Thursday, June 25, 2020

Mask Up! Social Distance! No Touching! — COVID-19 is alive and well

Opinion: From the desk of Ned S. Levi

COVID-19 Virus (Image Courtesy of the CDC)Today in the world, COVID-19 has infected more than 9.5 million people and taken more than 484,000 lives. In the U.S., COVID-19 has infected more than 2.4 million people and taken more than 124,000 lives.

Just yesterday, there were more than 173,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the world and more than 39,000 in the U.S. The fact is that COVID-19 is alive and well and still infecting and killing people, particularly those who don't remain on guard and cautious.

Any person who says that the fight against COVID-19 is over or remotely close to over is not telling the truth.

We know that those infected with COVID-19, even if displaying extremely mild symptoms are infectious. In a new report from the CDC, it's acknowledged that recent epidemiologic, virologic and modeling reports support the probability of presymptomatic and asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19. So, if you're infected with COVID-19 and not having symptoms, you're still likely infectious to others, according to public health experts.

We know that COVID-19 is primarily transmitted by respiratory droplets expelled from infected people when they cough, sneeze or merely talk around people near them, who either inhale the contaminated droplets or touch the virus that's been deposited on them and then touch their mouth, nose or possibly their eyes. We also know that it can be transmitted by touching a contaminated surface with viable virus on it and then touch their mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

In addition to being a photographer, primarily working in travel photography, which includes nature photography, plus some corporate work, I am a writer/columnist and I work with businesses on tech issues.

When you hire and work with photographers, or technicians, or repair people, or have cleaning people and others come into your home or business, please remember that they are people, just like you.

Mask Up!  

When you greet us at the door or are in the same room or area that we're in, wear a face mask. Masks prevent you from expelling your respiratory droplets on us. You might be infected with COVID-19 and not know it.

According to studies done like the one published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health in April, 2020 and another study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, wearing face masks in public is a highly effective means to prevent transmission of COVID-19. The second study concluded that wearing face masks in New York City from April 17 through May 9 reduced the number of infections there by over 66,000.

Social Distance! 

If you want to watch what we're doing and perhaps hover near us because you're interested in what we're doing, how we're doing it and how things work, please do it from at least six feet away. If there's a strong draft as can come from an HVAC air vent, please stay further away, as then your respiratory droplets can travel further in the air. Social distancing is one of the keys to help people stay safe. You might be infected with COVID-19 and not know it.

While public health officials say that six feet is generally a safe distance away from others to prevent the droplets from being directly inhaled or landed on another's body, however, it's also true that wind and drafts, including those from HVAC systems or air circulation systems can carry the droplets further than six feet.

No Touching! 

Touching others to greet them or thank them for a job well done is second nature and many don't think about touching someone on the shoulder while behind them watching what they're doing, but today it can also be a secondary means of transmitting COVID-19. You might touch our gear to prevent someone from tripping on it, or hang up our clothing to keep it clean and safe. The problem is that after you touch someone, their gear or their clothing, we might then touch the same area, then touch our faces at our mouth or nose, so please don't touch us, our gear or clothing. You might be infected with COVID-19 and not know it.

Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Princeton University, UCLA and the CDC found that COVID-19 was viable on plastic surfaces for up to 72 hours and stainless steel surfaces for up to 48 hours. Dr. Amesh A. Adalja of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security believes that COVID-19's viability on fabrics is from “several hours to maybe a day.”

We're not dressing for success these days or being unfriendly.

When we arrive to work, we're not wearing gloves and N95 face masks to look good. We're not asking you to social distance and not touch us because we're unfriendly.
What we're trying to do is protect ourselves and you from COVID-19. We're asking that you do the same for us.
So, please mask up; please social distance; please don't touch us or our gear or clothing. Keep us safe. That's what we want for you too. We want everyone to remain safe and healthy.


Susan-LA said...

You couldn't be more dead-on with this piece Ned. Thanks from another photographer. I do marketing work and I had a director with their arm on me and push them away yesterday and said enough. Too many people are listening to politicians instead of scientists and physicians!

Kate - Boston said...

Give them hell Ned. I'm with you like Susan. It's a matter of respect.

Jack-Chicago said...

Thanks for speaking in all our behalf's. It's appreciated.

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