Chait is a paramedic and he has watched the novel coronavirus COVID-19 progress from something he didn’t think he needed to be worried about–he’s worked through SARS, MERS and meningitis outbreaks–to something he believes we all should be protecting ourselves from.
“South Korea and the U.S. had their first case the same day,” Chait says of COVID-19. “They wore masks and sterilized everything. Everything was shut down and they flattened their curve fast.”
That has not been the case here. On Monday, Essex County had 1,408 positive cases of COVID-19 and 33 deaths. As of this morning at 9 a.m., the county had 2,607 positive cases and 65 deaths. Statewide, there are 22,255 positive cases and 355 deaths.
Chait now wears a mask all the time in public, and switches to an N95 particulate respirator and a lot of other protective gear when he is attending to people who are ill or injured. “Wearing a mask in public is good,” he says. “Gloves are good but masks are far more important. The droplets in the air are where this is coming from.”