Masks are a Must This Winter
You haven’t seen your family or friends for weeks or months. You decide to hang out with some friends for the Steelers game and have a few beers. A few days later, one of your friends isn’t feeling great. They have a mild fever and some body aches. They get tested for Covid-19, and it comes back positive. Now what?! You’ve been exposed and have to quarantine for 14 days.
As many of you are aware, Covid-19 cases are spiking around Pittsburgh, the US, and the world. Scenarios like the one above are becoming much more common. That’s why masks are a must for the coming winter months.
The Basic Science of Covid-19, so far
New cases of Covid-19 have been appearing to stem from family gatherings or social events among friends where pandemic precautions like masking and social distancing guidelines are not followed. It’s natural. You know your family and friends are trying to be cautious. They look and feel fine when you see them. You feel fine. But remember, you can look and feel fine but still be infected and shedding virus for up to 2 days before you become symptomatic.
The science shows that wearing a mask can reduce the risk of transmission if you are infected but unknowingly shedding the virus. Wearing a mask when around someone who is shedding also seems to reduce the amount of virus that you may be exposed to. It may lessen your degree of illness or even prevent you from getting sick altogether.
The epidemiology is not pointing to cases occurring nearly as frequently where wearing a mask is enforced.
Keep that in mind with your own personal interactions with family and friends over the holidays. Unless everyone can strictly quarantine for two weeks prior to any social gatherings, you should wear a mask indoors and maintain distancing. That stinks but we just have to get through the winter!
We need to maintain that standard until a vaccine becomes available and widely distributed, which likely will not be until the summer of 2021.
We are in this Together
At PFP, we require clients and visitors to wear a mask upon entry and to use hand sanitizer. We clean equipment right after it’s been used. We maintain 6 feet of distance. Do your best to maintain such standards outside of business or work when interacting with anyone outside your “bubble,” that is anyone not living at home with you. Let’s give each other a gentle reminder if we forget.
Hospital systems around the country and the world are feeling the strain of new cases. Let’s try to keep those numbers down by doing our part.
Dr. Brian Clista
Pittsburgh Fitness Project