SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - With additional enforcement coming on Savannah’s mask mandate, we wanted to let some doctors weigh in.
It’s been highly politicized and debated to wear a mask or not. But if you ask local doctors there’s no doubt what you should be doing when around others.
“We understand it’s uncomfortable. we understand it’s hard to breathe through it . We understand it’s hard to communicate through it, but it’s going to save your life. I mean it’s just that simple,” said Dr. Paul Bradley, BCG Medical Group.
“The masks protects you from getting sick and it protects others from catching things from you. For masks to be effective, it’s important that everyone wear masks,” said Dr. Ben Spitalnick, President, Pediatric Associates of Savannah.
Doctors agree when masks are worn properly over the nose and mouth, there are tremendous benefits. They say they are designed to filter what comes in whether you can see it or not and say some masks work better than others.
“What I do with my children, with my pediatric patients is I actually give them a piece of paper to blow through their mask. If the paper blows over the mask isn’t thick enough. Cloth masks are generally very good if they are thick enough if they are super thin like the neck gaiter types not very good at protection,” said Dr. Spitalnick.
Dr. Paul Bradley says while masking can’t guarantee protection, it does dramatically decrease your chance of infection and how much virus is spread.
“It’s like if I give you a prescription of mediation it very much matters how many milligrams are in that pill. It probably really matters how much virus you inhale and so if it’s just a little bit and a lot of it is filtered out with the masks your immune system probably can handle that,” said Dr. Bradley.
When it comes to where and when you should wear a mask‚ Dr. Spitalnick say’s it’s simple. If you’re within 6 feet of people who do not live in your home, you should wear a mask at all times.
“Open air does reduce your risk of catching infection. Open air with distance is fantastic, but if you’re within 6 feet of other people if you’re in a football stadium, if you’re walking crowded streets if you are within 6 feet of other people exercising if you’re within 6 feet of other people being outdoors is helps some, but not enough not as much as it would if you wore a mask,” said Dr. Spitalnick.
Doctors say it’s unfortunate mask rules vary from city to city and state to state, because the science doesn’t. They agree with Mayor Van Johnson’s mandate and hope we will listen and mask up.
“We’ve got to protect ourselves. I totally agree with the mayor. He is absolutely right. We have to wear the masks, there’s not a whole lot of options you can either stay at home and not go outside, which is not possible for most of us or you’ve got to wear the mask while we all anxiously wait for the vaccine,” said Dr. Bradley.