With the recent increase in hospitalizations and Covid-19 cases across the U.S. the question of How to protect ourselves and our loved ones from Covid lingers. Additionally, as the cold weather approaches and we’ll be spending more time indoors it’s worth taking a look at covid, what we should know and how to prepare for what’s to come.
The Upward Trend is Clear
It may seem as though Covid is affecting everyone again but according to an article published by ABC News, “COVID-19 has never really left us,” Dr. Graham Snyder, medical direction of infection prevention and hospital epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center said.” This uptick is a, “…steady churn pattern again where there’s a mix of variants and the variants are constantly changing and reemerging.” However, it’s hard to determine exactly how widespread the uptick is as the CDC, stopped recording aggregate covid case counts months ago.
Should You be Masking?
Mask mandates are no longer in effect; however, experts are saying it would be in your best interest to wear a mask in certain settings. In an article by The New York Times, Andrew Pekosz, a professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health stated, “I tend to say, if you’re going to go out, make sure you have a mask in your car, a couple masks at home or at work, so you always have something available to put on…” The main thing you should consider is your risk tolerance. If you are considered high-risk, you should consider masking when, “…you are in a relatively confined, crowded indoor space. That can include stores, offices and public transportation.”
Types of Masks
So now that we’ve established the fact that there is a covid surge here’s a refresher on what type of mask you should wear when masking. Linsey Marr, an expert in the airborne transmission of viruses at Virginia Tech told The New York Times that the type of masks you should wear are, “…N95, KN95 or KF94 masks, all of which filter out over 90 percent of virus particles, making them far more effective than surgical or cloth masks at reducing your chance of getting infected with Covid.”
Masks should fit snuggly across your face and cover both your nose and mouth.
The CDC has a list of resources for where to find free N95 masks.