Masks are not ‘stand alones’

One of my chums had an errand at Bellevue Square (our flagship mall) this past weekend.  She said it was a zoo!  We all wear masks, but still.

Many of us seem to think that masking alone is sufficient or we behave like we do.  I can be guilty in that regard too.  If masks alone did the trick, case counts, hospitalizations and deaths would not continue to climb.

In Washington state, an average of 10 people are still dying every day from COVID 19. Forty people with COVID 19 were hospitalized in King County between Sunday and Monday. And this is with pretty high mask compliance, at least in the Puget Sound.

We know that people are getting infected when they aren’t wearing masks during indoor gatherings.  But I suspect people might also be getting infected while wearing masks.  This is because people are still not wearing their masks properly, crowding into indoor venues and not practicing physical distancing.  Our governor issued an order that limits indoor capacity for grocery and retail stores to 25%.  But I think compliance is low because people are doing their holiday shopping. 

Note: The Canadian government is recommending that all masks be at least 3 layers.  CDC says 2 or more layers.  I have been going with three-layer masks or two layers with a filter. 

My public health friends say the important thing is to wear a damn mask, regardless of the layers. But they are also quick to caution that it is the trifecta that works: masks, physical distancing and handwashing.  And limit indoor gatherings as much as possible.

Holiday shopping and shipping presents a challenge this year.  Fed Ex and UPS have a MUCH higher priority for their services right now, the safe delivery of the COVID 19 vaccine.  The P.O. is a jammed indoor venue and still recovering from earlier service reductions.   Stores are far too crowded for safe, physical distancing shopping, even if you are wearing a mask. Right, wrong or otherwise, we resorted to sending money to our loved ones at Christmas long ago.  We must have known a pandemic was coming! We mailed it early so we are hopeful it will arrive on time.

My vote for Christmas gifts this year is to donate to your local food bank or food pantry instead of buying and shipping gifts.

‘Coronavirus is the perfect storm for our neighbors trying to make ends meet’

Feeding America

People are desperate to feed their families.  There is a 60% increase in people seeking help from food banks.  Here is a link to Feeding America with more information.   No shopping or shipping is required.  That is a gift I can get behind!

Wear your mask properly, avoid crowds, wash your hands and donate to your food bank. See you on Friday,

Allene

P.S. The first Washingtonians received COVID 19 vaccine on Tuesday. It brought tears to my eyes!

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