Masks, distancing advised as states reopen

Monday, May 11, 2020
Chris Woodward (

woman wearing surgical maskWith states and cities starting to reopen, one doctor is urging people to take some measures into consideration.

"There are two things that I would tell everybody, regardless of their age and their risk factors," says Dr. Jeff Barrows of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations. "The first is as much as you possibly can, try and maintain that six-foot social distancing."

He says that little bit of distance cuts down the virus transmission. Other CDC guidelines include washing hands frequently with soap and water and not touching your face.

And while not everyone is a fan of the following, Dr. Barrows recommends that people wear a mask.

"I think a lot of people misunderstand the purpose for masks," he adds. "It's not so much to prevent you from getting the infection, though it does that to some degree, certainly not to the same degree as an N95 mask for instance. But rather it prevents somebody who may be an asymptomatic carrier from transmitting the virus to someone else."

According to Dr. Barrows, one out of every four infected people does not even know they have the virus. 


And while not everyone believes the reported number of coronavirus cases and fatalities, Dr. Barrows does. In fact, he thinks the U.S. will have 100,000 or more fatalities from COVID-19.

"In fact, it probably will occur in the next four to six weeks," says Barrows. "I think that the real question is whether or not we can keep the number of deaths less than 250,000.

"So, if everybody would maintain that six-foot social distance, as well as wear a mask, that would help in a huge way to cut down on the number of new cases," he submits.

Not everyone buys the numbers of coronavirus patients. During a recent interview on Fox News Channel's "The Ingraham Angle" program, physician and State Sen. Scott Jensen (R-Minnesota) said hospitals get paid more if Medicare patients are listed as having COVID-19, and three times more if those patients need a ventilator.

USA Today did a fact check on this claim and confirmed that is true. Meanwhile, White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Birx told reporters in early April that that government was counting people dying with COVID-19 as having died from COVID-19.

"Let's say the virus caused you to go to the ICU and then have a heart or kidney problem," Dr. Deborah Birx told reporters April 7. "Some countries are recording that as a heart issue or a kidney issue, and not a COVID-19 death [but] we are counting that as a COVID-19 death."

In the days immediately following those remarks, Barrows told OneNewsNow that he agreed with the federal government's approach.

"In Dr. Birx's example, the immediate cause would be an infection with the COVID-19 virus that then made a pre-existing condition such as heart failure worse, and so … that patient may have lived several weeks or months if they hadn't had the COVID-19 infection," DBarrows told OneNewsNow on April 9. "So, I agree with that approach."

Twila Brase, a registered nurse and president of Citizens' Council for Health Freedom, said at that time that counting every patient who happens to have coronavirus as a death from coronavirus is going to skew the results and make coronavirus scarier than it is.

"Coronavirus is scary," she acknowledges, "but there's no need to make the death results any higher than the death results are."

Meanwhile, it may be weeks or months before people can see a doctor for a routine medical visit.

"It's going to vary widely by state and by specialty and what the need is," Barrows adds. "Hopefully we can open up the things that we have put off the last three months."

Dr. Barrows concludes that anyone with a question or concern about medical issues should contact their doctor or dentist.


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