Coronavirus Arrives in U.S.: Just “Health Care Workers” & “Civilians” Now
[Note to Readers: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway (“Berkshire”), or any other entity referenced. Edina Realty is a subsidiary of Berkshire.]
The good news is, we badly needed something to unify us as a country.
The bad news is, well . . . .
At least for the time being, there are no “Republicans,” “Democrats,” “Conservatives,” “Liberals,” or (egads!) “Socialists.”
There are just “Health Care Workers” (first responders, nurses, doctors, technicians, hospital staff, etc.) and “Civilians” (let’s hope a third, category, “Sick,” is blissfully small and relatively unscathed).
Speaking for the latter, it certainly appears that some contradictory advice is coming from the former right now.
Specifically, the decidedly mixed message that, on the one hand, masks are ineffective protecting against coronavirus, and on the other hand, beseeching the public not to panic and hoard all the masks for themselves (leaving health care workers unprotected).
That seeming contradiction is explained by three things.
One. Proximity. Health care workers come into intimate contact with patients.
By contrast, the only people airplane passengers need to worry about are their seat mates, plus at most, the rows immediately ahead of and behind them.
That’s because the virus, while highly contagious, apparently has a very limited reach, perhaps 4′ – 6′ maximum (my proposed term: “contagion zone”).
Two. Type. The paper masks might be a good idea for someone who’s sick, and sneezing.
But, they’re too porous to protect others.
Masks rated “N95” don’t have that problem.
But, they have another one (see next).
According to the pros (OK, my physical therapist wife), even good masks are ineffective when improperly put on and taken off, or when the fit is imperfect.
Learning those things takes detailed instruction, plus subsequent practice.
Think the untrained masses are going to get all that?
Nope, me neither.
For now, the main message to the public should be, “stay calm,” “be careful,” and “cultivate good, clear communication.”
That “good communication” edict applies to both to “inter” and “intra-group” dialogue — in other words, between health care professionals and civilians, and within both groups.
Ditto for nuclear families, neighborhoods, and local communities across the U.S.
Call it, the “Four C’s of the Coronavirus”:
Stay tuned . . .
P.S.: I’m confident that any country that — with zero computers and no smart phones — can churn out 10,000 tanks, 2,000 fighter planes, and 300 warships in four years, starting from scratch, can figure out how to come up with the requisite number of face masks, respirators, hospital beds, and disinfectant in a timely fashion.