This is a Public Service Announcement courtesy of one of the few officials in this administration that knows what he’s talking about: The surgeon general wants Americans to stop buying face masks

Most face masks do NOT protect you from getting sick. They protect others from getting sick from you.  But here’s the Surgeon General’s real point: The more the general public buys these masks, the fewer there for the medical professionals who do need them and know how to use them.

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That especially includes the N95 mask, which is effective in protecting the wearer, but they are uncomfortable, difficult to wear for a long period, and the COVID-19 panic has created shortages and price gouging.

The mask boom has prompted sellers to jack up prices and exploit demand. This has meant a shortage for medics who need them. And Chinese Americans are buying in bulk to send to their families overseas.

“We need to make sure those N95 masks are available for the doctors and nurses that are going to be taking care of individuals that have this illness,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield said during a House Foreign Affairs hearing on Thursday. “And it really does displease me, to find people going out, there is no role for these masks in the community.” www.cnn.com/…

Here are the basic CDC guidelines for staying healthy:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. [emphasis added]

Pass it on. (The PSA, of course, not the virus!)