Updated: November 16, 2020 09:04 AM
Created: November 15, 2020 10:16 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As the state prepares for the two-week shutdown, many are wondering what the shutdown will do to slow the spread of the virus.
Dr. Mark Epstein, president and CEO of True Health New Mexico, explained what people can realistically expect from the two-week reset.
"Well, it's a very important question. You know what, the virus doesn't know, the virus doesn't care what your political affiliation is; it knows it can hop from person to person through the air and through the breathing. It knows, the virus knows if we have a greater distance between each other, where possible, that limits the spread. Where we put barriers in the way— i.e., wearing masks—that limits the spread,” Dr. Epstein said. “All these things, the handwashing, all the things we've talked about is what the virus knows."
“It's us as New Mexicans against this virus,” he added.
The governor has praised New Mexicans in the past for their handling of the virus, which has led to some confusion over how things got so bad.
"I would love to say there's one answer to say A caused B, but unfortunately, it's probably a series of factors that led to where we are today,” Dr. Epstein said. “One could say the COVID fatigue is a part of it. Have we let our guard down in terms of our vigilance of masking and social distancing? Have we grown tired? Are we doing all the things we can do to minimize the risk of the virus spread? And there's things in the outside world, you know, it's colder, so we spend more time indoors and such."
Dr. Epstein said everyone needs to take the necessary precautions and look out for their fellow New Mexicans.
"My appeal as a physician, and I would say on behalf of my colleagues who in the New Mexico Medical Society put out a letter to the broader community several weeks ago. And we're seeing doctors across the country and other clinicians, please, please, please, follow these very straight forward measures. It's a sacrifice, we all know it, but these hospital beds, the capacity to take care of people is so critically threatened right now, we ask you, you don't have to believe 110 percent in every measure we're taking, that's fine. But wearing a mask, as one of my colleagues says—it's an act of love. We are really good in New Mexico about taking care of New Mexicans, and I think the message that must be said here is, do your best,” he said.
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