The President of the United States, who for months has been inconsistent in wearing a mask, now has Covid-19. This new information reignites the questions for many what good masks do when it comes to protection against the virus.
“I felt so mad that I got it after being overly cautious not to get it” Laura McElhaney, a teacher with homeschool co-op called “The Group,” said. “I felt scared that my symptoms could turn more severe the next day.”
McElhaney tested positive at the beginning of the pandemic.
“I felt almost every emotion after I tested positive,” she said. “Our family wore a mask everywhere in public before I tested positive. After I tested positive [for Covid-19], I no longer wanted to wear them because they did not keep me from getting it in the first place.”
McElhaney said she and her family still wear masks in public when asked or required out of respect for others.
She continued to explain how the quarantine affected her family. Laura also became very impatient with the fact that she and her family were diligent about wearing masks in public. She said, “Our family wore a mask everywhere in public before I tested positive. After I tested positive, I no longer wanted to wear them because they did not keep me from getting it in the first place. Although, our family still wears a mask in public places when asked, out of respect for others.”
Masks are intended to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 according to healthcare professionals.
“The virus is transmitted by respiratory droplets. And respiratory droplets being like your secretions and saliva,” Stephen Jenks, a Physician Assistant with Jane Phillips Hospital in Bartlesville said. “With COVID-19, the respiratory droplets that can transmit disease are smaller, they can travel far distances and stay in the air longer.”
Jenks said masks help reduce the number of respiratory droplets coming out of your mouth and nose. That’s important because it also decreases the number of things called “fomites” floating around.
“Fomites are the respiratory droplets or other things that carry the virus that can live on surfaces. The masks help in a way where they decrease the droplets in the air. They also decrease the formation of fomites around us,” Jenks said.
Masks and face coverings are not just for your protection, they help protect others who may be more at risk from the virus.
According to the CDC people with asthma, obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, severe obesity, coronary artery disease, history of stroke and COPD are at risk for hospitalization if infected with Covid-19.
President Trump, who announced on Twitter early Friday morning he and his wife tested positive for COVID-19, does not continuously wear face coverings.
Just hours before the announcement, the President told supporters the end of the pandemic was “in sight.”
The President is now in quarantine, which pulls him off the campaign trail in the final month leading up to the November 3rd election.