Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Mask Wearing For Added Protection From The Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Six weeks ago, I posted in this blog about purchasing quality half-face respirator masks with multiple replacement N99 filters and valves. At that time the Coronavirus was beginning to spread in the United States and I wanted to be sure that my household would have proper masks, if needed. At the beginning of April, I posted that the U.S. government was considering whether or not Americans should wear face masks. Well, here we are... about to enter the month of May... and the Indiana county in which I work at a law firm has announced that people should wear face masks -- particularly when going into essential retail establishments. In fact, the mayor and county commissioners have gone so far as to issue an executive order stating: "A person who knowingly, intentionally or recklessly violates this executive order is subject to fines of up to $2,500 and punishment as a class B misdemeanor under Indiana law." Yep, they're serious. It's likely due to the fact that the county in which I work currently has the highest per-person infection rate in the state of Indiana. Actually, the infection rate is nearly four times greater than any other Indiana county. I don't live in the county that I work, but travel about 15 miles one way and reside in another county.

The mayor has included the following in the executive order (summarized below):
  • All essential retail establishments shall limit the number of customers in their establishment at one time.
  • Customers are limited to one person per family while shopping. Each person entering an establishment should wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth.
  • Children under the age of 16 will not be allowed in essential retail establishments.
  • Drive-thru, curb-side take out and delivery services by restaurants can continue. Masks should be worn to cover the mouth and nose of all persons making deliveries of this type as well as during preparation of food.
  • All individuals in high-risk populations including the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes or lung disease are strongly encouraged to avoid all public gatherings and to minimize all travel to the maximum extent possible.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends wearing a face mask that covers your nose and mouth when leaving your home for essentials, like groceries and prescriptions. You don't want to have air gaps or voids around the nose, cheeks or chin -- if possible. I highly recommend that you read an excellent article published in USA Today about face masks -- including proper fit, sanitizing, and more.

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso