Infectious Disease Doctor: Ignore Mask and Social Distancing Guidelines and the ERs Will Fill Up

Infectious Disease Doctor: Ignore Mask and Social Distancing Guidelines and the ERs Will Fill Up


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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As cases of COVID-19 have started to spike up in a number of US states, an infectious disease expert has reminded Americans to continue wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

Although New York suffered for weeks as the epicenter, new hot spots appear to be emerging, including the possibility of Arizona.

COVID-19 cases in the United States have surpassed the 2 million mark, with well more than 110,000 dead.

Despite the risks, Donald Trump and many on the right have turned mask-wearing into a new culture war, where the wearing of masks is seen as a weakness.

Trump recently forced the move of this Summer’s Republican National Convention to Jacksonville, Fla., and out of Charlotte, NC, over the issue of holding a full convention with no mask-wearing or social distancing.

“Masks are strength. They show knowledge. They show respect for others. Others wears mask shows respect for you. It was what was effective in flattening the curve,” said Dr William Schaffner, professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University. “Masks, social distancing, staying away from large gatherings, those are the elements. Ignore those and the hospital emergency rooms will fill up.

“Well, we’re slowing things down because we’re concerned about cases go up. And when you do that, we slow things down, remind people about how to behave and we can tamp down the increase again. We can keep that curve flat,” he added. “The COVID virus is going to be with us we’re working on vaccines, we’re working on treatments, but in the meantime we have to work on reducing transmission, the way the covid virus gets to one person or another. Let’s not go out into large crowds. Let’s be restrained, wear those masks and be prudent.”

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