AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Is it safe to go to the beaches or the lake right now? Dr. Jose Vazquez, with the Medical College of Georgia, says yes. However, he says COVID-19 takes no vacation.
“The plead today would be for everyone, please wear a mask whenever you leave your house,” expressed Dr. Vazquez. “You don’t need to wear it in your car, but yes, wear it when you leave your car or home. Number two, you need to be washing your hands as much as possible whenever you are touching surfaces. Most importantly, social distance.”
Summertime is correlated with outdoor activities, but the summer of 2020 will not be normal for most. Some folks may be on the fence of taking a beach trip. Did you know that UV-rays kill the virus?
“The virus needs living cells to grow and sustain itself,” explained Dr. Vazquez. “It needs our nutrient because it incorporates in us. Once it leaves the human body and sits out somewhere, it very quickly disintegrates.”
Medical professionals have been using UV-rays to kill other types of infections, such as tuberculosis, for decades. Even on the beach, people should stay six feet apart, and wear a face mask.
“The only other way to block transmission is herd-immunity, and we are nowhere near herd-immunity,” said Dr. Vazquez. “To hit herd-immunity, we need about 50% to 70% of the population, and we are nowhere near that.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has been surging. Doctors believe “The R-naught,” also known as “The Reproduction Number” is around one, they want it under one.
“If it’s five, that means one person can give it to five people,” explained Dr. Vazquez. “Those five people can give it to five other people. With the R-naught, more people can get affected the higher it is.”
The CDC is now projecting between 140,000 to 160,000 coronavirus deaths by the end of July. Dr. Vazquez says more people will get infected if we continue to be complacent with the virus.