Friday Catchall: Please wear a mask, live healthy life

The Friday Catchall:

FOR OTHERS – I receive a lot of emails and calls, such as some from “Mary Ann” of Prescott, complaining that others among us are not being safe during the pandemic.

“Too many people are not wearing masks and many more are not staying 6 feet from others (social distancing),” she stated.

Yes, it was the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that early on stated bandanas or home-made masks are not as good as the professional N95 variety. Still, it also is the CDC that recently put out the message for everyone to wear something, even a homemade mask.

Considering that a mask does not prevent you from getting a virus, but that it protects those around you, I consider everyone wearing a mask as having compassion for others.

Remember, you might be (a-symptomatic) carrying the coronavirus but not have any symptoms.

Take the high road here, folks. Wear a mask of some sort; I’d hate to be the one who gave the virus to someone else, because I chose not to wear a face covering because it looked goofy or was uncomfortable.

WORLDWIDE – “Wayne” of Chino Valley asked why the coronavirus is referred to as a “pandemic.” Early on I too wondered why people and the media kept referring to this scourge as a pandemic.

Looking it up, a pandemic is a disease that is prevalent over a whole country or the world. That it is.

Also, COVID-19 stands for COrona-VIrus and Disease. The 19 means it began in 2019. Thus, “COVID-19 virus” is redundant.

KILLERS – “Sarah” of Prescott Valley stated that COVID-19 should be a wakeup call for other diseases.

I agree. Some common diseases have not been deemed as important by the public; rather, we do not think about them much.

Food for thought, following are the top 6 from 2015 (the most current stats):

  • Ischemic heart disease (known as coronary artery disease), 8.8 million deaths;
  • Stroke, 6.2 million deaths;
  • Lower respiratory infections, 3.2 million deaths;
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), 3.1 million deaths;
  • Respiratory cancers, 1.7 million deaths;
  • Diabetes related, 1.6 million deaths.

Note, many are similar to COVID, in that they strike the lungs. For comparison, COVID has killed more than 141,000 people worldwide as of April 16; influenza kills about 50,000 people in the U.S. annually (since 2010), according to the CDC.

More importantly, the death rate for the flu is about 0.1% in the U.S., while COVID’s death rate varies from 1% to 4% – sometimes more, depending on the area or country. (Also, a vaccine exists for the flu; not yet, for COVID.)

PEAK?In a column on April 16, I explained why Yavapai County has yet to reach the peak of newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, letting Stephen Everett of Community Health Services weigh in.

Several people have written in to argue that China, the CDC and others look at it differently.

That’s fine, I suppose. But, this is why we reach out to experts in the field.

QUOTE – “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

PICK OF THE WEEK – (Proving there’s always something good to do in the Prescott area that’s cheap or free): During the pandemic this one has been more and more difficult – with no events on the calendar; however, taking a walk or a hike, instead of being locked inside every day, is what the doctor ordered – but stay 6 feet apart.

Tim Wiederaenders is the senior news editor for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2032, or

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