Expert explains why mask mandates won't work at this stage in COVID pandemic

ByLeslie Brinkley KGO logo
Wednesday, June 1, 2022
Mask mandates won't work at this stage in COVID pandemic: expert
As we head into COVID summer 2022, some experts are explaining why mask mandates won't work at this stage in the pandemic.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Another COVID summer lies ahead, different from the last two in that masking is elective but still a high-stakes choice in some situations.

Masks work - mask mandates do not work at this stage in the pandemic -- according to some medical experts.

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The head of epidemiology at UC Berkeley, Dr. Arthur Reingold, said, "People often wear poor-quality masks, number one, and perhaps even more important they don't wear the mask correctly." Dr Reingold said. "I've sat in airports the last few months and watch people walk by with masks over their chins, many more with masks over their mouth, but not covering their nose... it's not surprising that in the real world, masks don't work as well as they do in the laboratory. I don't think we're prepared to enforce mask mandates in a way that makes mandates effective."

So we're left with individual masking. This iteration of COVID is so contagious that pulling a mask down to eat or drink is something you have to think about, especially in large crowded indoor settings.

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Dr Reingold said, "If I were lucky enough to have tickets to the Warriors later this week, but of course I can't afford tickets like that, I would wear a mask. I would wear an N95 or a KN94 and do the best I can, fitting it over my hairy face and probably not be eating or drinking during the game. "

It's now up to individual masking and individual choices on risk.

It's a preview of the summer ahead, that Dr Reingold thinks eventually may include second boosters being made available to those under 50.