COVID 19 & Keeping the Distance

April 14, 2020


Today I took a family member to necessary doctor's appointment.

Prior to the appointment, we'd called the office and reminded them that our family member had multiple health issues and shouldn't be exposed to the virus. The nurse said that he could wait outside and that she would come get him when it was time for him to be seen - if there were other patients in the waiting room. 

When he came in nobody was in the waiting room so he stayed.

Unfortunately, while he was waiting, two other people came in to wait as well. Neither was wearing a mask. Neither social distanced. At two unavoidable points each came within a couple feet. I wasn't there. My family member didn't know what to do. Maybe the other patient's thought because he had a mask on it was okay.

But masks are not an alternative to social distancing.

The CDC and WHO are not quite on the same page about face masks but both agree that a person wearing a mask is less likely to get someone else sick. To me it seems likely that, if a mask filters in one direction, it filters in another. If that's the case, a mask should provide some protection to the wearer. But, while I wouldn't go out without one, I know that 'some' is the operative word.

Masks are NOT an impenetrable COVID 19 barrier. This is because a 0.3 micron virus is small and a 1 or 2 millimeter gap in a mask is relatively really big. A good analogy is a fly and an open barn door. Or maybe a fly and a barn with only two walls.

It's a whole new world and I understand that but I also think it's time for us to get this.

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