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.
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.
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.
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Never had COVID? Expert explains chances of getting it now
- California postpones COVID-19 vaccine mandate for schools until 2023
- New studies shed light on how to treat BA.2 COVID variant, how long it survives on surfaces
- Map shows COVID-19 community levels in your area, where masks are recommended indoors
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area
- Here's how to take a rapid COVID-19 test accurately at home
- Data tracker: Coronavirus cases, deaths, hospitalizations in every Bay Area county
- Get the latest updates on California EDD, stimulus checks, unemployment benefits