Virus particles come from people, like you and me, when we are ill, even before we are symptomatic. While the necessity for masks for this pandemic may be ending, barrier face coverings (BFC) may, in the future, reduce exposure to particles of concern - other viruses. Here is the work of my organization.
Operation Warp Speed brought together a broad array of government resources to achieve a similar, seemingly impossible rapid pace of development, regulatory approval, and distribution of vaccines to prevent COVID-19. But no matter how quickly or successfully vaccine(s) are developed we have been woefully ineffective in the development of other ways to tame the pandemic, especially readily available and accurate tests and proper PPE. Will the Biden plan pick up the slack?
Royce Chen, M.D., an ophthalmologic surgeon at NY-Presbyterian Hospital, was looking at far more than eyes once the COVID-19 pandemic hit New York. He and other physicians were redeployed to the ICU to help care for the new influx of patients. His article addresses an interesting question - which specialties were hardest hit? And how did physicians in the New York area feel about the PPE provided for them? (Hint: not so good.)
I have been concerned that face masks for non-first-responders would shift vital protective resources away from first-responders and that would give some people a false sense of security. As a physician, I think the time has come to put those concerns aside.
For those of you staying at home who might be considering performing CPR, a tracheostomy, or intubating someone in the neighborhood , an N95 mask is a necessity; otherwise, you are diverting "war-time" supplies from the first responder and health care army.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just announced they are temporarily suspending work by lab scientists in BSL-4 (aka biosafety level 4) facilities. They recently learned their current stock of air hoses that attach to the protective suits worn by staff have not been certified for breathing air.