Should your child be wearing one?
Rich speaks with Molly Mraz and Ronya Nassar of the Harford County Health Department.
On this episode of Harford County Living with Rich Bennett, coming to you from the Freedom Federal Credit Union studios, Rich speaks with Molly Mraz and Ronya Nassar of the Harford County Health Department.
Find out about the proper masks to wear, who should be wearing masks and who shouldn’t and great Halloween tips.
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Transcription after Intro:
Richard Bennett 0:00
I’d like to welcome everybody to Harford County Living with Rich Bennett.
God, how can I say this?
It’s been months since I’ve seen these two young ladies. To me, they’re like sisters because it’s become a family. And I gotta admit, I really miss them. I have Molly and Ronya on from the Harford County Health Department. God, I believe that the last time we talked I think was February. Yeah. Oh, yes, of course. We’re doing this virtually. So. God it is great to see you too. I gotta admit, I actually miss you all.
Molly Mraz & Ronya Nassar 0:43
We miss you.
The highlight of our month
Richard Bennett 0:51
what? We’re going to talk about something that it’s because Ronya and I were talking before we started recording, because I believe the last podcast we did was about viruses. Mm hmm. More or less before? I believe so. Yeah.
Molly Mraz & Ronya Nassar 1:08
Richard Bennett 1:09
Yeah. Because at the time, I mentioned that my wife, myself and my daughter were all sick. Yeah, in January. Yeah. So it was February was the last one. And a lot of people they really didn’t know a lot about COVID. Mm hmm. But I still I still swear. I had it. Just symptoms and everything. But Oh, well. So COVID-19. Did you guys think we’d ever be doing something like this talking about this virtually?
Molly Mraz 1:41
No, no, I feel like we’re all so used to it now and have adjusted pretty well.
Richard Bennett 1:47
Like the new normal. Yeah.
Molly Mraz 1:49
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it wasn’t weird. I don’t think it’s never been weird for me, essentially, to do something virtually. Or, um, you know, in front of the camera, at least
Richard Bennett 2:03
No, I mean, we I mean, with the pin. I mean, going through times like this with a pandemic, because what was it? What was the last one SARS or whatever?
Ronya Nassar 2:12
Well, yeah, I would say SARS. I mean, was nothing like this. flu and stuff like that, but definitely nothing like this. Yeah, sure.
Molly Mraz 2:20
I remember in college, and it was like, I was graduating that year. So it was 2007, there was the big fear about I want to say swine flu, or the avian flu, or I worked here for Ebola, but but I remember my mom sitting there, and she was like, Oh, my gosh, like, if this comes here, or, you know, this spreads, and this becomes a pandemic, like, everything’s gonna shut down. And I was just like, What do you mean? Like, I’m not gonna be able to graduate and she’s like, you might not be able to, and I just remember thinking, that’s not that’s it could never happen, like, right, you know, schools being closed. And because I was thinking of like, Oh, my God, I couldn’t go to Target, you know, target would be shut down. That would never happen. And then look where we are. Yeah.
Richard Bennett 3:06
It’s sad, because well, my daughter graduated this year. And at least it wasn’t hers wasn’t virtual. But they did one kid at a time. They were had to stand outside of the line. And then we were able to go in. She walked up. Nobody, the hand heard the diploma. She had to pick it up off the table. And it was heartbreaking. Yeah, to watch it. But you got to do what you got to do. Right? Yeah. Like I always say it’s better safe than to to be sorry. And if I’m not mistaken, I think, because when this started, I think the Coronavirus was going on when we talked about it the last time but it just we didn’t really know a lot about it. Yeah. So a lot of us were joking about it.
Ronya Nassar 3:53
Yeah. Somebody last talked about it in February, we actually had no cases of community transmission in the US, February. So for us, it was just something new that was happening Well, for it was been since December. But there’s something that was happening that we were talking about in February. So there wasn’t any cases of community transmission. So we were kind of joking about it in February, but we knew that it was serious because we were seeing what was happening over overseas with it, right?
Richard Bennett 4:22
Yeah, I know. Because I talked to my best friend he lives over in Italy and we we know all know how bad was in Italy? Yeah. He’s I it was scary. Because for a while I didn’t hear from him. Yeah. And I’m like, Oh, man. Okay, Szuch isn’t answering his phone. I don’t like this What’s going on? And he just shut it off because he was getting so frustrated.
him and his wife and his story were there.
Ronya Nassar 4:50
Yeah. And it was. It’s crazy. How much has changed from then to now?
Richard Bennett 4:55
Yes. Well, we’re learning more about it. Mm hmm. We I mean, it As I’m alive It’s as if any virus. Yeah, although this one’s worse. You don’t know a lot about it at first.
Ronya Nassar 5:13
That’s true. So that’s why we call that novel coronavirus. So I mean like I always said there’s so many multiple names for it. So, for example, like we call it Some people call it novel coronavirus, SARS COBie two that’s the name of the virus that causes covid 19 disease. So, there’s all like, people can get confused with the names too, as well.
Richard Bennett 5:35
Well, one of my biggest beefs Yeah, because you have your conspiracy theorists out there and everything. And I’ve heard this a lot from people well, you look at a can of Lysol. It says it kills a coronavirus. Okay. Do you realize there are so many different types of coronaviruses? Yeah, a lot of people don’t get that it doesn’t kill. That’s why nobody ever puts 100% on the can and it’s only 99%.
Ronya Nassar 6:03
Yeah, so I can like talk so I can talk a little bit kind of about that. So, viruses, um, and the disease, they often cause they kind of have different names. So like, for example, like it goes to like HIV. That’s a virus that causes AIDS and influenza virus is the virus that causes flu. And like people often know the name of the disease, but they don’t know the name of the virus that causes it. So Corona viruses are like a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals like camels, cattle, cats bats, for example. That’s the that’s one of the ones we connect with on Coronavirus. Those those basically like, those are the reasons you know, we have the transmission from animal to person.
Richard Bennett 6:50
I was gonna say it wasn’t that the big myth to that started that this came from a bat.
Ronya Nassar 6:56
Yeah, so we’re still like looking at like what originally caused it, but like, I know, they still don’t know. I mean, they are saying that it’s like, someone ate like, someone ate a bat. And the other thing that people don’t know a lot with public health is that a lot of public health people spend their entire, like researching lives on taking a certain species such as maybe bats or like ducks or birds. And they spend their public health career kind of checking these species every year and checking them for different viruses and flus. And that’s basically what they’ve dedicated their lives on. Because they know that a lot of a lot of diseases and stuff come from a virus that happens from a transmission from animal to person. Oh, people spend their whole lives looking at bats and the migration of bats every year, the migration of birds every year just to see if they are going to kick or if they’re carrying any type of virus.
Richard Bennett 7:54
Ronya Nassar 7:56
yeah, I think I missed out on my calling. I could be doing that.
Richard Bennett 8:00
You want to check bats all the time?
Ronya Nassar 8:04
Maybe not bats, I think another animal,
Richard Bennett 8:06
your birds? I wouldn’t mind. But that’s no, not at all. So we are from when this started to now, what are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen? As far as the virus goes? People got older if we want to talk about that. But as far as the virus goes, I think
Ronya Nassar 8:28
I guess the first thing I could talk about would probably be would be the symptoms. Mm hmm. So first, anyone could have mild moderate symptoms, and they may appear between two to 14 days. So two to 14 days seems like a really long time. But that’s so far what research has shown is that your symptoms can appear anywhere from two to 14 days. So that’s kind of goes into why we tell people if you came in contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19 that you should quarantine yourself for 14 days. Which, by the way, that’s another terminology that you know, people get really confused with is quarantine and isolation. So quarantining means that you came in contact with someone not that you specifically had COVID-19 but that you came in contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19 when you’re isolating isolation refers to you or have a positive COVID-19 your positive COVID-19 test and that means you need to isolate yourself. And that’s that that isolation actually has changed too as well. So what happens if you’re sick if you’re sick, and and you’ve got confirmed COVID-19 you should isolate yourself for 10 days and 24 hours until fever free and until your symptoms have resided so that’s another huge change because most first started we’ve had to tell people they had to isolate for I think was like 14 or 15 days but It came down to nafa. It’s been for the past few months, you’re isolating for 10 days 24 hours fever free without taking any, any fever reducing medication. And your symptoms have resided The only symptom that we say that’s been okay that it doesn’t go away is the new loss of taste or smell for some people that can linger on for for maybe even months. For some people.
Richard Bennett 10:24
Not everybody gets that right. Not everybody loses not
Ronya Nassar 10:27
everybody gets it. Yes. Some of the symptoms can include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. So, so some people can have mild to moderate symptoms of that list that I said, and some people may not even really have symptoms at all to as well.
Richard Bennett 10:50
How? Cuz I mean, it sounds like the same symptoms, you know, for the flu. Yes. So that see, and this is what scares me because, you know, you do have people that are stubborn. And if they have any those symptoms, they probably won’t call their doctor, some will just say, Oh, it’s just the flu. And stay home, or worse yet, still go to work.
Ronya Nassar 11:18
Yep. And that’s I’ve like said this multiple times. And, you know, this is more of like, not me, taking my public health hat off, and me being putting on my my American hat. And I think, you know, as an as an American, or are, as an American art culture itself, you’re very hard working, you know, group of individuals. And so for us, when we have when there are days, when we wake up, and we do have a cold, we still go to work, we still push through it, we still do stuff like that. But this is a time where, and this is something maybe thankful for COVID, that when we do not feel good, when we wake up in the morning, we just take a step back and not push through and stay home and be safe and protect others because no one wants to get the whole office sick, even with just a cold. That’s something that you know, you don’t want to spread to other people. So I think you know, when you do wake up in the morning, you need to monitor your symptoms. And if you aren’t feeling good, you need to stay home and it’s for better for you and for your co workers and for your family and for your loved ones too.
Richard Bennett 12:17
Yeah. But Ronya on the other side of that, what’s really messed up with that. There are you know, when people get sick, and they go to call out? Yeah, they’re they’re looked down. And their boss is like, Oh, no, you only got the sniffles? You there’s no reason why you can’t come in. And I’m hoping a lot of business owners realize, okay, if that person has the sniffles, tell them to stay home. Yep. I mean, it’s, that’s, that’s always been a pet peeve of mine, I’d never understood that. If somebody’s sick. Don’t have them come in.
Ronya Nassar 12:54
It’s weird. But that’s one thing that I think that is like a positive from COVID that came about is more acceptance of like, Hey, you know, if you aren’t feeling well stay home, rest, relax, see your doctor get a test if you need to. So it’s a weird thing to say that was positive that came out of COVID. But I really think that has been very beneficial. And it’s going to be beneficial going into flu season two as well.
Richard Bennett 13:18
I don’t think it’s weird. I think it No, seriously, because I’ve said this several times, whether it be a person or something happens. There’s always some positivity in there somewhere. You may have to dig deep and look for it. But and we were talking about this before, you know, with COVID, I’ll be looking at businesses have changed. Yeah. As a matter of fact, just to give you an idea, I had a young lady on the podcast. And she has gotten real busy since COVID. Started but she was always working out of her basement. They had to go get an office space, because they’re so busy now. So what’s that? What did she do? The name of the business is girls with guns and a few good men. They actually teach gun safety they help people get their license they it’s basically all guns there to retired police officers that run it but you look at the website and it’ll kind of remind you of Charlie’s Angels the way they’re posing with. It’s just funny, but but now they’ve gotten so busy with teaching people that they had opened up an office
Molly Mraz 14:39
because people think it’s the apocalypse. Yeah,
Richard Bennett 14:41
well, yeah. Yeah, that’s that’s true.
Which is crazy. Oh my God, look, it’s the zombie what they call it for the zombies. The zombie apocalypse, whatever. Yes. Anyways.
God, we’re going way off track here.
Ronya Nassar 14:59
So I can go into some safety and preventative precautions that no,
Richard Bennett 15:03
we don’t want to talk about it.
With safety, yeah, cuz and another pet peeve of mine, why is it, people are against wearing a mask? Oh, not that hard, but go over to save the safeties and precautions.
Molly Mraz & Ronya Nassar 15:26
Thread you Yeah, you’re taking away the right.
Richard Bennett 15:29
You know, but think about how many stores are out there that you can’t go into if you don’t have on shoes or shirt. Right?
Ronya Nassar 15:38
Yes, that’s that’s basically
Molly Mraz 15:40
those are tar. That was a big conversation on a call we had with, like, months and months ago talking about, you know, they’re trying to come up with a slogan to encourage people to be wearing masks inside. This was before, you know, the executive orders came out that you basically had to be wearing a mask inside. And they were saying, you know, no shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service and the Yeah, yeah. The pushback on that has just been like, it’s just been crazy. Yeah. Or you see people wearing their masks like,
Richard Bennett 16:18
not above. They’re not covering their nose. Yeah.
Ronya Nassar 16:21
Yeah. I mean, you have to, you kind of have to you have to wear it. You have to cover your nose and your mouth.
Richard Bennett 16:27
Well, it should cover your chin right? as well.
Ronya Nassar 16:30
Yeah, they say to cover your chin as well. I know that’s can be very difficult for some males, if they have the beard and they’re like me.
Molly Mraz & Ronya Nassar 16:38
It can be difficult, like a little like, What do you need? Like a low like,
Richard Bennett 16:42
like an extender? Yeah, we’re gonna try. That’s why it’s before we started recording about the Gator is Yeah, is the Gator just as good or safer than a mask.
Ronya Nassar 16:52
So okay, so there’s a few things again, that we can do to prevent and be safe during COVID-19. So obviously, it’s the wash your hands or use the 60% or more hand sanitizer, avoiding close contact with people and we say close contact, we say more, we want to be more than six feet away for more than six feet away. So that’s kind of goes with the social distancing. I know you want to cover here, you want to cover your mouth and nose with like a cloth face covering on your on others, you want to cover your costs and sneeze clean and disinfect frequently touched areas and monitor your health daily. So for the importance of wearing a mask, so your mask May, your mask may protect them and your and my mask may protect you. So then wearing a mask you wearing masks, that is the best possible scenario you can get and being more than six feet apart. So CDC recommends that you wear masks in public settings around people who don’t live in your household. And when you can stay six feet away from others mass can help stop the spread of COVID-19. So they’re recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent your respiratory droplets. So the rest of your droplets is when we you know we talk we see a lot of stuff from basically protects as your that protects you as your barrier. And the use of masses. It’s important in settings where you’re really close to each other. And you can’t maintain physical distancing. So let’s let’s say your your you need to pick a mass you’re going out for the day, you need to pick a mass. How do we do that. So you want to wear mass with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19. So here’s my mass right now. It’s actually created. So here’s my first layer, you can see it’s like that leopard pattern. And then my second layer is this other cotton pattern, right, too, as well. So you want to make sure that has two or more layers to stop the spread. You want to wear your mask over nose and your mouth to secure it under your chin. And in Maryland, man should be worn by people five years or older and man should not be worn by children younger than two
Yep. So we’re obviously suggesting, you know, so if you’re younger than two, you’ve probably you’re still developing. Okay. And then people have trouble breathing. So there’s a lot of people that do have disabilities that trouble breathing, or something. Yeah, so mats aren’t recommended for those people. And, um, you do not want to wear masks intended for healthcare workers such as the 95 mass. And we can go into that too. If you have any questions.
I just want the there’s a big misconception I think out there that me wearing a mask is protecting me.
Richard Bennett 19:31
Yes. people around you.
Molly Mraz 19:34
Yes. So I’m wearing a mask so that Ronya wouldn’t contract this and she’s wearing a mask for me. So I’m not wearing a mask. Your mask is not protecting you. Your mask is protecting other people.
Richard Bennett 19:47
Yes. Now, here’s something and this is this is what bugged me for the longest time. So I’m wearing a mask if I sneeze Yeah, everybody So used to sneezing hopefully into their elbow. Mm hmm. Well, now the mask is under sneezing into the mask? Yes. Sometimes Sometimes it will. So yeah, but if you’re a grocery store, sometimes that sneeze can be nasty. I D, should people actually carry extra mask with them? You don’t want to soggy with this coin?
Ronya Nassar 20:24
That’s That’s true. That’s true. I mean, that’s actually a very interesting question, to be honest. Don’t
Richard Bennett 20:32
tickle the roof of your mouth with your tongue. Right?
Ronya Nassar 20:34
Yeah. I mean, obviously, like I, it doesn’t hurt to carry multiple masks with them. But the main important thing is that you need to clean your mask often. And this is kind of like the analogy I give people. So if you are going and you’re wearing a T shirt the entire day, you’re walking around, maybe sweating a little bit in it everything. You don’t just take that T shirt and save it and wear it the next day, you put it into the wash because you need sweating a name, I have bacteria, right? It goes with their cloth with their cloth masks face coverings, you need to be washing it often. So for example, you should be washing it and hot water. And preferred like preferably obviously use soap and water and then you want to make sure that you do put it in, you can put it in your your dryer on high heat, and that really helps to kind of clean your mass. So it’s important to do that often because it’s just like if you were to wear a T shirt, you watch that too. So you before you work the next time so it doesn’t hurt to have a few different masks if you can’t do the washing often. I know I have a few masks. I wash my mask once a week, but I go through three or four during the week too as well.
Richard Bennett 21:45
I know I’m scared because I’ve been washing mine by hand and hanging them.
Ronya Nassar 21:49
That’s that’s also that’s also okay as well if you wash it with
Richard Bennett 21:53
warm water with warm Well, yeah, I do. Yeah. Because I read the structure said wash by hand and hang dry. I’m like, yep, you just want
Ronya Nassar 22:02
me to do that. Yeah, you can do that. So I want to I do want to answer so that Gator question that you had. There’s, there’s like not enough research out yet to show the effectiveness of Gators. I love to tell people to do like the Bill Nye the Science Guy trick which is. So if you have like a mask if you have a massive and I bought a gator. So this is actually good example because I bought a gator month a month ago because I was like, Oh, this is really great for work because I can just pull it up and down. And so I bought the Gator. And what I did is I took a candle that was lit and I held it away from my like away from me like arm’s arm’s length right? I was able to blow the candle out with the Gator. So it shows that basically you need to have something that really breaks up barriers so you have any type of respiratory droplets going through. So if like if I blew out here, I can’t feel that any of those respiratory droplets. So I always tell people to if you want to really have your master do the Bill Nye the Science Guy trek?
Richard Bennett 23:04
Well, I think a lot of the reason or one of the reasons a lot of people were going to the Gators is in the military. They were especially in the desert and it’s great for keeping the sand out but again, you’re keeping something out of your face. Yep. A when you brought up the subject of you’re keeping droplets from leaving your face to other people that yeah, that does make a big I guess maybe keep the See if you can find a
gator that’s got the double layers like the mask
Ronya Nassar 23:36
Yeah, that could that could be it. Like I said there’s not much there’s not many there’s not much research done with the Gators effectiveness but the two layer cloth face covering as much as even just like a to taken that bandana holding it over and wearing it. That’s that’s even better than wearing a gator. So right now there’s not much research on it. So we are pushing people to go with the the two layer of the class coffee covering. Molly and I have every now
Richard Bennett 24:04
Now what about the ones with the because I’ve seen some people wear two cloth masks. I have the filters in
Ronya Nassar 24:08
there. Oh, that’s a good question. So those, those aren’t worth it because we need to keep again, the reason for the mass is to keep our story droplets and we don’t want anything where the respiratory droplets are going. Right? So like for example like the 95 respirators. Why are nurses wearing those so those and then if I respirators they protect they clear at 95% of the particles. So when when you’re a nurse and you’re caring for someone who has COVID-19 you need the best protection because that person that has COVID they can’t wear a mask. So you need to protect yourself for a nurse that protects them the best and that’s why we tell people and 95 respirators are for health care workers. And that’s it, period there’s discussion about it. We really need to save them for those people that are really taking care of us. The sick person who has COVID or any in general, a sick person in general, and they’re not able, and the sick person isn’t able to cover their respiratory droplets when they’re around them.
Richard Bennett 25:12
Okay, so I’m not gonna look for the masses, the masses, the filters in them, then yes, no. Okay, so stick with the cloth mask. Now, one of the things I noticed too, when and I still see some people doing this. But when this first started, gloves, people at the grocery stores, going grocery shopping, were wearing gloves, picking up stuff, and then putting some stuff back. So is there anything about wearing or not wearing
Ronya Nassar 25:44
gloves? Now, we suggest that you don’t wear gloves when you go to the grocery store. As a reminder, this is a virus that’s transmitted through respiratory droplets in your mouth. So again, we need to make sure that we’re protecting our mouth. Now, there’s no harm in continuing to sanitizing your hands when you’re at the grocery store. No good practice sanitizing before and after, is really good. And also not touching every single thing that’s in the grocery store too, as well.
Richard Bennett 26:09
Good point. I’m actually with the with the touching stuff. Um, because I know when they came in here, they always there was so much different talk about how long it’ll stay on the surface. Mm hmm. Isn’t that changed as well?
Ronya Nassar 26:24
Yeah, so that actually has changed since we last talk. So it basically COVID-19 is spread easily from person to person. And it’s most commonly spread through close contact when you’re within six feet of an infected person. And they cough, sneezing, talk, breathe,
Molly Mraz 26:38
or anything just living.
Ronya Nassar 26:41
So it can sometimes be spread through airborne transmission, but and let it’s less commonly spread through contact with contaminated surfaces. So that has changed, that research has changed. And it’s still being looked at, especially with the airborne transmission of how long it stays in the air too, as well. So again, this is new. So we’re constantly doing research. And we’re constantly reviewing research here at the health department to you know, understanding how this is going to be easily spread. But as of now, still respiratory droplets as of 1014 2020.
Richard Bennett 27:14
So, with this, how has it changed things for you guys at the health department? Because I’ll meet a lot of people rely on the health department for birth certificates and stuff like that. So how has it changed there?
Molly Mraz 27:28
So a lot of our programs have become virtual programs and doing a lot of telehealth. So our behavioral health program, you know, their bureaus doing a lot of telehealth medicine, um, a lot of environmental health, we’re doing a lot of zoom and a lot of virtual calls and meetings that way, but they, you know, if they had like a permit to drop off, or somebody was like, just kind of like you to drop everything off outside, somebody from environmental health would come down, pick up the, you know, pick up the mail, process it that way, birth certificates, you can make an appointment online, now they’re by appointment only, which is actually it’s probably best because it helps with the wait times. I mean, like, you never had to make an appointment before. So you could be in here. And
Richard Bennett 28:19
I know, I had to work just fine online.
Molly Mraz 28:22
Yeah. So that’s been really beneficial, then, you know, a lot of our smaller programs like, um, like our Megan’s place, like they’re doing, they’re trying to engage these families virtually. And so they like a weekly, like a weekly sheet of like reminders and self care and different activities to do with your children and a lot of tips that people you know, just maybe need something extra to be able to keep their, you know, to keep their mentality in a positive light and just trying to hang on, because I think
Richard Bennett 29:01
that’s one of the things I was worried about when this started because you some of those people can’t afford internet or anything like that and say, Okay, how are they going to be able to stay in contact with them? Yeah. I I mean, I was sad to be honest with you, because I felt like well, it was I didn’t feel like it was I mean, a lot of people were, and if we did, again, we didn’t know this was gonna happen. Mm hmm. Seems like a lot of people couldn’t get the help that they were used to, or at least get it the way they were used. Right. Getting it. So yeah,
Ronya Nassar 29:40
yeah. And I will say the one thing that I was really impressed with is how Harford County really like work to improve like their Wi Fi access and stuff and and you know, again, like the libraries to that was also a really great resource. You can be outside of a library and you can get Wi Fi access that way too as well. So you in their parking lot, and that’ll help you In a whole parking lot, you know, which doesn’t seem like a big deal, but
Molly Mraz 30:05
it is a big deal. And I want to say though library and white furred, is that, right, I think that was like a big thing for them the past couple of months to just make sure that they had Wi Fi in the parking lot so that people could go and get and have service.
Ronya Nassar 30:22
live in a rural area?
Richard Bennett 30:24
Yeah. Because that’s when that’s been a problem for a while the northern part of Canada and have no internet, right? Or very slow internet, if anything. So that that is that’s very big. That’s good. And some of the 5g towers, I guess we’re never going up.
Ronya Nassar 30:44
And that is just funny. So I kind of want to talk about the importance of like being up to date in your vaccines. This has been a thing so COVID, kind of because of COVID. We aren’t we were doing like the virtual telehealth visits and stuff. But the one thing is you can’t get your shots over telehealth. So we were there was and this was, you know, seen all throughout the US there was a decline of vaccines and children. And so because of the efforts to reduce COVID-19, such as you know, are some of the stay at home orders and the shelter in place orders does lead to the decrease in the use of preventive medical services, which is including like the immunization services. So it’s more important than ever to kind of reiterate that we need to make sure that we are vaccinated and vaccinations are up to date. Because you know, routine vaccinations, it helps prevent illnesses, it leads to unnecessary medical visits, hospitalizations, a further strain on the health care system, which is what we don’t need right now. So for the upcoming influenza season, so the flu season. flu vaccinations right now are really, really important. I’m telling everybody, please go get your flu shot, you can there’s multiple places everywhere that you can get them. And if you go to Target and get a $5 gift cards.
What a benefit is we fear females out there, because our
child vaccination coverage remains high nationally. But we need to be careful that so we need to be careful because we can’t spread any myths or misinformation because that can put communities at risk for vaccine. So when misleading information when that circulates vaccination coverage can fall, and it can help it would it would increase the risk for outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases such as measles,
Richard Bennett 32:28
right? What did they say the flu shot people that got the flu shot last year, that contract to COVID seemed to help.
was that? Was that another myth? Hmm.
Ronya Nassar 32:41
That was probably another myth, I will say that I
Molly Mraz 32:43
think it could reduce your
Richard Bennett 32:45
risk or whatever are symptoms of flu. Like it was okay.
Molly Mraz 32:50
You could still get the flu, but it just my you know, getting your flu shot. If you didn’t have to get the flu, it could reduce your the amount of time that you are sick, and it can reduce your the severity of your symptoms of yours.
Richard Bennett 33:08
Yeah, gotta get mine.
Ronya Nassar 33:09
Yeah. And even in general to people, we also need to take care of ourselves as well. And this is not just, you know, physically, but also mentally as well. So I do want to say that it’s really important that during this time that it’s I know it’s hard because we want to be with each other in person, but we were on our phones all day long. Let’s be real. So when you’re on your phone, pick up that phone, reach out to your friends, see if they’re okay, and that is going to be my enemy. That’s going to be my ending thing is, you know, you really want to check on your family and friends and your loved ones during this time. I know it’s hard because we can’t be with them in person, but a simple tax just even or simple phone call FaceTime, letting them know that you’re there for them, I think is really important. Yeah,
Molly Mraz 33:53
I forgot to add that, like our dental clinic is has reopened,
Richard Bennett 33:57
Molly Mraz 33:59
four days a week. They’re taking appointments. And so our Woodbridge location is open for family planning. And for immunizations. You just have to make an appointment. We still are running every single one of our services you just have to call make an appointment.
Richard Bennett 34:13
See, and that’s one good thing. Because you guys even when this started, there was always somebody to answer the phones, correct? Yes, yeah.
Ronya Nassar 34:20
And we saw people were answering the phone. Yeah.
Richard Bennett 34:22
So if anybody ever had a question as to whether or not you were open, all they had to do was call, right? Yeah. And whoever handles your social media, oh my god, they’re doing an awesome job. Who does that?
Molly Mraz 34:34
We were so busy just trying to get information. That was correct. Right. I mean, so just within the county, we have a budget call, which is like a Joint Information Center. And we all the CIOs of the county get together. And we have a call to update everybody inform everyone. It was like this huge pandemic planning. I mean, there were so So much planning that went into all of this. And there is the we are a lucky county that all of our community partners actually get along with each other. And they communicate with each other because we would not be able to get the messaging out or have these calls if it wasn’t, you know, if the county did not take this seriously at all, and a lot of the reason why our numbers are low we’re then is because of Harford County residents that are following
Richard Bennett 35:35
Molly Mraz 35:36
wearing their masks that are washing their hands and are staying home when directed to do so even though, you know, as hard as it is they, you know, he doing very well. You know, Halloween, people are wondering if like we’re canceling Halloween or what’s going on with Halloween, are you allowed to trigger treat. Um, so we’ve developed the messaging within the county that you you know, participate or don’t participate, it’s totally up to your comfort level. If you want to, you know, have your family participate in trick or treating, we just suggest that you continue to follow the guidelines of maintaining your social distance, wearing your masks also, like the masks that may come with the costume, some of them may not be efficient enough, so you might have to have your child wear a mask under their actual Halloween costume mask, which makes Yeah, that makes sense. Um, and just maybe trying to hand out candy in an alternative way. Like I’m planning on just putting a table at the end of my driveway also be outside, but I just like spread on my candy on the table and they can just grab their own
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