The article on how college basketball programs are grappling with the coronavirus pandemic began with a description of Navy Coach Ed DeChellis and how the risks associated with contracting this disease are “always on my mind” because he is a 62-year-old diabetic stroke survivor and he is worried about keeping his team and himself safe (”College basketball programs grapple with playing amid coronavirus pandemic: ‘We’ve got to be realistic,’” Dec. 14). Despite these concerns, the accompanying photo showed Both Coach DeChellis and an unidentified person directly behind him with their masks under the noses. This is a common and very dangerous mistake.
We now know that the coronavirus is spread through aerosolized droplets that are exhaled from not only the infected person’s mouth, but especially from their nose. In a recent study, the nasal cells that line the nose were significantly more likely to become infected and shed virus compared to the throat or lungs. It is thus absolutely crucial that people should completely cover their nose with their mask as well as their mouth. Somehow, given how often I see people with their masks under their noses, most people do not seem to be aware of this, or simply get lazy because their mask is not comfortable or doesn’t fit them well.
Katy Benjamin, Baltimore
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