Why you shouldn't be hoarding face masks during the Covid 19 epidemic..
I still remember the days when I worked as an ER physician in the middle east and Swine flu arrived. Suddenly I found myself treating patients, wearing the tightly fitted N95 Mask, with no space for fresh air entry even from the sides. I couldn't breathe but atleast I had a face mask. We admitted 8 patients on the very first day, all from the same family, one of whom had to be shifted to the ICU.
Swine flu was treatable to some extent.
Now Covid 19 has arrived and we don't have many treatment options. Face masks are a lifeline for the people working in the frontline. Hoarding them, while you don't need more than a few, is not advisable. People who really need them may fall short.
I still remember when people started hoarding N95 masks, we had to use one for two to three days. It's definitely not advisable but we didn't have a choice.
Please remember, if you are not out there treating or caring for patients with Covid 19, you are much safer than the ones that are.
The medical staff can only help you if you let them help themselves first.
Besides, there are people who need them more than you do. People with associated co morbid conditions, people with Diabetes,HIV or those on the chemotherapy.
Protect yourself but not at the cost of causing trouble to others.
Next time you go to the shop to buy a face mask, please leave a few for the next person.
Who knows they might need them more than you do.