We need some leadership on public protective masks from “.gov”

We still have major covid issues and when I read the WHO site, the federal sites, and my California covid site they are massively confusing when referencing protective masks. Most of the “.gov” sites are clear how important n95 masks are to health workers, how we don’t still have enough, so shouldn’t wear them. Ok, it’s kind of crazy after a year that we still have a supply problem and I think CA has done a good job on the supply chain … so I get that.

But if you look at the countries that have 50x less deaths, they have public mask standards and seem to me to have pretty clear government direction on protective mask usage and standards. Obviously cloth face coverings are not protective masks, perhaps that’s not obvious? But I’ve even seen some Democratic public officials wear kn95’s and kf94’s, so the word is out. Also buried in the “.gov” sites there are excellent papers on protective masks, so I know in the NIH we have some major experts.

Ok, so what do I want “.gov” to do:

  1. Get those experts in the “.gov” sites together and work with their web masters for a standard that explains public protective mask usage. Also have a small conference with all the state web sites (and health execs) after the standard media package is created.
  2. Be clear on explaining masks that it is “sugested” to wear protective masks in enclosed spaces like grocery stores or supporting at risk people. I.e. Don’t confuse masks like the n95 which the public should not be buying with masks like the kf94 and pff2 which they should be buying.
  3. Reference a link at the top page that shows people how to buy these masks such as the kf94 and ppf2. It needs to be obvious, all these acronym mask names get real confusing to most people.
  4. At the Inauguration please have the people that will be on TV wear protective masks correctly — wearing a cloth mask breathing through a gap at the nose is a bad example. My suggestion is that the staff hands out the black BOTN mask kf94 to everyone on the stand, and they are given a briefing on how to wear it correctly.
  5. The presidential communication staff along with the cdc/nih com unit then need to get a com plan together. If it was me I’d target influencers and entertainment after the media package was put together with that small NIH/CDC “.gov” expert group.

I’ve had my say I guess, I’ve been doing risk management for 35+ years and am part of the quant click so am mainly on the finance side, but sometimes having some distance to a problem gives a new perspective? At minimum we have an opportunity now to present things in a more unified way on the “.gov” covid websites, so why not?

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