And for me they never left. I’m taking about MASKS!
We’ve been hearing about the ‘tripledemic’ this fall. The term refers to a nasty trio of respiratory infections: RSV, influenza, and COVID 19. This is reported to be the worse flu season in a decade!
Influenza and COVID 19 both have vaccines that can prevent infection, mitigate impacts, and save lives. And vaccines seem to be plentiful. I just checked and I can make a same day appointment for a flu shot at my local pharmacy.
While the vaccines are generally plentiful, the takers aren’t. Only about 40% of eligible people have received their flu shot so far this year (CDC data). And just over 10% of the eligible population have received an updated COVID booster (CDC data).
These are grim statistics as our hospitals are quickly filling up with respiratory patients.
But this post isn’t about vaccines, although that is one of my favorite topics 😊. It is about masks.
In addition to getting vaccinated, the CDC has recommended that people again mask up indoors to reduce the spread of these respiratory infections. That recommendation was recently echoed by our public health and hospital leaders in Western Washington.
Note: I don’t think a mask mandate is in the works right now. I imagine these smart people hope their recommendation will be taken seriously and more people will get back to mask wearing.
We had a really good reason to wear a mask with COVID, and now we have even more of a reason. It’s a three-fer — you get protection from flu, RSV and certainly from COVID.”Eric Topol, professor of molecular medicine, Scripps Research
My husband and I never stopped wearing masks indoors. He still wears one at the gym everyday and we both put one on at the grocery store, Post Office, when traveling, etc. We were feeling pretty alone in the world as fewer and fewer people were masking up. I did go to Nordstrom in Tacoma on Sunday and noticed that more people were getting back on the mask bandwagon. Not everyone was masked, but more than I expected were.
We both recently had a non-COVID respiratory infection; our first since March 2020. While we do wear masks indoors, we still eat unmasked in restaurants. I think that is probably the most risky setting for us. But still, we haven’t had COVID 19 (that we know of) and I think it is important to reduce our risks by masking up when we can.
I think I have heard every reason why people don’t want to wear masks.
It would be great if people just saw masks as an extra layer of protection, along with vaccines, handwashing, and staying home when sick.
A girl can dream!