World 2022-06-15T05:19:59+03:00
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The global covid-19 pandemic: the US justified the mask regime, and the rich countries will not rush to share

The global covid-19 pandemic: the US justified the mask regime, and the rich countries will not rush to share the vaccine with the poor

medicine, medical mask, coronavirus pandemic
Covid-19. Pikture by
Covid-19. Pikture by

It is possible that the obligatory wearing of protective masks, the responsibility for which was renewed last week by the Verkhovna Rada, still justifies itself.

The standard line on masks has always been that we should wear them to protect those around us. Studies showed that even a simple cloth mask could keep infectious particles from spraying out of the wearer’s mouth and into someone else’s body. Whether masks also work the other way around and protect the wearer was an open question - until now. And the answer is very good news, informed.

Citing recent research, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote Tuesday that masks offer "personal protection" by filtering some infectious particles out of the air before the mask wearer inhales them. The agency also endorsed universal mask mandates, a significant break from mask skeptic President Trump, whose power over the CDC will end when he leaves office.

The United States still has a long, deadly fall ahead of it, however. Our Health desk reports that the outbreak is rapidly worsening by every major measure: covid-19 hospitalizations are at their highest level since April; daily deaths are rising significantly; the virus is spreading in bars, gyms, restaurants and mass gatherings across the country; and a record-high 135,428 new infections were recorded Tuesday alone. That record is on track to be broken again within hours.

"It scares the hell out of me," said Michael T. Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, who predicted that the nation will soon log more than 200,000 new cases each day. "This is like one huge coronavirus forest fire, and I don’t think it’s going to spare much human wood out there unless we change our behavior."

While several experimental vaccine makers have recently reported good news from their safety trials, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony S. Fauci told CNN on Tuesday that he didn't expect a vaccine would be available to the general public before the end of April. Even that, he said, was just a "guesstimate."

Meanwhile, China's covid-19 situation is so well controlled that researchers there are investigating less likely modes of possible contagion, such as whether frozen food packages can carry the virus.

President Jair Bolsonaro complained that Brazil was a "country of sissies" as the nation's coronavirus death toll surpassed 162,000 on Tuesday. "All of us are going to die one day," he philosophized.

India is poised to play a critical role in bringing a vaccine to the developing world, which has been left behind as wealthy countries pre-hoard shots for themselves.

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