Doctor Mike Varshavski, the internet celebrity doctor who gained popularity for his combination of smarts and good looks, isn’t content having nurses and doctors work during a pandemic without N95 masks. So he’s taking matters into his own hands.
Doctor Mike has been using YouTube to counter misinformation and spread medically accurate recommendations relation to COVID-19. In a new YouTube video, the famous doctor works to track down medical-grade N95 masks for donation, proving how hard the hospital necessity is to come by in the age of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.
The mask shortage has been well-publicized as a health concern in the treatment of COVID-19. However, what seemingly drove Doctor Mike to track down “back-alley” masks is the CDC guideline change that suggests masks could be replaced with bandanas or scarves to keep medical professionals “safe.” In the video, Doctor Mike explains why this is ill-advised.
“Long story short, N95 masks protect medical workers by filtering out at least 95 percent of particulates in the air,” Doctor Mike explains. “They fit very close to the face and actually need to be fit-tested by staff, as opposed to surgical masks which hand loose and don’t provide nearly the same protection.”
In the end, Doctor Mike is able to buy $ 27,000 worth of masks in one day, spending about $ 7.50 per mask. He was expected to buy double the amount, but a disagreement between the distributors he was working with lead to only being able to buy half the amount projected. All in all, Doctor Mike donated about 3,600 masks.
The video also shows what a drive-through testing center looks like, and how medical workers are staying safe during the outbreak. And Doctor Mike says he shows all of this to encourage a particular response to COVID-19: “Alert not anxious.”
“‘Alert not anxious’ doesn’t just mean alert with the news reports and the information thats being put out by the CDC and the WHO,” he says in the video. “It means also being alert to what your body symptoms are.”
Along with not being overly anxious is Doctor Mike’s final point: “Please stop buying masks for personal use.”
Watch the full video below: