LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Covenant health experts wanted to clear up COVID-19 related misconceptions based on research and their experience with Lubbock coronavirus patients they have treated.
The top three misconceptions: masks are ineffective, masks are harmful to those with lung related illnesses and hospitals are profiting from COVID-19. All of these statements are completely false, according to local health experts.
During a press conference, Dr. Craig Rhyne displayed an experiment that shows how effective a mask is at eliminating the spread of bacteria. Three petri dishes were displayed, each was sang on, talked on and laughed on with and without a mask. The differences are shocking. Very little bacteria was passed onto a petri dish near a person with a mask.
A similar experiment was displayed with petri dishes that were coughed on from two feet, four feet and six feet. The six foot away petri dish had the least amount of bacteria growth.
This science experiment proves that masks can not only prevent someone from getting the virus, but also slow the spread on surfaces.Another misconception is that those with lung related illnesses like asthma, could face difficult consequences while wearing a mask.
Dr. Brian Williams, Covenant Pulmonologist, said if you have a lung related illnesses, there is no serious side effect that would prevent you from wearing a mask. Not wearing a mask and exposing yourself to the virus is much worse for your condition.
”There is no underlying medical condition that would give you a free pass to go out in public without a mask,” Williams said.
The most alarming rumor hospitals face is that hospitals profit from the coronavirus pandemic. Covenant CEO Walt Cathey said it’s actually the opposite. Hospitals are losing money due to the coronavirus.
This for two reasons.
Hospitals are allotted the same amount of money for each person from the government. They spend money testing people and trying to find out why that person is sick and then how to treat that sick person.
Since the coronavirus is a new disease and there isn’t enough information available on how to treat it, hospitals are using lots of different resources and sometimes expensive resources like EC-MO to treat that person. The cost of these resources often exceed the allotted money from the government.
Kathey admits that the government is helping fund hospitals, but its not enough to make a profit.
The second way hospitals are losing money is because people are delaying early treatment. Illnesses that can be treated sooner are often delayed because people are scared to go to the hospital.
More people are going to the hospital with accelerated levels of preventable sickness and this costs hospitals more money.
Kathey said the best way for hospitals to make money, is for the community to be healthy and get early treatment.
”My advice is go to your regular physician, get checked on sooner,” Kathey said.