COVID-19 and Thanksgiving: New campaign in Chesapeake shows your odds


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — With COVID-19 case numbers on the rise, mandates are getting tougher and more people are telling Americans what to do.

“No one likes being told what to do,” Chesapeake Health Director Dr. Nancy Welch told WAVY.

That’s why her staff is launching a campaign they hope will explain the reasons ‘why’ so people will want to comply.

They posted a cartoon on social media that Welch thinks sums it up: A young girl named Sally gets exposed to the virus and five days later gets a test. Her results are negative, so she decides to go to a family party. A few days after that she shows symptoms and tests positive. That means she was contagious at the party.

The post has been shared nearly 10,000 times in two days and some have commented asking why Sally, who is pictured wearing a mask, even bothered as it clearly did not protect her.

“Granted, nothing is 100% in this world but we live making constant odds decisions every day,” Welch said.

She further explained that if you’re wearing a mask and come in contact with an infected person who is not wearing one, your chance of getting COVID-19 is 70%.

If the roles are reversed and the infected person is masked but you’re not, your odds of getting COVID-19 go down to 5%. If you are both wearing masks, the chance drops to just 1.5%.

“The bottom line is, all of life is like Las Vegas and so we’re looking at odds,” Welch said.

Others have asked why Sally didn’t test positive the first time.

“As with most things in life they don’t just happen they take awhile,” Welch said.

After the virus gets in to your system, it has to multiply and set up shop. In COVID-19’s case, that is in your lungs. If anything stops it along the way, you won’t get sick. When Sally got tested the first time, the virus was on its path and nothing stopped it.

“I think that if people understand the ‘whys,’ they are going to make predominately the wise decision,” she said.

And the wise thing to do is to celebrate safely.

“I don’t support social distancing but I strongly support physical distancing,” she said.

If you will celebrate in the same house as others, Welch suggests spreading out in different rooms and wearing masks when you’re within 6 feet.

Her concern is the surge in cases. She confirms that while most people do recover from COVID-19, more people getting it means more will go to hospitals.

Hampton Roads is fortunate now, she said, but that is not the case in places like Tennessee and Texas, which are already overwhelmed.

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