Compliance needed to stop spread of COVID
I work in health care and I'd like to clear up some disturbing misinformation I see frequently on social media.
People ask, "If masks work, then why are the numbers so bad? I've been wearing my mask, obviously COVID is still spreading." It's great that YOU have been wearing your mask, but too many people refuse. These measures only work when most people participate and do it properly. Masks work in conjunction with social distancing and hand-washing. Too many people wear the mask below their nose or around their chin and think they're complying.
"Illinois has far fewer people than New York, so why are our numbers worse than theirs? Sounds like a lie to me!" Did it ever occur to you that maybe New Yorkers have taken the virus more seriously because they had such a horrendous surge in the spring? That maybe they've complied more with policies?
Too many people in Illinois still refuse to comply, and it's that behavior that drives our numbers up. Residents control numbers, so we only have ourselves to blame.
"They flip-flopped early on with masks! So why should I listen?" Yes, in the beginning they urged people to not buy medical masks because they were urgently needed for health care workers. Plus, doctors thought "only sick people need masks to contain their droplets," but we didn't know the extent of asymptomatic spread. We didn't know you could have COVID without showing any symptoms. So now, anyone is a potential spreader and should wear the mask.
This is a new virus and we learn as we go, but for months now we've seen that masks are a powerful tool in curbing the spread -- if people comply properly. There is no longer any doubt about that.
I urge people to get their COVID information from scientists and medical professionals, not from random posts on Facebook.