Last updated 7/9/2020 at 10:32am
The number of new U.S. COVID-19 cases has surpassed 54,000 per day, more than 5 percent growth over last week. The worldwide number of deaths by COVID-19 surpasses the daily death incidence of all other pneumonias combined. Per the WHO: 80 percent of infections are mild or asymptomatic, 15 percent are severe, requiring oxygen, and 5 percent are critical, requiring ventilation. In the U.S., roughly one out of every 20 persons with COVID-19 dies (recent CDC data: 2,733,000 infections, 128,650 deaths). NC had 12,000 new cases last week.
•There is no treatment-for-cure of COVID-19.
•It is spread by respiratory droplets – talking, sneezing, coughing.
•Those without symptoms spread the virus. It is very, very contagious.
•Individuals on ventilators need them for up to 9 weeks; many have damage to other organs.
•Wearing a mask reduces the spread of the virus.
•Not wearing a mask increases the likelihood of spreading the virus. You do not know if you are infected if you have no symptoms.
•Wearing a mask saves lives. Not wearing one increases the likelihood you may cause someone to die.
•Those who wear masks help protect others. Those who do not are not protecting others.
If you cite the relatively low number of cases in Transylvania to suggest we need no masks, you’d better hope that every unmasked person you’ve met is a Transylvanian and not an asymptomatic carrier. More importantly, you’d better hope you’re not one of the 80 percent of infected individuals with no symptoms.
People who are wearing masks can be infected by those who are not. If you are infected with no symptoms and not wearing a mask, one out of every 20 people you infect will likely die. Dr. Anne Schuchat of CDC states the virus is too out of control to contain with contact tracing. We must rely on protection by masks and physical distancing.
Please. Wear a mask in public. Stay six feet apart. The “difficulty breathing” with a mask is nothing compared to being on a ventilator. If you have authentic breathing difficulties, you have the highest risk of death from COVID-19.
Mary Ann Iyer, MD