Lethality of Covid-19 : Importance of Masks and Distancing

\"LethalityThe lethality of Covid-19 has been debated over the past year. While it\’s not as lethal as other illnesses, Covid-19 is not something you want to get. That is why wearing a mask correctly and keeping your distance is extremely important. Our very own  Dr. Fine has shared some insight and final thoughts on the Covid-19 pandemic. Continue reading below to learn more.

We\’ve got a lot of people, 500,000 in the U.S alone, that will soon be dead from this pandemic.  It continues to rise with 2,000 people contracting the virus every day consistently. Though that is a small percent of the 340 million in our country, it\’s still a lot of people. This is not the flu, the flu kills 30,000 a year and a bad year kills 60,000. The Covid pandemic, at least one year in, is 15 times as lethal as the flu. That does not include the fact that with the flu you get one, two, maybe three weeks of muscle aches, joint pain, fever, and feeling terrible, and you\’re done. However, we have seen people now that have had post Covid like symptoms for 6 to 9 months that have not gone away yet. Including brain fog, which is like not thinking clearly or alertly, feeling tired, chronic fatigue and trouble sleeping. Sometimes people are having it go to their heart or lungs, and are getting chronic shortness of breath with chronic changes noted on X Rays and Cat Scans that show permanent lung and heart damage. These are real things that the flu does not do. So, the thinking at the beginning of the pandemic was that if you get Covid early, it\’s probably better. Getting it out of the way before the hospitals are full seemed like a good scenario, especially if you\’re younger and get a mild infection. You would be done with it and then you’re immune and you don’t have to worry about it. That thinking, now that we have more experience with this, doesn\’t make sense because you don\’t want to get infected at all.

This is not one of those diseases where you touch something that other people touch, and then you put your hands in your mouth, you\’ll get it. Just washing your hands is not gonna prevent this disease. This is spread by air particles in our breath, even if somebody doesn\’t have a cough. It’s unfortunate that we’re having to go through this once in a lifetime pandemic. Hopefully, it\’s only once in a lifetime. It seems to be an every 100-year event. It is mild compared to the death rates that were first published of 5-7% that were coming out of China and the early reports out of South Korea and the first few months of Italy. It\’s way lower than that, it\’s more like less than .5%. That doesn\’t mean you want to get it because if you\’re in the half percent, then there are people who are not in the half percent that are still getting severely ill with these chronic complications. These complications are either going away slowly or not at all. Thankfully, the lethality of the disease is not what we thought it was where you get it and you\’re a goner. But it\’s not nothing, and you certainly don\’t want to get it. Things like the African disease like SARs, the MERs, the Mediterranean respiratory syndrome things, and ebola are pandemics that happened across the world that were much more lethal. With this you\’re not necessarily a goner, most young people are fine, and most kids are fine too.

Still respect the distancing and the masking, and it’s ok to request other people if they don\’t have their mask on and don\’t keep the distance to say “Hey, I don\’t feel comfortable without you having a mask, can you please put your mask on or put it over your nose?” Too many people are wearing their masks below their noses or not wearing them appropriately and it\’s not effective. You have to wear them properly or it\’s the same as not wearing one at all. The cloth masks that cover more of the face that allows less air to get in between your cheek and the mask are effective. The surgical masks are still more effective than cloth masks but you have to repurchase them as they only last a few uses and cannot be washed. Over time, that cost will add up. If you\’re taking a trip, there are n95 masks you can get on amazon, reasonably and cheaply, that are available. These would probably be the best thing for travel if you\’re going on an airplane. The key areas to watch out for are the ticketing area where everybody\’s congregated before dropping off their luggage and the baggage claim area. The line for the trains and the shuttles that some airports have are also an area you should watch out for. Be careful in these areas and make sure you\’re keeping your mask on and keeping your distance.

 

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