COVID-19 pandemic and masking: Petrified? No. Smart? Yes.

Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Masking has become an essential component of coronavirus prevention.

Dr. Colleen Fogarty, the Department Chair for the University of Rochester Department of Family Medicine, discussed masking and other non-pharmaceutical interventions Tuesday during News 8 at Sunrise.

Dr. Fogarty said the coronavirus is a novel virus, meaning it’s new to humans. It has a higher death rate than influenza. The President, who is battling a COVID-19 diagnosis, said we should not fear the coronavirus. Dr. Fogarty said, “Do we need to be petrified? No. Do we need to be smart? Yes.”

Masking, physical distancing, and handwashing have become the key non-pharmaceutical interventions for the coronavirus, for which there is no vaccine to date. Dr. Fogarty said while N-95 masks are the norm in clinical settings, even the hand made cloth masks – which aren’t quite as good at stopping particles as a surgical mask – do an excellent job of stopping the spread of COVID-19.

The doctor also dispelled the myth that masking might be dangerous. “There are no risks to the person wearing the mask,” she said. “Air can still be exchanged, through the cotton or other fibers, and there is no risk even to those with respiratory problems.”

Dr. Fogarty said keeping our noses and mouths covered will help keep us from getting the coronavirus and also help keep us from spreading it as well.

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