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  • Dr. Speir

Masks ...again

The governor passed a new order that requires Californians to wear masks in public. We continue to require masks in our office and in the hospital. Obviously, if you can't breathe or feel short of breath take the mask off for a minute or if you are alone in an exam room or car that is fine. No one is going to jail for not wearing a mask. It is just being a kind human being and trying to protect others as much as possible.


There are some good articles on mask wearing and good evidence to support it. I don't see why it is a big deal, especially around someone pregnant or with a new baby.


The Lancet reviewed 172 other studies and concluded that >1 meter of physical distancing, wearing a mask, and eye protection could reduce transmission.


Also, for the last 3 months I have been wearing a mask the whole day at work except to eat or if I am alone and I have not suffered any ill consequences. How this became a political issues I don't know, let's keep it a public health issue.


Health Feedback Wearing a Mask does not cause Hypercapnia


As far as asymptomatic spread, it was thought up to 40% of people showed no symptoms with coronavirus but I think that might be a high estimate. Data is still coming out but actual spread it going to be much higher with pre-symptomatic or symptomatic people. The hard part is that symptoms could be just feeling tired or achy...which could be from so many reasons and is easy to ignore. Orange County hospitalizations and cases are the highest they have been but not as high as I thought they were going to be given that everything is re-opening so quickly and we have had world-wide protests.


High risk individuals would be those who have travelled in the last 14 days, fever, dry cough, sore throat, loss of taste or smell.


Keep yourself safe! I am happy none of the studies show birth defects with Covid-19 it is still a very serious disease with real pregnancy complications, and although maternal mortality is low, it is not zero. I think transmission through fomites (surfaces) is not common, I think close contact with someone it probably the most common.


Things I would feel comfortable doing :

1) Socializing outside, around 6 feet apart, with people who are also being careful or who would wear a mask.

2) Getting take out

3) Letting my kids play at a park without others

4) Going to the dentist

5) Routine medical visits

6) Going to a non-crowded beach or camping


Things I would not feel comfortable doing :

1) Traveling in a plane

2) Staying in the same house as other people who have not been social distancing

3) Going to a restaurant or bar where people are not social distancing and wearing masks (You might have heard about Javier's, The Boiling Crab, and A restaurant in Newport Beach closing because employees tested positive for coronavirus.)

4) Going to a large gathering of people >50


Have a great summer. Just felt like writing that.


Picture courtesy of our great housekeeping staff at the hospital!







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