DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Many medical experts are now suggesting that masks like ones made from cloth might not be as effective in preventing the spread of the new omicron COVID-19 variant as other forms of masks available to the public.
“It’s probably easier to spread because more virus is put out into the environment by an individual who is infected. Studies have shown that the upper airway tissue in your larynx and pharynx have higher levels of virus than in previous strains,” said Kettering Health Patient Safety Officer Dr. Jeffrey Weinstein.
At the bottom of the masking tier, Dr. Weinstein said cloth is the least likely to protect people. “They’re not terribly effective at trapping virus. A virus is a very tiny particle that can get through a cloth mask.”
Dr. Weinstein suggests people are better off wearing those disposable blue masks many of us know all too well, or N-95 masks for peak protection. “These are the ones that are actually fit tested to make sure they’re very tightly fitting on your face. When you breathe in you can actually feel the mask sucking in on your face.”
However, not everyone agrees that masking up is helpful in the fight against COVID-19. Beavercreek resident Abby Wells said she feels masks do more harm than good. “I think that they’re pointless. I think it’s security theatre. I don’t think it matters one way or the other. Honestly, if masking worked then why doesn’t it work,” said Wells.
Wells has been an asthma sufferer since childhood and said that wearing masks at the start of the pandemic made her condition worse. She also feels that masking can make people sicker. “When COVID first started my asthma medication I was using it double because I was like 100 percent pro masking, was afraid of COVID until I started doing the research,” said Wells.
Dr. Weinstein remains adamant though that masking up is part of the key preventative measures to keep the virus at bay. “They are not harmful to you in any way. There are just boatloads of evidence that wearing masks does reduce the likelihood of the transmission of COVID-19.”