Get a Mask & Wear It

With the possibility of Tennessee reopening from 'Shelter in Place' Order, we each need to prepare as best as possible with what that looks like for each of us and our families. The Governor has not given details of exactly what that looks like at this point besides-- (a) no gatherings of 10 or more people and (b) restricting visitors to nursing homes and hospitals.

One piece of advice I would like to give each of you is to get a mask, if you have not already done so. 

Rationale: As the CDC continues to study the effects of COVID-19 as well as the transmission of this illness they are uncovering more and more about this illness. What researchers have found to be true is that "a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms." Thus, COVID-19 can spread between people interacting in close proximity (ie, coughing, sneezing, or even speaking).  Therefore, the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. 

Keep in mind, it is still essential:
  • We maintain the 6 feet social distancing as best as possible to continue slowing the spread. 
  • We use simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  

Why is the CDC not requesting everyone use the surgical masks & N95 masks? "The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance." Thus, if you have a surgical mask or N95, keep it and use it, but the cloth, homemade masks are much easier to find for the general public nowadays and are good to use for the general public.

*If you don't sew or know anyone that does, then no problem. Check out this video of a DIY mask made from a t-shirt: DIY Mask (No Sew)
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