As a retired physician, Dr. Faustino Bernadett knows better than many the importance of protecting oneself and others during a public health crisis. He retired long before COVID-19 hit, but has worked through other health emergencies before and knows the protocol. He’s also worked in offices and hospitals throughout his life, and as a doctor, he knows that mask use is vital in reducing the spread of airborne viruses and germs.
Manufacturing of Masks
Shortly after the grave concerns about coronavirus became widespread earlier this spring, Dr. Bernadett and his wife, like many healthcare professionals, saw that there was a drastic shortage of masks for use by healthcare professionals as well as the public. They decided they could make a difference, contacting a local garment manufacturer to ask if they could manufacture masks – the first of which they purchased. Since then, the company has begun producing masks as part of the Los Angeles LA Protects initiative, with masks distributed to clinics, nursing homes, and grocery stores.
The mission of L.A. Protects is to help local businesses in the process of implementing COVID-19 safety protocols by offering up to date information on COVID-19 safety supplies. It also works with local manufacturers to make facial coverings. Its partner, Kaiser Permanente, developed the design specs for non-medical masks and local textile manufacturers have offered assistance in garment and apparel production in regards to quality assurance checks and technical support.
Encouraging Mask Use Among Youth
As news of the pandemic started to spread, Dr. Bernadett anticipated that young people would be resistant to the idea of wearing masks. He subsequently reached out to teens and young adults to gather ideas on how to best influence young people to wear masks in public. He also contacted social media influencers who committed to posting pictures and videos of themselves wearing masks online, including a TikTok video challenge.
There are many reasons why young people, and teens in particular, are resistant to the idea of wearing masks. Teens don’t like to be told what to do anyway, let alone when it comes to wearing something that will alter the way they look and communicate. Sense of self is tied to appearance at this age, and many teens are struggling with the idea of conformance.
Younger children may be hesitant to get on board with the mask wearing simply due to the fact that masks are cumbersome, hot, uncomfortable and even scary in some cases. Dr. Bernadett aims to reduce this stigma by encouraging youth of all ages to confidently wear masks during COVID-19.
Guidelines for Mask Usage
Both the CDC and WHO have recommended the use of face masks when in public, which has led to statewide requirements and strong suggestions of mask use.
Wearing a face mask can help minimize the spread of the virus.
● Fit securely
● Be clean and in good repair
● Fit snugly, but comfortably, against the front of the face
● Include multiple layers of fabric
● Allow for breathing without restriction
● Remain on the wearer's face
● Be laundered on a daily basis
MASKS SHOULD NOT:
● Have anything hanging off the facial covering that could cause a food safety hazard.
● Feature holes or tears.
● Be shared with others.
● Wash your hands before and after putting your facial covering on.
● Do not touch the facial covering again until removal.
● Position mask so there is no need to adjust or touch the face frequently.
● Remove and not wear the mask again until laundered, if your mask becomes soiled or hard to breathe through.
● Remove your mask to eat and drink.
● Regularly wash and dry your mask.
Dr. Bernadett has not performed any function that requires a medical license. With such deep roots in volunteerism, charity work and philanthropy, Dr. Faustino Bernadett continues to spread good throughout the community, especially through the ongoing coronavirus crisis. To learn more about Dr. Bernadett’s efforts advocating for mask use during COVID-19 and beyond, please visit https://www.bernadett.org/.