Health February 13, 2021 | 9:07 am

Pneumologist: Mask use is a sacrifice we must maintain to contain Covid

Santo Domingo, DR

The pulmonologist José Pichardo warned yesterday that the mask’s use is a “sacrifice” that the population must continue to observe because it is for the moment one of the effective ways to avoid getting the Covid.

“The most important thing is to preserve life,” said the specialist when asked about people who claim to be “fed up” with wearing face masks for such a long time.

The former president of the Dominican Society of Pulmonology ruled out that the prolonged use of a mask affects the lungs, as some citizens affirm since this utensil has been part of their medical practice for 30 years.

He said that, before the new coronavirus’s appearance, he had used surgical masks in dealing with those affected by tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. So far, he has not suffered any setback for doing so.

The specialist said that he understands people’s fears and concerns because it is uncomfortable to use it but clarified that it is scientifically proven that the mask does not cause damage to health in a general sense. 

He suggested taking breaks every four hours during use but never discarding them since the mask has made it possible to mitigate deaths and infections from the new coronavirus in countries where they have appealed to it as a prevention mechanism. 

Pichardo insisted that the use of a mask, constant hand washing and physical distancing remain the most suitable ways to counteract the virus until vaccines begin to be applied. It is vital to use the mask – the pulmonologist specified – that medical personnel uses two to guarantee better protection.

He urged to place them correctly to prevent the virus from entering the nose and mouth and, in the case of disposable ones, such as the surgical type, not to use them for more than four hours. The N-95 can be used for a longer time if they are sterilized correctly; it even specified that ultraviolet rays are being used to extend its useful life and those made of fabric that is reusable.

Pichardo indicated that even asthmatic patients could use the mask without any inconvenience. “I know it is uncomfortable. I work with it daily. It is not something that is part of one’s culture, but continuing to wear a mask is necessary for the policy of containing the pandemic to be effective,” he added.

The expert in respiratory diseases said that the mask is a necessary sacrifice to protect our own lives, family members, and those with whom we interact daily in various daily activities.

Yesterday Listin Diario published a report on how little by little the use of a mask to prevent infections by Covid falls into disuse among large sectors of the population due to fatigue, carelessness, and non-observance this rule. Some social network users who commented on the information claimed that face masks had them “fed up” and that, in the end, it will end up causing more damage to health than Covid itself.

At a time of delays in vaccines’ arrival against the new coronavirus in the country, doctors recommend using a mask, physical distancing, and constant hand washing to prevent infections.

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