01 NOV 2022

Cautionary Tale: More Say Yes to Masking

A woman wearing a N95 mask to keep herself safe as she goes about her day.
86 percent of our survey participants shared they were still masking to some degree.

Masking in the face of COVID-19 may not be a beloved tactic, but the strategy is in full force, according to a majority of Pulse survey respondents.

More than 86 percent who took time to answer our multiple choice question selected an answer that involved masking to some degree.

“For me it's just a small thing that I can do to maybe help prevent the spread of any virus,” commented one of our readers. “It's just like wearing a seatbelt when I drive: Not that big of a deal. And a big plus for me? I have had less colds, flus and sinus infections, so it's a win-win.”

Another respondent, a cancer patient, sees the wisdom in it. “For me, it is not a political issue, it’s a health issue. It’s not just my health, but that of others.”

Slightly more than 21 percent admitted to being the most cautious, taking their mask with them every time they leave the house. Another 26 percent say they wear their mask most of the time, when they’re out and about. And the majority — 38 percent — say they’re cautious and take their mask with them, but usually only wear it in a crowded, indoor setting.

A number of respondents used the phrase, “Better safe than sorry.”

The minority — 13.75 percent, said they are happy to be mask-free in all situations.

One reader wrote, “I’m only masking at medical facilities as required but will be glad when that is no longer needed.”

The current masking strategy suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the combined use of vaccines, booster shots and situational masking to prevent severe COVID.

“Situational masking is a good idea for anyone in a crowded indoor setting,” said NorthBay Health infectious disease specialist Gregory Warner, D.O. “But if you are immunocompromised, masking should be consistent across the board indoors in any setting,” he said.

And with the flu season just beginning, donning that mask — getting vaccinated and using good hand hygiene — just might keep you healthy, he added.

Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and NorthBay’s measures to keep our patients safe and healthy. Learn more about the flu and why you should protect yourself and your family by getting vaccinated. Established NorthBay Health Primary Care patients can contact their provider or schedule a vaccine appointment by calling (707) 646-5500.

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