By: Dr. Fatima Ogunlana
HOUSTON – As COVID-19 continues to affect our country every second, minute, hour, day, week and month, one might be wondering if you should be wearing a mask. COVID-19 is a virus and as a virus, the human naked eye can’t see where the virus has been. The virus tends to spread from person to person via respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing or even talking. Since one can’t see the virus/droplets, one has to take precautionary measures to prevent yourself from obtaining COVID-19. Harris County mandated everyone to wear a mask from ages 10 and older in public which went into effect on April 27, but Governor Greg Abbott lifted those restrictions.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said violators caught not wearing a mask would be fined $1,000, but Abbott said his orders superseded that, confirming local officials cannot impose penalties on residents who violate rules about wearing masks in public.
“We strongly recommend that everyone wear a mask,” Abbott said at a press conference while announcing his plans for reopening Texas. “However, it’s not a mandate. And we make clear that no jurisdiction can impose any type of penalty or fine.
1. MASK ON ALL THE TIME if you are around others and especially if you are out in public
- Wearing a mask/cloth mask/scarf/bandanna protects you from spreading COVID-
19 to others especially if you don’t know that you have it.
- If you have any medical issues (diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, asthma,
COPD, smoker, etc.) it is very important to wear a mask due to you being high
risk of contracting Covid-19.
- If you are elderly or even pregnant it is also very important to wear a mask.
- Try not to wear mask tended for healthcare workers since some areas of the country have a shortage
2. Make sure to wash your hands for at least 20 minutes with soap and water
- If no soap and water, you can use a hand sanitizer with 60% or more alcohol
3. Continue to Keep Social Distancing
- You may notice when you are at the grocery store you see place markers on the floor for you to stand at to help maintain 6 feet from the customer in front and behind you to help prevent the spread of the virus.
- Stay at home as much as possible
4. Continue to follow the orders of your local/ state/national government.
- Keep up to date with your local news outlets for the latest information
5. As always, be safe.
**This column isn’t intended to replace the advice of your physician/specialist.**