President Trump announced that social distancing guidelines will be extended through April 30th and that current projections show that the peak is expected in 2 weeks. He was convinced by Dr. Fauci to extend the restrictions as it would be foolish to declare victory before victory was won.
I’d be surprised if the timeline to go back to normal isn’t pushed back again.
Perhaps what could really help would be an antibody blood test, so that those that have had coronavirus and are immune can get back to normal life again. Hopefully that test becomes widely available in the near future.
Perhaps it’s also time for Americans to start wearing masks?
The debate is surprisingly fierce.
The CDC doesn’t recommend masks. They say that they don’t stop a layman from catching a disease and that laymen may wear them improperly, which can actually spread a disease even more than without a mask.
People in Asia can’t understand how people in the west don’t wear masks. China even deployed drones to get everyone to weak a mask:
Walking around without a protective face mask? Well, you can't avoid these sharp-tongued drones! Many village and cities in China are using drones equipped with speakers to patrol during the #coronavirus outbreak. pic.twitter.com/ILbLmlkL9R
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) January 31, 2020
Regardless of whether you trust the numbers from China, they’re widely worn in Asian countries that were far more successful than the US in containing COVID-19, despite not having stay at home orders like we have in the US. Countries like Taiwan had great success keeping their numbers low by having everyone wear masks. Taiwan banned mask exports and capped the price of a mask at 17 cents.
The CDC is weary of the medical community not having a sufficient supply of masks, and that is a strong concern. The price of N95 masks have climbed from 50 cents to nearly $10 each, making them cost prohibitive for hospitals.
The other side argues that it doesn’t take an N95 mask to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Even a homemade mask made from a t-shirt or face covering can prevent the spread of droplets that pass coronavirus around. Plus it will stop people from touching their face when outside, which can spread coronavirus. Of course if that mask isn’t handled properly and disposed or laundered, it can cause more harm than good.
Face masks don't work, so please stop hoarding them or else medical professionals will not have access to the stuff that doesn't work.
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) March 4, 2020
Another reason the CDC doesn’t typically recommend masks is that most diseases only spread once someone is symptomatic, but that isn’t the case with COVID-19 which is highly transmittable before symptoms develop.
Finally, masks primarily stop coronavirus from spreading, but the CDC doesn’t think western civilizations will adopt it in high enough numbers like they have in the east to prevent its spread. Without most people wearing masks, it would be hard to allow people to go outside without worrying about contracting COVID-19.
But the Czech Republic is trying to prove that isn’t correct and that western civilizations can be trained to wear masks:
I’m not taking a side in the debate, but I’d love to hear what you think in the comments. Is it time for #Masks4all?
For now though, the key is to stay home and save lives.