Err on the side of caution!

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My husband and I have been wearing masks and vinyl gloves when out in public since the beginning of the pandemic.  
There have been mixed messages about masks for only one reason: the main

My husband and I have been wearing masks and vinyl gloves when out in public since the beginning of the pandemic.  
There have been mixed messages about masks for only one reason: the main
supplier was China, the first country hit by the epidemic and proceeding lockdown. Given its position as a worldwide manufacturer of medical equipment and goods, it was a terrible circumstance: worldwide shortages of supplies, exacerbated by countries not having adequate stockpiles of PPE, ventilators and test kits.
The social messaging was a bit of a ‘little white lie’. If we were told the truth – that is, masks are needed but there is a worldwide shortage— there would have been a major panic. It was an important matter of internal security and countries chose not to mention it early on. They needed to preserve medical masks primarily for medical folk so they made bold faced lies that we didn’t need to wear masks
and started promoting the social distancing paradigm as all we needed to do,
frankly, in the hopes it’d be enough to stave off spread.
I knew there’d be a dangerous lag time between the recognition of need and
actually acquiring product. I’ve been saying for years we are all at risk when we all depend on one country to make goods we need for our security. People always scoffed. It’s easier to take the easy way out, to depend on one source for cheap goods rather than keep jobs at home and yes, pay more for key necessities.
If the country had stockpiled plenty of PPE (as it will in the future, rest assured), I’m sure the social marketing message would have been the opposite. We would have been sold on the excellent reasons to wear masks and frankly, many lives would have been saved. 
Given the predictions of future, possibly stronger waves, I urge everyone to secure their own surgical and/or n95 masks. It’s wise to follow the age old medical
paradigm to “err on the side of caution.” Your life might just depend on it.

Judy Spence, DNM, ND, RN (retired)
GREERMOUNT