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The Covid-19 pandemic seems to have sorted us into three types based on our attitudes toward masking: Call them nervous maskers, never-maskers and uncertain maskers. The first feel guilty or nervous about unmasking, so they tend to default to wearing masks; the second feel angry and resentful about being told to mask, so they often refuse entirely. And the third group is just trying to do the right thing without a lot of certainty one way or another.
Winter is coming, with its continued battles against delta or mu or another variant. We have better protections now (vaccinations, natural antibodies) but also are returning to higher-risk environments (nightclubs, offices, schools). To complicate matters, there are additional factors to consider such as waning immunity from vaccines and the potential of a bad flu season.
Fortunately, there have been a number of important studies on the efficacy of masking over the past 18 months. The good news is that the research suggests most of us can actually de-mask without guilt or worry in many instances — and not just outdoors. It tells us, for example, that plexiglass dividers are in most cases useless or worse.
But relaxed refuseniks need a rethink, too — we shouldn’t be ditching masks entirely. On the contrary, the more people adopt a policy of tactical masking, taking situational factors into account, the lower the infection risk and the more freedoms we can enjoy again…
Créditos: Comité científico Covid