(Short Video – Three Reasons Every Alaskan Should Cover Their Face in Public)
- It limits infectious people from expelling the virus into the air.
- It limits and helps remind you not to touch the insides of your mouth and nose.
- It helps reduce the viral load when you first come in contact with the disease, thereby greatly improving your chances of a faster recovery when you are finally exposed to the virus.
Two local sites to visit for information on making masks at home (to use or donate to others):
Making a Mask at Home Tutorials (Vox)
Everything You Need To Know About Making Your Own Face Mask
Because the science is clear on this, I wrote the following letter to Governor Dunleavy today.
Text of Letter:
April 2, 2020
The Honorable Michael J. Dunleavy
Governor of Alaska
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1700
Anchorage, AK 99501
Dear Governor Dunleavy,
I am grateful for the seriousness with which your administration is taking the threat that Novel Coronavirus poses to Alaska. As we prepare for a higher incidence of the COVID-19 illness, there is a crucial step your administration had not yet taken. Please immediately encourage all Alaskans to cover their face when interacting with others in public.
While much of our state economy has ground to a halt, and other U.S. states are now extending stay in place orders through May and in some cases June, it is important to note that there are other parts of the world, such as South Korea and Taiwan, which have been successful at restraining the disease and have done so with significantly less curtailment of economic activity. Both of these nations experienced previous outbreaks of either SARS or MERS, and have been quick to adopt the wearing of masks by the public at large.
Germany’s public health institute now also promotes the public wearing of masks, as do other nations who are having greater success in combating the spread of COVID-19 than the United States. Meanwhile, the CDC is uncertain whether to make such a recommendation. The scientific data already available makes it clear that the CDC will eventually recommend that masks be used publicly by both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.
As governor, it is neither required, nor is it in the best interests of Alaska, to wait for a bureaucracy such as the CDC to realize what many other countries in the world already know to be true: public use of face masks save lives. Even our own national archives boasts the statement “Wear a Mask and Save Your Life” in reference to our experience with the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic. Last month, when the Czech Republic experienced a shortage of medical grade masks, their former first lady took part in a national campaign to produce homemade masks, and the country achieved widespread public use in the space of two weeks. We should not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good enough. Please take steps now to protect Alaskans by encouraging the use of face coverings in public.
Finally, it concerns me greatly to hear that your recent prohibition on elective medical procedures to safeguard PPE is being publicly flouted by Planned Parenthood. Why is your administration permitting Planned Parenthood to violate your mandate with impunity and continue to perform elective abortions, many of which your administration will likely be asked to pay for through Medicaid? Please put an end to this practice at once.
House District 10