Don’t give in to fear, panic

These are frightening times. In my office, I talk with so many people who are unsettled and increasingly nervous about this virus. Many are confused and wonder how we can best survive this pandemic.

We are told everyday about the new cases, here in Hawaii and all across the country. We are told that the cases are showing more and more people under the age of 50 testing positive. We are told that any social interaction increases our exposure, and that opening up our economy is greatly increasing the case numbers. If you are frightened you are not alone.

Fear is an insidious emotion. Fear gets a foothold and can cause us to feel increasingly vulnerable; it can play off other circumstances and make us feel as though everything we do puts us at risk. Fear can lead to anger and emotional outbursts. A fearful person is often an angry person.

The thing about fear is that it is not dependent on facts, and sometimes – even in the face of facts – fear will continue on, demanding that it has a place in our lives. Think about it… the person who is deadly afraid of spiders doesn’t care that most spiders are not poisonous, or how big the spider is, or factor in that we can easily outrun or smash a spider. Fear is like an electrical jolt that causes an immediate reaction.

This is why the campaign of fear-based reporting on the COVID-19 virus makes me so frustrated. Our media, and even our government, lead every story with the most dramatic/most fearful/most detrimental possibility. We don’t hear much about the very real/very statistical low death rate (in relation to other illnesses) – what we hear about is how quickly and easily this virus spreads. We don’t hear much about the things we can do to strengthen our immune function which would benefit every citizen (the low risk and especially the high risk individuals) – what we hear is that if we don’t continue to severely limit our daily activities and stay apart from other people we will get the virus or unwittingly spread it to others. We don’t hear specific statistics on COVID cases – how many are asymptomatic? (no symptoms at all), how many are mild?, how many are able to convalesce at home?, how many actually need to be hospitalized? – these statistics would greatly reduce the panic and fear that many people are feeling.

For this reason, I would like to end this letter with good news and encouragement that will hopefully allow the people who have had unsettled hopeless feelings to have a rope to hang on to, and a plan to move away from fear toward a more realistic path to health and happiness.

It is important for all of us to take personal responsibility for our health status and take actions that will allow our bodies to build natural resistance and vitality. This is NOT mumbo-jumbo – this is foundational health 101. We all need to recognize that health does not come in a form of a prescription – even though we understand that prescriptions are sometimes necessary to get through a health crisis – a prescription does not make you healthy. Tune your ear to the drug commercials on television. You will notice that most of them will caution you against use if you have an infection. Yep – those drugs lower your immune function. Now… recognize how many people who have suffered from severe reactions to Covid 19 might have been on those drugs for other ailments. This understanding gives us a deeper grasp of how and why people have such different reactions to this virus.

So, here are some easy things everyone can do to boost immune function: Base your diet on vegetables – every meal, try to make sure the plate has as many vegetables as other things on the plate; Reduce sugars; Avoid sodas and sugar based drinks; Avoid artificial sweeteners and additives; Get regular exposure to sunlight and fresh air, Partake in balanced exercise (walk, swim, run); Make sure you give yourself proper rest; Have fun and count your blessings first thing when you wake and before you go to sleep every night. These things and other recommendations can be specifically tailored for the individual by a preventive healthcare specialist. I, myself, take certain high-quality supplements to boost immune function and support any weak systems.

To be clear, I realize that none of that was ground breaking information. Your grandmother probably told you to do most of those things. All of the things listed above have documented scientific positive effects on your immune function (with more powerful effects than washing your hands or wearing a mask). When we reduce the stress load on our bodies physically/chemically/and mentally, our bodies can function at a higher level. Think of those health habits like taking bricks out of your back pack. Without those stresses, your body can take every step, every breath, and every thought without as much effort.

If we all feel like we can face the world with a stronger and healthier body and mental attitude, we will be able to open up our economy and go back to full rich lives again. With more information we can reject fear. We want to respect and support those who have high risk, put practices in place that will protect those who need it, and get our businesses open and thriving.

•••

Michele Dillberg is a resident of Koloa.

46 Comments
  1. J.D. July 16, 2020 3:39 am Reply

    Thank you. This was letter was very helpful. People should turn off the media and enjoy life. This pandemic is not as bad as most flu seasons. Remember to wash your hands and stay home if you are sick.


  2. Kenny Kapaa July 16, 2020 3:43 am Reply

    Fortunately, good news about the virus’s non-lethality does not sell during The Great Panic of 2020. Because the virus was “novel”, we had no choice but to take a “novel” approach to reacting to it. In doing so, the world has sacrificed just about everything so that the vast majority of people can have the best chance of never contracting the virus (Remember “14 days to slow the spread”? Guess we need to stop the spread now.). May people never contract this terrible virus that almost all people will never know they had without taking a test. It’s great to have a Mayor and Governor that act more like nervous moms fussing over their toddlers rather than wise and strong fathers. And it seems the Mayor took the County Council’s job. Council Members, guess we don’t need you to make and change laws. Oh well! Maybe we can go back to normal in 2022.


  3. Da Shadow July 16, 2020 4:22 am Reply

    You speak truth, Michele. If only Governor Ige and our mayor thought this way…


  4. Kurt Last July 16, 2020 4:23 am Reply

    Fear based reporting is what frustrates you? I’m frustrated by the fact that more than almost 140,000 Americans are dead as a result of this virus, and that the actual number of deaths is likely much higher. The numbers of infections is skyrocketing now, and as more people are hospitalized, more will die. Reporting frustrates you? Good grief.


    1. Kama'aina July 16, 2020 4:24 pm Reply

      I’m sure you know that each year influenza kills between 250K and 650K world wide and that you have probably been very frustrated that the government has not locked us all down to stop all these deaths. Right? Or you have know idea what happens each year and react to the news with out any context of history. Most likely the case.


      1. BS July 17, 2020 7:21 am Reply

        I’m sure you know that comparing the number of deaths from one disease to the number of infections from another is a poor argument.

        Right?


      2. Uncleaina July 17, 2020 8:35 am Reply

        Worldwide is a lot different than the USA guy. Covid has already killed more than any influenza in the USA since Spanish flu of 1918 – in just 5 months and it’s not remotely over yet. And wdd Ed give 165,000,000 seasonal flu vaccines every year in the USA. Covid is approximately 10 times more deadly than regular flu.


      3. Paulo July 17, 2020 10:26 am Reply

        US deaths from flu per year fluctuate but were 38,000 for last year and 23,000 for 2018.

        That’s a long way under 140,000 covid-19 deaths so far this year with over 5 months to go.

        Ignore the science and ignore the facts at your own peril.


      4. Jamie Rainbow July 17, 2020 12:43 pm Reply

        One of the worst flu seasons in the US was the 2017 to 2018 and 64,000 people died, this is easy to find, just google “Flu deaths US” and go to the CDC site, If you feel you can trust the CDC? The number for the US this morning approx. 137,000 deaths in the US as of 7/17/20. If you are going to quote numbers, please use a semi credible source.


      5. Sundey Allan July 18, 2020 1:57 pm Reply

        Good point.


  5. Westside Resident July 16, 2020 6:08 am Reply

    Well said.

    Fear is destroying our society, destroying our way of life, and destroying our children’s future.

    We are not only dealing with a virus, we are dealing with fear mongering.

    Build up our medical facilities and capacities in creative ways, stop accusing others of being irresponsible, and mind your own contribution to this mess by being so fearful. This virus isn’t going to be avoided, it won’t go away, prepare.


  6. Alea July 16, 2020 6:32 am Reply

    I have not seen this discussed so far and think it’s important for the public to know the following:

    1. In addition to preventative measures & COVID-19 testing, what has been done at the medical facilities to prepare for the COVID-19 Pandemic on the island?

    2. What are the pre-pandemic & current numbers of ventilators, ICU beds, PPE’s & trained medical staff?

    3. Is there an ICU bed overflow plan, should it be needed (e.g. using a large vacant building or tents set up with ICU equipment)?

    I’m not sure who the proper person to answer these questions is, the governor, mayor, head of the Wilcox Hospital or someone else. Perhaps the Garden Isle could investigate and do an article with the answers.

    Would someone with this factual information, please respond & let the public know?

    Mahalo


  7. Fed up July 16, 2020 7:10 am Reply

    What an irresponsible OPINION piece. Will this lady ever see beyond her own bottom line?


    1. Reality Bites July 18, 2020 1:42 pm Reply

      Um, like, why?? The CDC confirmed a .2% death rate for COVID-19…….for:

      Unemployment went from 3.5% to almost 15%. $6 Trillion added to the national debt for more “free money”. ($600 a week for watching NETFLIX and $1200 disbursements). Delayed surgeries because people can be seen in hospitals, and then they die. Increase in suicide rate. 50 million laid off…..many permanently. Shut down schools and colleges. Ruined our ONLY industry….tourism. Bankrupted the service industry.

      Yea, this Scamdemic is really “irresponsible”. SMH.


      1. Really... July 20, 2020 11:48 am Reply

        Citation needed… again


  8. james July 16, 2020 7:33 am Reply

    So this is all about your desire to open up the economy? You could have just said that at the top of your rambling letter. I really haven’t seen or heard any scientific evidence that eating wheat-germ will keep Covid away. Probably face coverings and social distancing might be more effective, but each to his or her own.


    1. Fact Finder & Fact Checked July 17, 2020 12:35 pm Reply

      Dear James,
      Microbial communities essential for growth, health, and survival exist across the planet, from soil microbiomes to the commensal microbiota in our guts. Studies show that the maintenance of a healthy gut microbiome is in fact inseparable from host health. Supporting a balanced intestinal microbial community is essential for the integrity of the immune system, for the prevention and response to infections/viruses, and for recovery from illness.The microbes and their metabolites influence physiological function (particularly metabolism), local mucosal homeostasis, inflammation, and interactions between multiple body systems.  Therefore, an imbalanced intestinal microbiota may have system-wide effects and contribute to blunted immunereactivity. 
      Gut microbiota alterations due to unhealthy lifestyle factors and dietary triggers may contribute to inflammation, intestinal permeability, immune system dysfunction, and the pathogenesis of a broad spectrum of chronic diseases. Healthy lifestyle factors, including a diversified diet, limited consumption of processed and refined foods, and consumption of adequate dietary fiber, may all promote a healthy microbiome.Foods and nutrients that potentially boost immune function also tend to promote gut health. For example, the diet like Whole30, consuming a diverse array of fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and phytochemicals may reduce oxidative stress, support the liver to promote efficient biotransformation and detoxification, and boost overall immune system function. These same fruits and vegetables also contain soluble fibers that “feed” the commensal microbial community in the colon to optimize gut balance and health and insoluble fibers that assist in the efficient processing and elimination of waste from the intestinal tract.

      Supporting a healthy microbiome is essential for strengthening immune responses and improving overall health. Personalized therapeutic interventions that focus on modifiable lifestyle factors may optimize immune system function while supporting gut health.
      Science seems pretty clear to suggest that Michele’s “opinion” may greatly help reduce COVID’s impact.
      Such lifestyle modifications may include the following:
      1) Therapeutic food plans (Whole30)
      2) Multi-strain probiotic , Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin C & Zinc supplementation
      3) Adequate sleep and sleep quality
      4) Movement and exercise plans
      5) Reduction of dietary triggers and toxic exposures
      6) Stress management or transformation


  9. Kauaidoug July 16, 2020 8:58 am Reply

    I think it’s a little late for people to start eating better to do any good against this pandemic. If we had truth and decisions based on science coming from the White House it would go a loooong way to dispell the fear and confusion you mention. The science is that at this time the only way to defeat this virus’s spreading is through social distancing and changing some of our most basic social interactions. Science shows JUST wearing a blankety blank mask is the most effective way of stopping the spread. Eating better is always a good recommendation but for right now we must take action Please just a wear a mask and do it as a sign that you are protecting others as you protect yourself and your loved ones.


  10. PLEASE STOP POSTING July 16, 2020 9:01 am Reply

    TGI PLEASE STOP POSTING these articles from people whose personal view is to say this virus is inflated, people can boost their immune system, eat plants not meat to increase your health and immunity, keep stress levels down…
    This is, put simply, a very bad virus that we know little to nothing about and know absolutely nothing about its long term affects. It’s not about fear.

    Those on our island are blessed to be in a bubble of blissful safety and articles like this add to divisiveness, and arguments among friends, family and even passersby on the street.

    Don’t believe that everyone is advocating for mass hysteria, just common sense, wear a mask to prevent spread and go about your business in a safe, compassionate and conscientious way.


    1. Seconded July 17, 2020 7:23 am Reply

      TGI should have to bear some of the responsibility for spreading what can turn out to be hazardous information.


    2. evidence-based scientist July 17, 2020 4:31 pm Reply

      Dear “Please stop posting”, I am confused by your comment. Are you saying people are unable to boost their own immune systems function through smart lifestyle decisions? Unless you are making that kind of unfounded statement, I feel like you are of, in many ways, the same opinion and advocating common sense. What is so bad about trying to improve the health of our community against a disease that goes mostly asymptomatic in the healthiest populations?


  11. Jon July 16, 2020 9:05 am Reply

    Share, Share, Share. WOW! Thanks for another amazing letter! Keep it up!


  12. Uncleaina July 16, 2020 9:22 am Reply

    How utterly irresponsible. Eating vegetables does NOT offer more protection than wearing a mask or hand washing. Does this author think she knows more than the healthcare professionals from all over the world? Yes, it appears she does think that. Ever been to India? 35% of all Indians are strictly vegetarian yet COVID is decimating their country. This alone proves her ideas are false; India should have the lowest infections because they eat so many healthy veggies- but in fact they’ve had over a million infections and growing rapidly. A good diet isn’t going to protect you from Covid; wear a mask and wash your hands and take advice from scientists and health care professionals, the CDC and local health departments – not from a letter to the editor or Twitter.


    1. FoodForThought July 17, 2020 4:28 pm Reply

      It sounds like you’re actually supporting what Michele is saying and that maybe the 65% should eat more veggies?


    2. Uncle's uncle July 17, 2020 4:50 pm Reply

      Uncle Aina, I am so happy to hear you advocating for self responsibility! In such a sense of responsibility, would you kindly reference a RCT (random controlled trial) that proves there is a statically significant health benefit to wearing a mask during a COVID epidemic? The anti-maskers are siting 14 RCT’s showing NO STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE in wearing a mask and I would love to find at least 1 to show them that is might help!
      As I also feel responsible to help all fellow kama’aina, I wanted to respectfully correct your statement “A good diet isn’t going to protect you from COVID” This is not true. Please read evidence-based scientist comment below for a reference about how diet can help protect you from Covid.
      Mahalo Nui Loa,


  13. K.D. July 16, 2020 10:36 am Reply

    Mahalo for writing an elegant and correct piece. I have said those same things many times, to everyone I know.
    Please, everyone know that a multitude of illnesses can hurt us on any given day. Our best defense, 24/7 is a good immune system.


  14. RevW July 16, 2020 11:11 am Reply

    Strengthening your own immune system doesn’t protect anyone else if *you* happen to get COVID19 and fight it off or if you’re asymptomatic. Precautions DO protect others. Do you think that reducing stress load and a ‘healthy’ diet would have had any effect against bubonic plague, ebola, diptheria, polio, smallpox, TB, AIDS … just a few examples…? The concept of *healthy* you are pushing is not enough, and regularly misleads people into ‘waiting too long’ before they get medical attention.


  15. Jamie Rainbow July 16, 2020 1:46 pm Reply

    Interesting article, I agree fear is a weapon in this pandemic, but please be clear it is being used by both sides. On one side it is the possible sickness and death to loved one, on the other it is the total economic collapse that will happen if we don’t open up right away. I find the lines drawn fairly clearly when I ask a person, what is your stake in this. Most people who want to reopen have a business interest that they fear will fail, and most people who are for staying closed are in fear that their friends and family will be put at risk. both of these points are valid, but I think one places a higher value on human life and the other the economy.
    My question to you is what horse do you have in this race? Are you a business man or a service worker?

    Jamie


    1. Rick July 16, 2020 4:06 pm Reply

      Please try to grasp that economic turmoil leads to the loss of life. There has been tons of death from the draconian china like response to this pandemic. Please try to wrap your head around that one…

      You can also make the case that there has been more loss of life here on Kauai due to the response than the virus itself. Please instead of being so quick to call other people idiots. Just please try to grasp the other side…


      1. Pete Antonson July 17, 2020 1:31 am Reply

        Politics has Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha has nothing ha ha ha ha ha ha ha to do ha ha ha ha with tis ha ha hah


      2. Roll July 17, 2020 7:25 am Reply

        Please try to grasp that if left unchecked, the virus will kill a LOT more people, and perhaps even you.

        Try to think a little longer term than the next quarter’s P&L.


      3. Jamie Rainbow July 17, 2020 12:50 pm Reply

        Thanks Rick, do you own a business? Just curious as to what race your horse is in.


      4. Jamie Rainbow July 17, 2020 3:13 pm Reply

        Rick, I don’t believe I called anyone an idiot. Please share with me where to get the info about the death rate being higher on the islands due to lock down.


  16. Pete Antonson July 16, 2020 2:24 pm Reply

    Spoken like a true “What, Me Worry” Florida Republican!


    1. Kimo July 16, 2020 3:14 pm Reply

      PA, Once again, a pathetic response. Politics has NOTHING to do with this.


      1. Prove it July 17, 2020 7:28 am Reply

        You made the claim, back it up. The only people not supporting a careful and measured plan to dealing with the virus from a scientific point of view are doing so for political ends. I challenge you to find any scientist (in a related field) who thinks we should do different.


      2. Pete Antonson July 19, 2020 1:07 pm Reply

        The effort to diminish this Pandemic is entirely a political decision. It starts with the orange tinted incompetent in the WH, is managed by FOX and others, and ends with trump Cult members. It was a political dice roll and it’s coming up snake eyes!


  17. Everythingisawesome July 16, 2020 7:59 pm Reply

    Michele, thank you for your letter.
    Do you remember in years past, when contagious virus (influenza) season would roll around, and we would be bombarded with public service announcements about the best way to keep everyone healthy was for everyone to put a cloth mask over their mouth and nose?
    Neither do I.


  18. J.D. July 17, 2020 2:37 am Reply

    The government projections have been wrong from the start. How can we believe them? What is driving this fear? On April 13 the the University of Minnesota told us the virus will peak on July 13th with 3,700 people in ICU and over 1,000 people will be dying each day. On July 13th we had a total of 112 people in ICU in the state. Today we have no covid patients in Central Minnesota hospitals.


  19. Áine O'Riley July 17, 2020 9:26 am Reply

    I prefer:
    Don’t give in to fear – PANIC!


  20. Michele Dillberg July 17, 2020 11:05 am Reply

    Dear TGI, and all of the wonderful people who took the time to write responses to my letter. I appreciate hearing from you. I appreciate the encouragement, and I also appreciate the criticism. I continue to hope for meaningful and open dialog. The worst thing we can do in our precious island community is to try to shut out voices that disagree with ours. We become less (enlightened, informed, knowledgeable, and empathetic) when we shut out other perspectives and opinions.
    To be clear, I count my blessings every day, and do not take for granted this lovely island that we live on and the safety we enjoy. My opinion is NOT based on “my bottom line”, in that my husband and I are semi-retired, and thankfully not in a crisis position due to this economic maelstrom. I did not ever mention that eating meat was detrimental to anyone’s health or immune function. I hope that we can discuss the more meaningful issues from my letter.
    My hope is to reduce the fear that many media campaigns have promulgated. Fear causes stress and stress contributes to illness.
    Regarding Covid 19, we would be wise not to base all of our hopes on Big Pharma or a vaccine. There is not a scientist anywhere who will claim that a vaccine will be 100% (or even 70%) effective. We have had a flu vaccine for decades and it has not eradicated the flu. Viruses mutate. Every health professional – every health organization – every scientist has reported that this Covid 19 virus is especially opportunistic. It prays on weakened immune function. Those at risk – people with underlying health conditions, those on medications that suppress immune function (read your medication side effects), those who are under emotional stress, those who struggle with obesity, people who smoke, people with respiratory issues, etc.
    We are talking about immune function people. This is something that we can all influence. I am not selling anyone anything – except common sense, and it’s FREE! No one would make a mistake by making a commitment to healthier living. The people who are at risk, as well as people with no known risk, all have much to benefit. Everyone can be wiser about the things that contribute to good health, and also know more about the things that increase the possibility of sickness and disease.
    My letter was written from my concern for our island going forward. We all (individually and collectively) need to have an emotional plan forward. Not everyone will feel compelled to take action, and improve their health, or look forward with me to find the things we can all do to help us recover from this pandemic emotionally, physically, and economically. There are certainly different views and perspectives. We will all benefit from listening and learning. Let’s keep the conversation going.


    1. Pete Antonson July 20, 2020 2:07 pm Reply

      So this means you have nothing whatsoever to do with Dillberg Integrated Healthcare, Koloa, HI, offering Chiropractic and Traditional Chinese medicine, neuro-emotional techniques, and other alternative medicine treatments. Hey, that’s good to know!


  21. Evidence-based Scientist July 17, 2020 4:21 pm Reply

    It is quite clear that our government officials have focused on public health policies that “slow the transmission” of COVID-19 or “flatten the curve.” It is also clear from multiple countries and states experience that this virus is not simply going away. The shutdowns and stay at home orders have successfully flattened the curve, yet many at risk populations are still dying and being affected. So public health policies that encourage strategies to be best prepared for if or when we are exposed to the virus sounds awfully smart to me Michele! Why don’t we start educating the vulnerable populations about ways they can become less vulnerable!!! So my question is: What kind of scientific evidence supports your suggestions of a healthier diet and lifestyle equating to decreased risks of Covid such as severe symptoms or mortality? It doesn’t take long to find there is a TON of evidence. There is plenty of scientific evidence to support the idea that you and the people you care about should reduce their sugar consumption and increase their exercise. In fact a 605 person study was just published in the Diabetologia Journal this past week 7/10/2020 titled: “FASTING BLOOD GLUCOSE AT ADMISSION IS A INDEPENDENT PREDICTOR FOR 28-DAY MORTALITY IN PATIENTS w/ COVID-19, WITHOUT PREVIOUS DIABETES DIAGNOSIS”
    So it is a scientific statement that better blood sugar regulation (most commonly achieved thru diet and exercise) can prevent COVID-19 deaths and complications.
    Here is a link if you would like to read it yourself:
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00125-020-05209-1
    Anyone including those previous commenters such as uncleaina, kauaidoug, James, pleasestopposting, and Kurt who would like additional information, Please reply below. I’ve also come across an additional 6 studies showing similar results further backing up this study in COVID-19 as well as other corona viruses such as SARS and MERS. There are along with other lifestyle factors such as lowered stress and ample vitamin D.

    What is so bad about trying to improve the health of our community against a disease that goes mostly asymptomatic in the healthiest populations?

    I applaud TGI for publishing this letter from a caring citizen. It takes a big person who is interested in sharing true aloha to write a caring and respectful letter with a real name unlike any of us commenters. There are not many willing to risk the prevalent internet bullying that comes from publicly sharing additional perspectives these days.


  22. David Jones July 17, 2020 8:38 pm Reply

    I am fearful that too many people won’t follow the recommendations of public health officials and scientists, who advise that we wear a mask and social distance, in order to avoid preventable illness and death.

    I am not panicking however, because I am sure that my grandmother, who lived through the 1918 Pandemic by wearing a mask and social distancing, would recommend that I do the same today, in addition to eating healthy, exercising, and reducing stress.


  23. Hopeful July 18, 2020 2:44 pm Reply

    Seriously- fear is a harmful tool used by all media. However, pandemics are real. Everyone should gather their “facts” from as many sources as possible, rather than one or a couple .

    But this pandemic is real. Ask folks in New Orleans where again, bodies are piling up faster than ever. Just because our case count is low, please don’t be blind to realities in Phoenix, Tulsa, Florida. Case counts are exploding resulting in real, actual deaths.

    These fluffy “news” articles about looking beyond fear and eating your vegetables should be published in the tabloids and TGI should spend more time publishing articles based on scientific facts, not fake articles based on the fear of fear!?


  24. LTEreader July 21, 2020 4:27 pm Reply

    July 20, 2020: “A project at Brigham Young University is aimed at making sense of the available research into whether masks make a difference, and if so, which ones are most effective. They compiled and read over 115 scientific studies on COVID-19. These studies were done by independent groups from all around the U.S. and the world. The team says it did its best to accurately reflect the scientific evidence, pointing out where it is solid and where there is still uncertainty.”

    Study Summary:
    “1. There is now convincing evidence from multiple controlled experiments and field observations that wearing masks reduces the transmission of COVID-19 for healthcare workers and the public. Most of this evidence is COVID-19 specific and has emerged in the past few months.
    2. Masks prevent infected people from spreading the virus to others by trapping the respiratory droplets (tiny moisture particles) that are produced when we cough, speak, and breath. Cloth masks can stop 90% or more of the dispersal of droplets carrying the virus. There is some evidence that cloth masks also protect the wearer from infection, though this is less certain.
    3. Masks are highly safe, with only minor and uncommon side effects. In addition to many medical studies, public masking has been proven safe among children, adults, and the elderly in cultures where this practice has long been common. However, some sensitive individuals should not wear masks, such as those with compromised respiratory systems and individuals who cannot remove or adjust their own masks (children under 2 and people with severe disabilities).
    4. Researchers from hospitals, universities, the private sector, and government agencies have concluded that masks could be one of the most powerful and cost-effective tools to stop COVID-19 and accelerate the economic recovery. There is universal agreement, however, that masking alone will not be enough to stop the pandemic. Masking is most effective when combined with physical distancing, frequent hand washing, rapid testing, and coordinated contact tracing.”

    And then there’s Michele:
    “All of the things listed above have documented scientific positive effects on your immune function (with more powerful effects than washing your hands or wearing a mask).”

    Sure, eating your veggies, getting fresh air, sunshine, adequate sleep, exercising, etc. are all important factors for good health. However, to tout that they have “more powerful effects than proper hygiene and wearing a mask” in the midst of a pandemic is not only CARELESS, but also IRRESPONSIBLE. Shame on you!


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