If You Go Here, You Now Must Wear a Mask
During his campaign for President, Joe Biden promised Americans that if elected, ending the COVID-19 pandemic would be one of his top priorities. As promised, on day one of his presidency, his very first executive order is devoted to the cause. The "100 Days Masking Challenge" will ask Americans to wear masks for 100 days, legally requiring their use on federal property.
Just how will that change the trajectory of the pandemic, which is responsible for the deaths of over 400,000 Americans in less than a year? According to Darren P. Mareiniss, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Sidney Kimmel Medical College – Thomas Jefferson University, it is a huge step toward ending the pain and suffering of the country. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
"This Is Not a Political Statement"
Biden counselor Jeff Zients, the administration's COVID-19 response coordinator, recently discussed the importance of the executive order. "This is not a political statement. This is about the health of our families, and economic recovery of our country," he stated.
Agencies Will Take Action
"This executive action will direct the agencies to take action to require compliance with CDC guidance on mask wearing and physical distancing in federal buildings, on federal lands and by federal employees and contractors," she said. "And the president will call on governors, public health officials, mayors, business leaders and others to implement masking, physical distancing and other public measures to control COVID-19."
More Mask Wearing Equals Less Death
While it won't be "a game changer," Dr. Mareiniss promises "it will help significantly with the current surge" in a variety of ways.
First, it will likely decrease transmission and infections. Science continues to support that masking up prevents infections. "That translates to less hospitalizations and less strain on our medical resources," Dr. Mareiniss says. "It also, downstream, will translate to less deaths."
It Will Help Unify Behavior
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, rarely engages in political discussion. However, he has pointed out time and again that one of the major downfalls of the United State's pandemic response was the failure to send a unified message. Dr. Mareiniss points out that Biden's mandate will finally support this, and the result will be a mass change of attitude and behavior.
"Importantly, a unified and informed message from medical experts in the administration will hopefully change behavior," he says. "I am hopeful that people will act more responsibly and socially distance, wear masks and avoid indoor activities. This would help decrease our out of control infection rates."
How to Survive This Pandemic
So follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.