Prevention and Shortage: Is It Time to Panic?
March 11, 2020
Recently, we’ve been bombarded with stories in the news about the epidemic flu season. Other concerning news headlines include the Coronavirus. This virus has come out of nowhere and within a matter of weeks, it has managed to take the lives of over 1,000 people. As a result of this epidemic, there has been a shortage in China of surgical masks. This begs the question, do we panic now or do we wait until more people fall victim to this mysterious disease?
Surgical masks are useful in preventing the spread of many airborne diseases. They provide respiratory protection and prevent the transmission of infectious diseases from person to person. Many healthcare workers wear them as part of their daily routine while performing their jobs, along with the use of other wholesale medical supplies. With that said, how can we implement an alternative solution to the shortage of surgical masks?
The flu epidemic
Currently, we are in the flu season. It’s not clear if we are in a full epidemic, but there are many government agencies who are on high alert. They are also warning the public of a possible epidemic and providing steps for individuals to take for preventative measures. To date, the CDC has estimated this flu season could possibly be one of the worst with an estimated 22 million diagnosed and 12,000 deaths so far. Due to this epidemic, public health officials are encouraging everyone to get the flu shot. The effects of the flu can have a devastating impact on one’s health. It can cause respiratory problems which can severely inhibit one’s ability to properly breathe. This epidemic coupled with the situation in China has caused many to panic.
The Corona fear factor
Over the past few weeks, there have been multiple news stories about individuals who have contracted the Coronavirus. There have also been unsettling stories of individuals being quarantined as a result of this virus. The efforts that the American and Chinese governments are implementing to try and contain this virus have caused an inconvenience and have been devastating to many individuals. As the death toll rises, individuals have continued to take extra precautionary measures to prevent the spread of this disease. The fact that this disease started in China and has quickly spread to individuals here in the United States has been unsettling for both nations. Experts are working diligently to find a way to stop the spread of this disease.
Masks being used for prevention
When you turn on the news, you see individuals in China wearing surgical masks. The idea of normal everyday citizens walking around wearing surgical masks is a news headline that stops you cold in your tracks. You take a look at these individuals and you sympathize with them. You are thankful that this epidemic hasn’t reached us here in the United States like it has in China. There are some who beg to differ with this statement. The Coronavirus has reached individuals of multiple nationalities in multiple countries. Are surgical masks the short-term answer in preventing the continued spread of this disease? Regardless, individuals are beginning to take the welfare of their health into their own hands by implementing this strategy as a means to protect themselves and their families.
Other preventive measures
The CDC has recently reported that there is currently no vaccine to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus disease. They have, however, issued a list of preventive measures individuals can use to avoid the spreading of the disease. Some of these preventive measures include:
Avoiding close contact with people you know are sick
Avoid contact with your eyes, nose, and mouth
Stay home if you are sick
Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
While these measures have not been proven to be completely effective against the Coronavirus, they are reasonable measures that can help reduce the spread of this mysterious disease.
The sight of American and Chinese citizens wearing surgical masks is an alarming one. The media has consistently covered the news stories about the worldwide spread of the Coronavirus disease. In addition, there have been local news stories pertaining to flu outbreaks within local cities. Are we moving towards a society that will require surgical masks as the norm? If so, will we be prepared?