Update on Masks | Gloves | Asymptomatic Carriers

by | Apr 17, 2020

If you haven’t needed to come into the office yet and are wondering what we’re doing to address COVID concerns, here’s a short video where we walk you through the process of keeping the office safe and sanitized.  We hope that if you do need us that you’ll feel safe and comfortable in the office.  We are taking every precaution to keep our patients and our staff safe and healthy.

Dallas Mandates Face Masks Starting Tomorrow
You’ve likely heard that Dallas has mandated face masks starting tomorrow, April 18th.  There has been much debate over this move since cloth, home-made, or even surgical masks have been shown ineffective in preventing the spread of the disease among the public.  While some of these masks just don’t block viruses at all, the ineffectiveness is largely due to the fact that most people will continually adjust the mask, touching their faces more often than normal.  Read about mask effectiveness here.

In his mandate, Judge Clay

Jenkins has stated that the rationale behind face coverings is that it would prevent people who don’t have any symptoms from infecting other people.  “Because an infected person can transmit the COVID-19 virus to others before showing any symptoms, the covering of a person’s nose and mouth is necessary to help slow the spread of the virus.”  Let’s see what the research has to say about this.

Does the Research Support Infected Persons Transmitting the Virus?
There has been only one published study, to date, about

the transmission of COVID-19 and when people are the most likely to infect another person.  This study says, “The viral load in posterior oropharyngeal saliva samples was highest during the first week of symptom onset then gradually declined…” and also, ” A significant positive correlation between age and peak viral load was note


So, what does that mean?  It means that the researchers found that the amount of virus was highest in the first week after symptoms and the very highest in the older population.  While one study on a subject isn’t conclusive we can at least determine that, like most illnesses, the study points to transmission happening when the patient is showing symptoms:  cough, fever, difficulty breathing.  


Additionally, viral transmission happens through direct contact of the virus if someone within 3.2 feet of you coughs or sneezes toward your face or if you touch a surface that someone who is sick recently touched.  (Read the research here.)  This means that unless someone is coughing or sneezing the virus into their environment you will not be at risk for contracting the disease.  Someone who is coughing or sneezing will, most certainly, know they are sick and are not asymptomatic.  

So, where does that leave us?  It leaves us wearing face masks to avoid a $1,000 fine, but knowing that they aren’t protecting us in any way.  Keep in mind while you’re wearing a mask, do not adjust it once you’re out in public as this will increase your risk of exposure. 

Are Plastic Gloves Helpful?
When medical practitioners use gloves they change them between every interaction and wash their hands before donning a new set of gloves.  Gloves are designed to keep doctors from transmitting disease from one patient to another. However, wearing gloves in public is far more likely to cause issues than prevent them.  Gloves are often far dirtier and harder to clean properly and will, therefore, be more likely to cause an infection issue should you come into contact with the virus and inadvertently touch your face (perhaps while adjusting that face mask!).  Simply wash your hands well in soap and water (like you just chopped up jalapenos!).  Also, keep in mind that viruses cannot be transmitted through the skin- just through mucus membranes like your eyes, nose, and mouth.  

We hope, above all, that you’re staying sane, are able to enjoy more time at home, and are able to find joy each and every day.  Please remember that we’re here for you, whatever you may need!
Much Love, 

Dr. Jennifer Taylor & Dr. Christy Flick

HealthWorks: A Family Wellness Center is a chiropractic and wellness center located in Plano, Texas. Our chiropractors, Dr. Christy Flick and Dr. Jennifer Taylor, have been helping patients function better since starting private practice in 2005. For information about this article or other chiropractic questions, please contact our office at 972-612-1800.