Paul Goldfinger, MD
Earlier this year when the COVID-19 pandemic was identified as a public health issue, masks were not recommended.
Now, as you all know, it is encouraged under many circumstances. As time goes by, the rules for prevention have been made more complex, including the use of face masks.
I am not an expert; in fact the knowledge about this subject continues to expand based on research trials still emerging and on opinions by “experts.”
The best source of information is the CDC--a Federal agency “The Communicable Disease Center.”
When we arrived in Florida last week, we came upon a Crackle Barrel restaurant in Ocala which was 100% occupied without any distancing. We learned that the Florida Governor had approved such a rule. We were shocked and we left.
We also heard that some Tropicana residents were going out to eat with friends. Are they taking all precautions? I heard a professor say that regardless of local regulations, he will not go to a restaurant.
This is from the CDC:
Maintaining Healthy Environments.
- Change restaurant and bar layouts to ensure that all customer parties remain at least 6 feet apart (e.g., marking tables/stools that are not for use).
- Limit seating capacity to allow for social distancing.
- Offer drive-through, curbside take out, or delivery options as applicable.
As for masks, consider this:
—-virus particles can be airborne for greater distances than 6 feet
—-Loosely fitting masks can permit virus particles to spread sideways behind you or upwards past your nose or beneath your chin.
—Infrared research has shown wide-spread airborne clouds of virus that can stay airborne for a few minutes to a few hours.
–Masks are still required if you are distancing, especially in close indoor spaces. Don’t give up on one mode when you can use two. Wear masks in restaurants except when eating or drinking.
Two men came to our home today to deliver an appliance. They strolled up our driveway without a mask. We gave each of them a new mask.
You can skip a mask if you are alone outdoors, but slip on a mask if others are walking or biking by. And you can skip a mask indoors if you are with people who live under the same roof.