The use of N95 masks; will it hurt or help the fight against COVID-19?
We've learned that a person may be a carrier of the coronavirus for 48 hours and show no symptoms, yet still be passing it along. So with that in mind, should everyone just wear a face mask? The problem is, if every citizen was required to wear an N95 mask there will be a dire shortage for the health workers on the front line.
During Monday's task force briefing President Trump stated that average citizens wearing masks is "certainly something we should discuss." This resulted in the Director of the C.D.C. Dr. Robert Redfield releasing this statement on the radio, as reported by The NY Times:
He said the guidance on mask wearing was “being critically re-reviewed, to see if there’s potential additional value for individuals that are infected or individuals that may be asymptomatically infected.” The coronavirus is probably three times as infectious as the flu, Dr. Redfield said. Some people are infected and transmitting the virus probably as long as two days before showing any symptoms, he said. “This helps explain how rapidly this virus continues to spread across the country, because we have asymptomatic transmitters and we have individuals who are transmitting 48 hours before they become symptomatic,” Dr. Redfield said in the interview.
Lucky for most, a University of Florida Health anesthesiologist by the name of Bruce Spiess came up with a solution with his health care coworkers in mind. As reported by the Miami Herald:
In his overnight epiphany, Spiess, who has specialized in open heart surgeries for nearly 40 years, zeroed in on a thin blue fabric that is used to wrap sterile surgical instruments to protect them from airborne contamination. Under normal circumstances, this piece of cloth, the Halyard 600, ends up in the trash as soon as doctors unwrap the instruments they need.