BLUFWith Omicron being even more contagious than the Delta strain, we need to re-think the type of masks we’re wearing.
As the latest strain of COVID-19 spreads worldwide, some leading health experts recommend ditching the cloth mask. Omicron is making the humble cloth mask virtually useless, and US health experts are urging people to upgrade to N95 masks or a similar product. While better than nothing, it is believed that cloth masks do not adequately protect against Omicron. And while Australia’s COVID-19 cases are at an all-time high, those numbers pale into insignificance compared with the US, which saw a record high of 1.4 million cases on Monday, 10 January. This article makes the following points:
Omicron is probably the most contagious pathogen on Earth at present.
Some experts claim that cloth masks are only 20 to 30 per cent effective against the Delta strain and virtually useless against Omicron.
N95 masks are being recommended by experts as your best defence against the highly-contagious Omicron strain. In Australia, an N95 is sometimes referred to as a P2 mask.
The best masks are made from multi-layered interwoven synthetic material and filter out or capture about 95 per cent of airborne particles if worn correctly.
Be aware fake N95s are being sold by unscrupulous sellers.
N95s (and other options such as KN95s and KF94s) can be reused for about a week if not soiled or wet.
On the bright side, most experts agree that we won’t be wearing masks forever.
Recent Runway Posts related to this topic:
- More than 40% of Australian defence force fully vaccinated | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)
- 4 Things Employees Need From Leadership to Support Their Well-Being | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)
- Cognitive Biases Make Reasoning About Vaccines Difficult | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)
- Telehealth services to become a permanent part of healthcare system, following COVID-19 success | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)
References from the Web:
- Jan 2022 Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Masks—WHO
- Jan 2022 N95, KN95 Or Cloth Masks? What To Wear To Best Protect Against Omicron—Forbes
- Jan 2022 Put down that cloth mask. These are the best face masks to help avoid COVID--CNET