With contributions from CEENTA Otolaryngologist Stephen Clyne, MD (Pineville), and Ophthalmologist Robert Saltzmann, MD (SouthPark, Belmont)
COVID-19 has brought many changes to our lives in the last few months. The most visible are the masks everyone is wearing. We understand that not everyone wants to wear one, but we ask you to take a few minutes to consider why doing so is so important to us.
Masks help prevent the spread of the coronavirus by keeping the droplets that carry the virus from spreading into the air and being inhaled by someone else. While we have rigorous procedures in place to prevent people with COVID from coming to our offices, some infected people don’t, and won’t ever, show symptoms. That doesn’t mean they’re no less contagious, though.
“We now know that many patients with COVID-19 remain asymptomatic and they can spread coronavirus to others without symptoms, or before they develop symptoms,” CEENTA ENT doctor Stephen Clyne, MD, said.
You may not be worried about yourself. You’re young and you’re healthy, and you don’t think you’ll get the virus. So, why do you need to wear a mask?
“One of the misconceptions about wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic is that a mask only protects you from getting coronavirus from someone else,” Dr. Clyne said. “While wearing a mask does offer some protection from catching coronavirus, the primary reason to wear a mask is that it really helps prevent you from unknowingly spreading it to others."
Wearing a mask could save someone else from catching the virus. Someone else’s grandparent, parent, aunt, uncle, spouse, or child could be saved from illness by your wearing a mask. Think about how much you love those close to you. Wouldn't you want them to be spared the pain of serious illness?
“For this to really work in our community, everyone needs to buy in and wear masks so that nobody is spreading the virus,” Dr. Clyne said.
“Protecting our family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers, and creating safe spaces for interaction, represent some of the most basic and fundamental acts of respect and loving kindness we can do for one another,” CEENTA Ophthalmologist Robert Saltzmann, MD, said.
We understand that the numbers of cases we hear about can be difficult to comprehend. Four million is a very large number, a number that doesn’t seem real, especially if you don’t know anyone with the disease. But for people with family members who have been sick, or those they’re trying to keep from getting sick, they don’t care about four million. They only care about one or two. We don’t want you to have to be one of those people who suddenly must worry about that small number.
“On a personal level, if a someone close to me were to contract COVID-19 and suffer serious illness, permanent impairment, or death as a result of my not taking relatively simple precautions, I'm not sure I could live with the guilt,” Dr. Saltzmann said.
And yes, we know masks can be uncomfortable. Our doctors and staff wear them all day every day. We would never ask you to do something we were not prepared to do ourselves, and we are always ready to do our part to keep our community safe.
We don’t tell people to wear masks because we want to make their lives challenging or uncomfortable. We’re asking so that, together, we can keep our community safe and help beat this virus once and for all.
To schedule an appointment at CEENTA, call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.
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