𝐀 𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐤𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 (and a note about bipartisan science)

𝐁𝐢𝐠 𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫 #𝟏 – If you have COVID-19, you are most contagious 1-2 days 𝐵𝐸𝐹𝑂𝑅𝐸 you show symptoms and the 1-2 days AFTER.

𝐁𝐢𝐠 𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫 #𝟐 – This highlights the importance of wearing a mask.

𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐢𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐢𝐧 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐞’𝐬 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭 𝐋𝐚𝐝𝐲 𝐛𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐢𝐜𝐤. Please wear a mask. The most important times we can do that is before you even know you’re sick and right after the onset of symptoms (which you might think is just allergies).

I cannot overstate the importance of these reminders. I’ve written already about how masks are safe (they don’t reduce your immune system, they don’t make you more likely to get sick, they aren’t signs of oppression or fear, and other myths) in several other posts. (I re-linked to those at the end – they contain more data than you probably want to know – but, it’s all there in case we are still arguing about their importance and effectiveness.)

Lastly, I do want to pray for our leaders. I pray for their recovery and also the recognition that we are all susceptible to COVID-19 – but not all susceptible to what happens after infection. It’s a privilege to have full access to testing, early diagnosis, and early treatments. And, I’m thankful for those – goodness, I work in global health and see first-hand the importance of these privileges. But, those are not equal. Go here to see more on that: https://tinyurl.com/y48mbg47

These inequities are what I’ve anchored my career in – in fact, I’m going today to Capitol Hill (virtually) to advocate to our congressional leaders about the importance of providing healthcare to the most in need. I’ve done the same at the United Nations with my research and perhaps will write a post about that one day. I say this not to brag but to let you know that these posts are not political, simply opinions, or conjectures – although these are becoming harder and harder to write without some being interpreted that way and I’ve seen that increase in the past month. These are posts that are data-based from my expertise, training, and degrees.

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐚 𝐬𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐚 𝐬𝐚𝐲𝐬.

Yes, there exists good and bad data and we can likely talk about that all day long. But, the point is – our expertise and training as epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists is to sift through the data, evaluate the good studies (harder said than done, hence the lengthy training), and build evidence-based conclusions for public health. Believe the majority of scientists on these issues. Wear a mask.

-Friendly neighbor epidemiologist

***If you haven’t already, please like/follow this page. I’ve heard from some the posts aren’t showing up in the FB news feed unless you’ve ‘liked’ the page. Thanks!***

Sources:

When are you contagious? https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0869-5

Masks:

1. Masks work: The strongest evidence we have https://tinyurl.com/yxkymuof https://tinyurl.com/y2ux4owk

2. Mask 101: Why they work, exposure time, how to wear and disinfect your mask correctly https://tinyurl.com/yxvayp76 https://tinyurl.com/y6zxl2u3

3. Myth-busters for mask: A LONG post debunking common myths about masks (masks work really well, clearing up what the surgeon general/WHO/Fauci said, CO2 fears) https://tinyurl.com/y642sefb

4. Did the Surgeon General or WHO say not to wear masks? https://tinyurl.com/y4d8ghk2

5. Masks and aerosol transmission: https://tinyurl.com/y4dr723g

Photo: https://medical.mit.edu/covid-19-updates/2020/07/how-long-symptom-onset-person-contagious

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