There’s no real treatment against this virus. Put on your mask.

Posted 7/3/20

We have no cure for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

This virus can sneak in, make a home in our airways, multiply rapidly, sneak out and infect bystanders without even making some ill …

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There’s no real treatment against this virus. Put on your mask.

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We have no cure for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

This virus can sneak in, make a home in our airways, multiply rapidly, sneak out and infect bystanders without even making some ill enough to know it is there.

Or it can cause COVID-19 that hurts like h***, relapsing fevers to 106 degrees, like malaria. It can make us so sick that we can’t breathe, so sick that for weeks or months you might wish you were dead. It can damage your liver, your heart, your arteries.

COVID-19 can kill anyone — more easily those with COPD, smokers, and those with diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, and older patients or those with immune systems damaged by other illness. COVID-19 can kill healthy 20-year-olds with a stroke or heart attack. It can kill our sense of taste or smell, or cause Kawasaki syndrome in children.

There are medications to help the very sick but no cures. Prospects for an effective vaccine are precarious. When we consider all that we have to gain by wearing a mask and the little that we have to lose, this is a no brainer.

A pleasant COVID-19 surprise: Thailand was the first place outside China with a reported case of the coronavirus. Photographer Sirachai Arunrugstichai thought the nation was done for. It didn’t have the money for mass screening. The public health minister was inexperienced, but he did turn over the effort to experts. It was ordinary citizens who rallied to protect themselves — and stop a major outbreak. “The public is strict about mask wearing,” Arunrugstichai told National Geographic. “If I forget to wear one, the ‘aunties’ on the streets glare at me intensely, making me run back home in shame to grab a mask.” As restrictions are easing, masked crowds are filling Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market, one of the largest in Southeast Asia.

Please stay home or wear your mask covering your mouth and nose. UNC has Tar Heel masks if you want to be fashionable. Others advertise one for $6.99 with an eye shield.

Test how far away from a cake candle you can be and still blow it out. That is minimum distance you should keep away from others. Put your mask on. If you can still blow out the candle, you need a better mask. If you can’t blow out the candle, the mask slows the spread of the virus.

N95 masks with valves are for medical personnel to protect them when treating patients with COVID-19. Other N95 masks are all material and filter both ways; they are a little harder to breath in and out and are not as easy for the wearer to tolerate for as long.

Surgical masks are for the OR, but OK for trips to the grocery store etc. They do the same as cloth masks: slow down the exhaled air. Any retained CO2 is minimal and has not been found to impair the surgeons, nurses, techs, who wear them. Surgical masks have been well-documented to minimize exhaled pathogens, avoiding infecting surgical wounds and sickening other persons in the OR.

Don’t you dare go into the grocery store where MY Sweetie is shopping and breathe your breath into her air without slowing your germs down with a mask!

We have three grocery stores in Siler City. My bet is that business will be best in the store that insists customers wear masks, maybe even supply one and have a charmer to offer help for those who don’t know how and are starting to enter. No shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service.

The uninfected have as much responsibility to remain uninfected as the infected have to avoid infecting anyone else. Make a statement: shop at those stores that require masks.

This is a nasty bug. Wash your hands again, wear a mask in public (the Town of Siler City took delivery of cloth masks they can rewash), avoid infecting ourselves by touching our eyes, picking our nose, touching lips or mouth; maintain physical distance in public, be sociable to other people wearing masks in public and express appreciation. Keep six feet of physical distance.

Keep doing all the things we can to make our world a hard place for the virus to make a living. Avoid allowing the virus to make this a hard place for us to make a living.

Or you can leave off your mask and make life easier for the virus and harder for humans. It won’t sneak as far if we wear a mask.

What would Jesus do? Jesus would wear a mask.

Dr. John Dykers was a family practitioner in Siler City from 1964 until 2010. In addition to making house calls and delivering babies, he served as chairman of Chatham Hospital’s continuing education program for 35 years. Find out more at



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