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The Worst COVID-19 Mistake You Could Make, Doctor Warns

Follow my advice and you could save someone's life, and your own.

The coronavirus pandemic has been with us for half a year already and is likely to be around for a long time. In the pandemic response, across the nations, several red flags were missed by health officials, so what can we learn from those mistakes?

The pandemic response has been somewhat confusing, since the CDC and WHO agreed too late that people should wear masks to help prevent transmission of the deadly virus. That should have happened as soon as the disease left Wuhan and crossed the international borders. Unfortunately, that occurred over 30 days after the WHO declared the Coronavirus-2019 to be a global pandemic.

When infected, patients see a wide variety of symptoms, and in some cases, there are multiple reports that they can linger for months. So, it is different than the flu and the common cold. The fall and winter season will bring seasonal influenza. Now and until we find a workable vaccine, you don't want to be sharing your air with anyone else but those in your household. 

It is important to remember that this virus rapidly spread from a single city to the entire world. Although we still do not fully understand how this came about, we now know for sure what works to contain the spread. The disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is massively spread through human-to-human transmission. That means people are infecting other people —wearing a mask helps prevent that from happening. 

The public has been confused because of the lack of coordination between agencies, states, counties, and cities, and some people are rightfully upset over the lack of clear messaging. But make no mistake, wearing masks worked. Examples of this are how Singapore, South Korea, and New Zealand have handled this public health crisis. 

Studies have shown that early stay-at-home orders contained COVID-19 the best, and the number one reason for that is because people were not sharing the air they were respiration with strangers.

Thank goodness Americans initiated, on their own, and maintained physical distancing. A recent study just published robust evidence for how physical distancing, and not sharing your air with other people have helped to prevent and slow the spreading of the coronavirus.

Avoid indoor areas, crowded beaches, and when outside, wear a mask. The number one mistake you can make is not wearing a mask. Here's the bottom line: Don't share your air. Wear a mask. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Leo Nissola, MD
Leo Nissola, M.D. is an award-winning immunologist and scientist. Follow him on Instagram @DoctorLeo and on Twitter @LeoNissolaMD. Read more about Leo
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