The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world as we knew it a couple of years ago. Perhaps the most glaring change for most of us has been the constant need for sanitation and protection in the form of masks. Surgical masks used to be a commodity only health professionals used and now you will find at least a couple of boxes in every home.
The question we need to be asking now is whether we will be living like this forever or will the world return to its previous, less-disinfected state at any point? Let us analyze the possibilities:
Masks in 2022
The short answer is yes, we will most likely be wearing face masks in public when 2022 begins. This is at least a slightly depressing thought but let us break down why this may be the case and why it may not necessarily be a bad thing.
The dawn of 2021 happened in quarantine. As much as we wanted to leave the pandemic back in 2020, the reality is that the new year started with it. Even though vaccines are out and about now thanks to Pfizer and BioNtech the virus is still very much on the loose.
We do not know where the mutations of the virus will take in 2022, so far no concrete predictions can be made. Oftentimes when viruses mutate they render certain vaccines useless. We cannot discount that as a possibility and therefore there we cannot assume that by 2022 we will no longer be in need of surgical masks.
Usually, as the weather changes viruses mutate at a higher rate. So it is likely that by winters or even summers of this year the Covid-19 presents to us something entirely different. Let us hope we have developed enough herd immunity by then.
Other than that, immunizing all of the United States and the rest of the world in one year is not a realistic approach. Certain researchers say that less than 80% of the USA will be vaccinated by late fall. And even if mass vaccination campaigns occur, none of the vaccines that are currently available are 100% effective. Therefore anyone with suppressed immunity will still have a very real chance of contracting the virus.
Overall we cannot entirely be sure of what 2022 will bring for us, however, masking will most probably remain a part of our reality for a long time.
What Does This Mean For Us?
By this time most of us, if not all, are used to wearing masks at least in public. There are many other airborne viruses and bacteria out there, some that are much more potent than the coronavirus pandemic. This, along with our habits of frequent handwashing and sanitation in every aspect is helping our immune system grow stronger. So even if the pandemic “ends”, continuing with these habits will be beneficial to us. We can at least make a habit out of getting infected individuals to wear masks when they have the flu. Maybe we can see a light at the end of the tunnel after all.