November 29, 2021

How to protect yourself if someone coughs or sneezes near you

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By Lynn Allison From Newsmax

Experts say we might be in for a tough season with the potential or a collision course between COVID-19 and the flu this fall. Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci warned “we need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter,” during a discussion at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), added his prediction by saying this will be “probably one of the most difficult times that we’ve experienced in public health in American public health,” according to an update he presented in July to Journal of the American Medical Association.

This means we have to double down protecting ourselves against the virus as the colder weather approaches. Since COVID-19 is primarily transmitted through repository droplets emitted when a person coughs or sneezes, we need to continue wearing masks and observe social distancing. But cloth masks are not 100% protective and evidence shows even a slight breeze of 2.4 miles per hour can cause respiratory fluids to travel up to 18 feet in 5 seconds, according to Fox News.

So, if someone near you coughs or sneezes, what can you do?

Dr. Frederick Sherman, a professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, told The Atlantic, if someone near does sneeze or cough, “Immediately exhale to avoid inhaling droplets or aerosols. Purse your lips to make exhaling last longer. Turn your head fully away from the person and begin walking.”

Even when the weather is nippy, continue to socialize outdoors. According to the CDC, the risk of contracting COVID-19 is greater indoors, especially over a prolonged period of time. Experts reiterated wearing masks still might be the best protection we have against the virus and told The Atlantic they “will be a part of our lives indefinitely.”

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