Video: COVID-19 Why it Matters, Part 7 – Pandemic is not in my hometown; why wear a mask?

This video series features UW-Green Bay’s Immunologist Brian Merkel on COVID-19 and Why it Matters. This series empowers viewers with knowledge to help them navigate through the pandemic. Merkel has a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from the Medical College of Virginia. He is an associate professor in UW-Green Bay’s Human Biology & Biology programs and has an appointment at the Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He will be responding to a number of questions related to COVID19 and try to get behind the “why” it’s important to be educated in your decision-making as we navigate the pandemic together.

Video Transcript – COVID-19 Why it Matters, Part 7: Pandemic is not local, why wear a mask?

Hi, I’m Brian Merkel, Immunologist at UW-Green Bay, and we’re here to talk about why COVID-19 matters to you.

One of the questions that comes up quite often and certainly people have asked me this including family members that live in certain areas of Wisconsin, where the case rate is fairly low, there just aren’t a lot of cases. And the question is put to me, why should I have to wear a mask? Why should I engage in certain safeguards when we really don’t have a lot of this here?

The reality is this is an old public health adage, which unfortunately is bearing out for COVID-19… when diseases are anywhere, they can be everywhere. Although you may not have a large number of cases in your particular hometown at a certain time, the more we all pull together and engage in these measures is going to put us in the best position to flatten the curve as they say, and get back to the life that we would like to get back to.

Let’s say, for example, an infectious individual or groups of individuals do enter your county or your hometown where you don’t particularly have a large case number if everyone is doing what they should be doing, you’re going to be proactive, you’re going to be preemptive in preventing that problem from taking a foothold in your hometown.

That’s why for a period of time we should all be engaging in these safeguards, so we can get back to where we want to be in terms of the lives we use to know before all of this. And as I always say that you know we wear our seatbelts, we obey speed laws, there are smoking bans in certain areas and the idea is that it’s designed to keep everybody safe. Because diseases become expensive and there a big drain on the economy… for all of the reasons mentioned… we are all better off just engaging this for a period of time to make sure we’re all pulling together to get rid of this thing.

COVID-19 Why it Matters: Video Series

Introduction with Brian Merkel

Part 1: What are viruses and where did this one come from

Part 2: Two main types of viruses

Part 3: Why is this virus serious?

Part 4: Why wash hands/wear mask?

Part 5: I’m young! Why should I care?

Part 6: Can pandemics be stopped before they start?

Part 7: Pandemic is not local, why wear a mask?

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