COVID Counsel: Former U.S. Surgeon General Satcher Offers Advice

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Doctor's Orders: Former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher advises students to mask up.

Although the Coronavirus pandemic is a rough time for many people around the world, it is a historical time for medicine. There hasn’t been a pandemic this impactful in over a century. Students all over the country are itching to go back to school to be with their friends and teachers. They want answers. So the Warrior Wire will deliver. We have elite access to the former surgeon general and CDC Head, Dr. David Satcher. In full disclosure, Satcher is also this reporter’s grandfather.

Satcher was the director of the CDC from 1993 to 1998 and left that position when he was appointed as the Surgeon General of the United States from 1998 to 2002 by former president Bill Clinton. During his time in office he had to oversee the pandemic known as the HIV/AIDs pandemic. Although this pandemic only affected certain groups of people, it was still a widespread disease. Comparatively, the coronavirus pandemic is more widespread, however they have their similarities. While in office, Satcher emphasized the importance of spreading awareness about prevention, which is similar to what medical leaders are doing now with masks. Just like HIV/AIDS, “This virus can kill and that’s nothing to be taken lightly”, he said.

Some colleges and schools have been able to go back to school effectively and safely, but sadly North Atlanta is not one of them. If we go back to school this year, he believes that everyone should be tested and required to wear masks. Satcher asserted the world stands possibly in a much stronger place to handle a pandemic, given new technological advances in medicine, better treatment options, quicker testing protocols, and an even more rapid process of arriving at a vaccine. However, it is hard to get volunteers to test out the vaccine, which elongates the process even more. “I still believe that at some point this year it is possible to have a vaccine open to citizens, but do know that I’m an optimist,” he said.

The most effective way to stop the spread of the virus and therefore start transitioning back into our normal lives is wearing a mask. According to Satcher, the most effective mask is the N-95. It fits perfectly and you can clamp it over your nose which makes it more comfortable and easier to breathe. Not only do masks help protect the people around you, they also protect the people wearing them. It’s a win-win situation. “This is not a political issue, rather it’s common sense. Wear a mask,” he said. 

As opposed to taking your mask off like rapper Future said, definitely keep it on for the time being. Wash your hands correctly and douse yourself with hand sanitizer. It’s about time we all become germaphobes. Hopefully you deem the former surgeon general and CDC head a credible source, and decide to follow these guidelines. Thank you, Dr. Satcher and thanks, Grandpa David!