When coronavirus quarantine and stay-at-home orders were first placed, the world changed. Now as states reopen, life seems to be slowly returning to normal. Given this transition, many people have started to wonder how much longer we will need to wear anti virus masks. Many health experts suggest we will need to wear face masks until coronavirus is no longer a threat to public health. No one knows when this will happen, but we do know we aren't there yet, and we probably won't be for a long time. As life resumes its usual course, it may be time to consider face masks the new normal.
Why Do We Need to Wear Masks?
Wearing masks is a precaution to keep the community safe and slow the spread of coronavirus Both the CDC and WHO recommend wearing face masks in public areas where it is difficult to maintain social distance. Moreover, many states, cities, and businesses have either recommended or mandated the use of face masks.
The coronavirus is primarily spread through respiratory droplets from the nose and mouth of infected people. These droplets disperse due to sneezing, coughing, and even talking. When those with coronavirus wear face masks, many of their respiratory droplets are stopped and not dispersed, protecting those around them. Likewise, when those who are not infected wear masks, it may help to prevent droplets from coming into contact with their nose and mouth.
Has Coronavirus Peaked?
Although COVID-19 deaths have seemed to peak and level off in most of the U.S., the truth remains: coronavirus is not gone and risk of infection is still high. Even though deaths are lower, rates of infection and hospitalization are increasing in many states, and hospitals are reaching capacity. According to the Washington Post, 9 states—Arkansas, Arizona, California, North and South Carolina, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, and Utah—have been experiencing increasing hospitalization due to coronavirus since Memorial Day Weekend. Additionally, fourteen states—Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Mississippi, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah—have only recently reported their highest-ever 7-day new case averages.
Experts believe there are basically three reasons why cases are up but deaths are down: increased testing, better treatments, and lower-risk people being infected. It is important to note that the lower number of deaths does not necessarily mean that coronavirus is becoming less aggressive or less dangerous. Experts are also concerned that the lower death count may not last as the virus continues to rapidly spread. Many experts and scientists warn of a second wave or second peak, particularly if proper measures are not taken. It is important to continue practicing all recommended safety measures, including wearing masks.
When Will We Have a COVID-19 Vaccine?
From the beginning of the pandemic, one thing was clear: a prospective COVID-19 vaccine would likely be our strongest weapon against the virus. For months, scientists all over the world have been racing to create the winning vaccine; over 100 vaccines are currently in the works. Even though potential vaccines are abundant, getting a vaccine to the general public is a different story. There are numerous stages that go into creating a vaccine, including research, various phases of clinical trials, FDA approval, production, and quality control. In normal circumstances, it takes 10 years or more to get a vaccine to market. In the case of the COVID-19 vaccine, this process has been expedited substantially with an almost-unheard-of 18 month timeline. It is important that the winning vaccine is both safe and effective. To be approved, a vaccine should be at least 50% effective, but ideally this number would be higher. Although there are many vaccines in the relay, it is probable that over 90% will fail in clinical trials. While many vaccines are further along in the process than others, a vaccine probably will not be available before 2021.
One of the purposes of a vaccine is to obtain herd immunity. Herd immunity occurs when enough of the population is immune to a disease to prevent its spread. Herd immunity can potentially be reached naturally through enough of the population (an estimated 70%) becoming infected by and recovering from coronavirus. However, this would create several troubling issues, such as unnecessary deaths and hospital over-crowding.
What is Our Best Defense Against COVID-19?
While a vaccine is absent, cases are climbing, and hospitals are filling up fast, our best defense against COVID-19 is doing what we can to slow the spread. Currently, our most effective safeguards against coronavirus are social distancing, handwashing, avoiding touching the face, and wearing face masks where social distancing is not possible. Actively taking these measures is the most productive thing we can do to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities.
How Long Will We Need to Wear Face Masks?
Ultimately, no one knows exactly how long we will need to wear face masks. It is likely that we will need to wear face masks until coronavirus cases are few and far between. That means we could potentially be wearing masks through the end of 2020 and beyond. We suggest investing in a comfortable, high quality face mask like these fitted masks by Cardani. They feature a filter pocket, adjustable ear straps, a water resistant interior layer, a super soft lining in either bamboo or organic cotton, and three layers of protection. These reusable, washable masks come in various colors, patterns, and sizes for men, women, and children. Cardani Masks are truly the ultimate face masks. Click here to shop these face masks.