How important is it to make sure that when wearing a mask, that your nose is covered? Could you say, making sure your nose is covered is just as important as your mouth? 

Wearing your mask or face covering correctly is critically important.  An incorrectly worn face mask provides little if any protection from the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19 disease.  Facts are extremely important when making decisions, so let’s take a look at some.  Recent studies have shown that cloth face coverings are really only about 20% effective at protecting the person wearing one from the spread of a respiratory virus, but they are as much as 80% effective at protecting the people around them.  Basically, you don’t wear your mask so much to protect you, you wear your mask to protect others from the spread of respiratory droplets and secretions (saliva and mucous) that spread from person to person and sometimes remain in the air, especially inside.  Respiratory droplets are expelled mainly when you cough or sneeze, but they are also expelled simply by breathing or talking.  Knowing this, it becomes especially important to cover both your nose and mouth with your mask, because the nose itself is a filter for the body, keeping virus out.  That same virus stays in the nose and is expelled when you breath, cough, or sneeze

What makes covid-19 different than that of your common seasonal flu? (As there are some out there that believe and think that covid-19 isn’t that big of a deal and is just like the flu).  

COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is very different from the influenza viruses that cause the Flu.  SARS Corona viruses are primarily respiratory viruses, and while they can affect other body systems, they primarily pose a danger to the respiratory system (the lungs, airways, and even the heart).  Unfortunately, the symptoms are often the same for COVID-19, the Flu, and even the common cold, but COVID-19 will usually cause more respiratory symptoms than will the Flu.  For the time being the safest bet, if you have any three of the common symptoms of COVID-19, is to be seen by your healthcare provider.  COVID-19 is generally more dangerous than the flu (causing more severe symptoms in most adults who have symptoms and dangerous symptoms in adults with underlying health conditions).  Getting the Flu vaccine this winter is especially important both to prevent the spread of Flu and to improve your body’s overall health, thereby providing you with some protection from COVID-19. There is some good news to be had.  Several vaccine manufacturers are very close to requesting that the federal government approve the use of their vaccines, and the effectiveness of those vaccines is thought to be very high, even higher than the Flu vaccine.  There are also new therapeutic drugs (treatments) that have either been approved for use or are coming out very soon, and they show great promise.  We can beat COVID-19 through social distancing practices and science.

Now with winter starting to really settle in and the temperatures getting much colder, how important is it for people everywhere to stay vigilant and disciplined in going about wearing a mask, social distancing and hand washing? 

With winter nearly upon us and the daylight hours limited and colder temperatures coming, our bodies tends to become more susceptible to disease for several reasons.  Sun provides us with Vitamin D3, and sun exposure is limited.  People tend to stay indoors more, and viruses remain in the air longer indoors, so for these reasons, it’s especially important to stay vigilant during the winter months, by following social distancing and other protective practices like using cloth face coverings and good hand hygiene.

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