The second Covid-19 strand ushers tentativeness about double masks

Grace Fuori ’23 is shown properly wearing her double masks, and says she is ready to wear them in public if need be.

Photo courtesy if Grace Fuori '23

Grace Fuori ’23 is shown properly wearing her double masks, and says she is ready to wear them in public if need be.

Sydney Chinitz '23, Staff Writer

The new, more infectious strand of the Covid-19 virus reached the United States from the United Kingdom on Jan. 2 according to Advisory Board. This strand, also known as B.1.1.7,  is up to 70% more transmissible than the original Covid-19 strand.

“I am worried about the new strand [of Covid-19], because a new strand coming means our society will become more dangerous again, and newer, stricter precautions will be implemented,” Shannon Lynch ’23 said.  

Countless immunologists have said that people should double up their masks as of Jan. 15 as a result of B.1.1.7, CNBC reported.

The double mask works to protect yourself from more than 90% of B.1.1.7 particles.

“One of the easiest ways to [protect ourselves] is to improve our mask by doubling up,” Linsey Marr, a researcher at Virginia Tech, said in an interview with NPR.

Although double masking has been scientifically proven to be a safer way of protecting yourself and others against the other strands of Covid-19, many who need to wear a mask for an extended period of time are reluctant to wear two. 

I am worried about the new strand [of Covid-19], because a new strand coming means our society will become more dangerous again, and newer, stricter precautions will be implemented.”

— Shannon Lynch '23

“Students might say that [it is] just too uncomfortable, I’m not going to wear it,” Dr. Graham Snyder said. 

But opting not to wear the two masks may increase risk, since the second strand is far more infectious and requires extra precaution. 

“I do think masks can be annoying, but our uncomfortability is canceled out due to everyone’s safety,” Lynch said. 

Doubling up on masks will soon enough become the new normal, but will take time for people to be accustomed to the new mitigation strategy.

 “I believe it will most definitely take some time for people to adjust to double masks,” Lynch said. “People complain about having to wear one mask already, so two masks will only cause even more people to complain and resist.”