How Long Will We All Need to Wear Masks?

Photo by eugenegurkov / Shutterstock.com

Strapping on a face covering has become as normal as sliding into socks or combing your hair. But millions still resist wearing masks, and most of the rest of us hate having to do so.

Unfortunately, we may have to don such protection against the coronavirus for a while. In fact, possibly up to two years, according to some experts.

David Larsen, a Syracuse University public health associate professor, tells Syracuse.com:

“I would say a year and a half to two years, until we get a good vaccinated public against coronavirus.”

Dr. Kathryn Anderson, an assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, concurs. She tells Syracuse.com that masks will be necessary for somewhere between several months and two years — until something happens to change the virus threat level, such as:

  • Society developing widespread immunity
  • Widespread implementation of a successful vaccine, or the emergence of cure of sorts, such as an antiviral drug

“Either of those possibilities remains quite a distance off,” Anderson says. As a result, “it’s going to be a long time” before we can escape wearing masks, she adds.

Think that sounds awful? Steady yourself: The news is about to get worse.

“I think that mask wearing and some degree of social distancing, we will be living with — hopefully living with happily — for several years,” Dr. Eric Toner, a senior scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells CNET.

Although Toner acknowledges that some people remain reluctant to wear masks, he tells CNET that he believes many of those folks will change their minds over time:

“They will get over it. It’s just a question of how many people get sick and die before they get over it.”

The masks that protect you — and those that don’t

A study backed by the World Health Organization found that wearing a mask over your nose and mouth can cut the chances of transmitting or being infected by the coronavirus by more than 80%.

However, when it comes to protecting yourself from the virus that causes the disease COVID-19, some face coverings are better than others. As we reported recently, some masks offer superior protection, while others hardly make you any safer.

For more, check out “The 3 Most Effective — and 2 Least Helpful — Face Masks.”

Washing your mask properly is also key to keeping the coronavirus at bay. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing your mask after every use. For more on how to do so correctly, read “Make Sure to Wash Your Mask This Way.”

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
8 Surprising Things No One Tells You About Retirement

Knowing what to expect can help you prepare for — and adjust to — life in your golden years.

Should You Hire a Service to Negotiate Your Cable and Other Bills?

Services like BillCutterz and BillFixers will negotiate your cable, internet, phone and other monthly bills in exchange for a share of the savings. I tried it: Here’s what happened.

10 Foods That Can Keep for Years

These are some of the longest-lasting groceries you can buy.

9 Things You Should Never Pay For With a Debit Card

Use your debit card for one of these expenses, and you could risk your bank account balance, your credit score or even identity fraud.

How Much of My Social Security Benefit Can My Ex Take From Me?

A man wonders if his ex-wife will siphon away his Social Security benefit.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping on Amazon

Are you losing money due to any of these missteps?

7 Changes Coming to Social Security and Medicare in 2021

Recently, both Social Security and Medicare made some major announcements about benefits for 2021.

Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?

The rules are complicated when it comes to eligibility for survivors benefits.

Can a Twice-Divorced Woman Claim Social Security Survivors Benefits?

Understanding survivors benefits rules is the key to getting the most from your benefit.

These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation

Two types of vehicles are especially likely to see steep plunges in value.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s

From snacks to sweets to side dishes, stock your cart with these time-tested favorites on your next TJ’s run.

Longer Trips to This Type of Store May Raise Coronavirus Risk

An airborne-disease expert recommends exiting these stores within 30 minutes.

5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021

These adjustments will affect both workers and retirees in the new year.

8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores

You don’t have to be a chef or a restaurant owner to shop here.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

There are easy high-paying majors available in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required. We’re here to help you find easy degrees that pay well.

Stop Buying These 19 Things Online

The internet has changed how we shop. But for some things, you’re still better off buying the old-fashioned way.

Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early

Like the idea of financial independence? Part of the FIRE equation is cutting costs.

27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free

When you know the tricks, you can save big on all kinds of useful things that others pay for.

4 Tax Credits That Will Be More Generous in 2021

If you are eligible for these tax breaks, they will slash your federal income tax bill — dollar for dollar.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing emergency food supply. Is your pantry well-prepared for emergencies? Knowing what to stock up on for emergencies can be a difficult task and we’re here to help.

15 Things You Can Get for Free in December

December is here, which means it’s your last chance to take advantage of fabulous freebies in 2020.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.