Could masks become seasonal? Local experts weigh in
As we slowly ease out of restrictions with vaccinations rising, Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said he still expects masks to be a seasonal occurrence for many people. A similar idea is shared by local experts.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – As we slowly ease out of restrictions with vaccinations rising, Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said he still expects masks to be a seasonal occurrence for many people. A similar idea is shared by local experts.
“There are really two scenarios where I see mask use in the future. One is more of what we’re seeing right now with public health mandates,” Dr. Jim Nora with Bryan Health said, “there’s likely to be another scenario where people may be wearing masks and that’s more on a voluntary basis.”
Dr. Nora said we could see similar trends to the one in 2003 in East Asia after a bad SARS out break. Many people chose to wear masks in crowded places like subways or planes.
Another thing we could see in the United states is small outbreaks, requiring mask.
“Let’s say a certain area or region of the country is having a higher number. So maybe you wear a mask, then. So, I could picture us getting to that point, you know, where you wear masks as needed. In crowded places, close spaces,” Dr. Renuga Vivekanandan, an Infectious Disease expert with CHI Health, health.
The effectiveness of masks, hand washing and social distancing was on the fore front this winter with the incredibly low flu numbers. Both doctors say, to even get to the point of seasonal masks, more vaccinations have to happen.
“So, I think we will get to that place, but we need to get vaccinated for us to be able to safely get that place,” Dr. Vivekanandan.
When it comes to recurring vaccines, those could be similar to the flu shot.
“Maybe it’s every five years or maybe it’s every three years, and maybe it will be every year. We don’t know, but I think that there’s going to be a great deal of interest in using this type of vaccine in the future just because it’s so much easier to produce than influenza vaccine and it is so much more potent,” Dr. Nora said.