Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
[WARNING] SMARTLEE IS NOT A PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERT. SMARTLEE ANSWERS COVID-19 QUESTIONS BASED ON HIS OWN RESEARCH AND IS NOT LIABLE FOR ANY ERRORS. PLEASE EXERCISE CAUTION WHEN READING THIS SECTION.
Do you think wearing a mask can prevent me from being infected by COVID-19?
First of all, it depends on where you are in the world - always obey public health directives issued by your local government. And if you wish to know my own opinion, here you go...
For regular surgical masks, under no circumstances they can protect the person wearing it from getting COVID-19. However, if you are sick, they can effectively reduce the possibility of spreading the virus to the people surrounding you.
For respirators (such as N95 masks), they can effectively protect you from getting COVID-19, as long as you know how to use them correctly (including changing them frequently). If they are used inappropriately, wearing them can even increase your risk of infection. It is also important to remember that COVID-19 can transmit through eyes exposing to the virus-contaminated air. If you choose to wear a respirator, you must wear a pair of protective goggles as well, or it would be meaningless to wear a respirator alone. Again, this depends on where you are. Atlantic Canada is generally safe so I don't see there is a need for this level of protection.
No matter you choose to wear a respirator + goggles or not, remember hand washing and social distancing are way more effective.
Do you think locking down outdoor spaces can slow the spread of COVID-19?
Simple answer: No. Locking down outdoor spaces could even accelerate the spread.
BC's provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said "there is one study that we've been looking at that looks at 318 different clusters and there was a single one that's associated, perhaps, with people in close contact outdoors". In fact, since the beginning of the pandemic, Henry has encouraged people to safely enjoy BC's outdoor spaces, and the result is fantastic so far.
In NS, outdoor spaces had been closed for weeks before they were reopened on 02 May 2020. Data from Google proves that keeping outdoor spaces open works. On 03 May 2020, while more people were visiting parks in Halifax, fewer people were in grocery stores.
"People always go somewhere, if not outdoors, then indoors." says SmartLee. "If you cannot effectively lock everyone inside their homes, you'd better to keep outdoor spaces open." SmartLee believes that while NS kept outdoor spaces closed, people had nowhere to go but social shopping and home parties. Both are more dangerous than walking in the parks, which contributed to such a high community transmission rate in NS.