No mask, no appointment. Kinda harsh, maybe, but it’s what we feel we have to do, so that’s the way it’s going to be until they give us the ‘all clear’.
I’m guessing for most of you wearing a mask it is going to be less than 5% of your day. If that. If you’re not going to do it for yourself do it for those people in your world that might be vulnerable.
This picture is of my 95 year old grandfather, Frank Burder. The pic on the left is him at age 19 in 1944, in command of that C-47 behind him. The right side picture is him last summer going for a ride in another C-47 at an airshow, the first time in 75 years.
He probably won’t do very well if he gets this virus. Neither will a lot of people.
So as we open up more there ARE going to be more cases. The country is hitting 80000 deaths today. Putting that in perspective, picture the entire Spartan Stadium full on game day. There is so so little we can do about this thing. And we HAVE to get the economy and the hospitals moving again. Have to. Can’t stay shut down forever. So social distancing is going to be less stringent.
So what’s left? Wearing a mask. Please. It’s not that hard. And it may make a huge difference for you or to someone else as we get through this.