Christine Fego Martin, a mom from Texas, is pleading with people to stop buying protective masks out of fear of the coronavirus. After her 10-year-old daughter Izzy was diagnosed with a bone cancer called osteosarcoma in February, she knows just how important the masks are for individuals with compromised immune systems. She outlined her reasoning in an informative Facebook post that will hopefully make people think twice about stockpiling products they don't actually need.
"She hates this mask. But it's extremely important she has it," she said, explaining that for kids with compromised immune systems who are battling cancer, the masks are a necessity. "So if your fear of coronavirus has you stocking up on these, please stop. Take your fear and put your attention on washing your hands, wiping down your shopping cart, or sanitizing your hands after pumping gas. Use your elbow to push the elevator button... be a more conscious human so the kids and families who need these annoying preventative masks can actually access them."
Robert Redfield, the director of the US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, agrees that healthy people do not need to wear protective masks. "We need to make sure those masks are available for the doctors and nurses that are going to be taking care of individuals that have this illness," he said in a press conference that was held on Feb. 27. "And it really does displease me, to find people going out [to buy them], there is no role for these masks in the community."
If you are concerned with contracting a virus, make sure you wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, refrain from touching your face, practice the "cough pocket" coughing method, and avoid touching public surfaces as much as possible. Additionally, parents who believe their kids are exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus shouldn't panic. If your child has a fever or a cough, treat it as you normally would before rushing to your pediatrician's office or the emergency room.