The sharpest critique of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s COVID-19 rhetoric (primarly from within The US Coronovirus Task Force mind you), aims to paint the disease expert as a doomsayer.
Just this week Ladders reported on Dr. Fauci’s intentions to steer clear of dining, flying, and attending densely populated gatherings for the foreseeable future.
He goes to the White House and then he goes home. Real doomsayer move. Except in four short months, COVID-19 is en route to becoming the third leading cause of death in the US.
That kind of morbid meteoric rise only happens if our national response has some blind spots. Even our resident stable genius has come around to the logic of wearing face masks and social distancing during a pandemic so we have to look to the other under-considered routes of infection.
This week, in a sit down with ABC News, Fauci told Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton that awareness needs be raised around goggles and face shields.
More directly stating: “You have mucosa in the nose, mucosa in the mouth, but you also have mucosa in the eys. Theoretically, you should protect all the mucosal surfaces. So if you have goggles or an eye shield you should use it.”
The renowned director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease proceeded with a throat-clearing suggesting only certain people should consider extra mucosal protection; namely, the four states evidencing the highest rates of infection.
Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana are competing for the epicenter moniker while the US grapples with 4.3 million diagnosed COVID-19 cases and over 150,000 COVID-19 deaths.
“Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana are among those that are starting to show that very subtle increase in percent positives among the total tested, which is a surefire hint that you may be getting into the same sort of trouble with those states that the southern states got into trouble with. So we’re watching that really carefully,” Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx said in a joint statement addressed at lawmakers.
Medical experts have been aware of oral, nasal, and ocular transmission risks for some time but they were usually quick to highlight the first as the most viable.
However, if you live in a disproportionately impacted state, you might want to review all of your options.
“They’re not universally recommended but if you really want to be complete, you should probably use it if you can,” Fauci continued.
As of the time of this writing, ocular vectors are believed to pose the least risk by far. The reasoning has to do with SARS-CoV-2 not being able to remain active on the surface of an eye for very long. Still, because the process of inserting and removing contact lenses is so delicate, those who need glasses are advised to switch to contacts to reduce the amount of time they spend fussing with ocular devices.
Be sure to thoroughly clean hands before and after handling contact lenses, dry hands with a clean, disposable cloth, and avoid using tap water to rinse, clean, or soak the lens before reinsertion.
There have been no recorded transmissions that occurred from coronavirus fomites residing on contact lenses. Still, physicians recommend using daily disposable lenses to further reduce the risk.
Even if this theory is correct no transmission route should be discounted.