Must-Reads of the Week From Lauren Olsen

Hiya! I’m Lauren Olsen, your new Newsletter Editor. That’s right — the totally official, no more fill-ins, always-here-for-you Newsletter Editor. As the replacement for editor extraordinaire Brianna Labuskes, I’m here to tackle all your health news needs.

Why yes, you’re right — a pandemic is a heck of a time to take over this job. I’d argue, however, that it’s the best time, because who doesn’t need a hand sorting out all this craziness? So far, 2020 has been like trying to paint the “Mona Lisa” while riding a unicycle in a rainstorm — in other words, a sloppy mess teetering on disaster — but, with any luck, when it’s done we might all manage to smile.

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‘A mask is the way to do this’ | Health Beat

A mask won’t provide 100% protection from viruses. But it’s a barrier that is effective at reducing transmission. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

With many states seeing a resurgence in COVID-19 activity, policymakers are now redoubling efforts to control the spread of the virus.

And a mask remains a leading defense, doctors say.

The topic has stirred plenty of debate.

“There’s a lot of controversy around wearing masks for one reason or another,” said Liam Sullivan, DO, an infectious disease specialist with Spectrum Health. “But more and more data is showing that when there’s widespread mask usage, it really substantially cuts down on transmission of the virus.”

Hand-washing and social distancing remain critical components, but health officials have also pegged masks as an essential tool.

In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order requiring masks to be worn in public indoor spaces and outdoor crowded areas and

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