Sunday, September 24, 2023

Editorial: Shame nose people

You’ve seen them. You’ve probably rolled your eyes at them, and by now, are probably sick of them. Nose people — you know, those people who wear masks just below their nose — who act like improperly wearing a mask is enough to protect themselves and others from COVID-19, are actually presenting a risk to SUNY Plattsburgh’s campus.

The campus underwent three pool tests so far with two yielding zero COVID-19 cases, but that doesn’t make it impervious to the virus. Wearing masks incorrectly, such as wearing it just below your nose, can increase the risk of infection. Studies have shown that covering your nose can be just as important as covering your mouth with a mask.

A University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill study pin-pointed locations in the respiratory tract to find where COVID-19 is most likely to infiltrate the body. Researchers from that study found that cells lined in the nose were more likely to become infected and spread the virus than cells in the throat or lungs.

The study also found that COVID-19 infects cells with tiny hairs on them called cilia that usually helps protect from pathogens. The study claims that is the reason COVID-19 can infect more easily through the nose.

While the science surrounding COVID-19 is ever-evolving, what has remained mostly consistent is the fact that wearing a mask properly is important to combatting its spread, which is why it’s never a bad time for a refresher on how to do so.

On top of wearing masks securely and covering your mouth and nose, the Center for Disease Control recommends you wash your hands before putting on your mask, washing it regularly, only handling the straps of the mask when taking it off and washing your hands immediately after taking off your mask.

Although SUNY Plattsburgh has had a successful start to the fall semester, it will take nonstop commitment to its health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. So when you see a nose person out and about, shame ‘em.



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