UCSF chair plans to wear mask ‘likely forever’ to stave off ‘Long Covid’

‘My main fear is Long Covid, which I peg at ~5% probability per Covid case,’ he stated.

UCSF chair plans to wear mask ‘likely forever’ to stave off ‘Long Covid’
Ian Miles Cheong
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Bob Wachter, the chair of the University of California, San Francisco's (UCSF) Department of Medicine, is taking a rather extreme approach to dealing with the pandemic: He declared his plan to wear a mask “likely forever.”

The 65-year-old physician made the statement in a Twitter thread, beginning by noting that he is now comfortable with indoor dining and removing his mask for small group gatherings.

Wachter, who has not had COVID nor received the bivalent vaccine, based his approach on his own risk tolerance and factors. He cited statistics from wastewater, COVID hospitalizations, and UCSF hospitals' asymptomatic test positivity rate before sharing his plan for the future.

“Some folks continue asking what I’m doing viz Covid behavior,” he wrote, adding, “In the Bay Area, I’m now OK with indoor dining & removing my mask for small group gatherings.”

“My main fear is Long Covid, which I peg at ~5% probability per Covid case,” he stated. “This leads me to being comfortable indoors without a mask when the effective case rate is <10/100K/d in my region. This # is based on my own risk tolerance & risk factors.”

In addition to dining outdoors, Wachter said he will be testing before arriving for a meal with friends in Palm Springs. For public transit, theaters, and other large gatherings, Wachter will continue wearing a KN95 mask.

Daily Wire reported:

After citing statistics regarding wastewater, COVID hospitalizations, and UCSF hospitals’ asymptomatic test positivity rate, he offered his plan going forward, including eating outdoors and testing before he and his family arrived for a meal in Palm Springs with friends.

Then he segued to “Public transit, theaters, other large gatherings,” writing, “Plan to wear a mask (always a KN95; why not wear a good mask if you’re going to mask?), likely forever. I’m comfortable taking it off briefly to eat on a long flight, but will try to keep it on when I can.”

Regarding playing poker with a small group, he enthused, “I’m now comfy playing with a small, vaccinated group (n=8) without testing. I’ll lobby (till they throw me out) to keep the doors/windows open during the game.”

“As always, I’m not telling anybody what they SHOULD do,” he clarified later in the thread. “Perfectly reasonable people have looked at all of these odds (or decided not to) and chosen to live life like it’s 2019. Most of them will do just fine – they’ll have a higher odds of getting Covid than me, but … few will get super sick (particularly if up to date on vax), & most won’t get Long Covid (either prolonged symptoms or be victim of elevated long-term risk of stroke, MI, or cognitive decline).”

“Just because we’re all tired of this doesn’t change the risks & thus doesn’t change the way I think about managing them,” he said.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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