As more Americans get the coronavirus vaccine, many are wondering just how much longer we are expected to wear masks.
Dr. Anthony Fauci raised some eyebrows this weekend when he said we will probably be wearing masks or face coverings into 2022, but local medical experts agree – it will likely be a while before we can stop masking up.
“We are likely looking at late winter/2022 to continue wearing masks,” said Dr. Katherine Gergen Barnett with Boston Medical Center.
Gergen Barnett says there are a lot of factors that will determine how much longer we need to wear a mask – including COVID variants, vaccines, and herd immunity.
“The fact is that we are not going to get at least 80% of our community vaccinated until likely late fall,” Gergen Barnet said.
And she says we need to keep in mind that vaccines do not provide absolute immunity.
"What we do not know whether or not you might be able to give it to another person," she said.
Tom Gosselin of Worcester said, “You still see some people walking around no masks, they don’t care, they think they’re immune.”
So the frustration is mounting between people who are following the advice of medical experts…
Pam from Auburn said, “After a year you get kind of used to it.”
…and those who are getting fed up with face coverings.
Karen Lamb of Grafton said, “When it comes to summer, my asthma and this thing, forget it, I’m not doing it.”
Coronavirus Pandemic and Masks
Gergen Barnett says we all need to battle through that pandemic fatigue to get to the ultimate goal.
“We’re not asking people to mask up for the rest of their lives," she said. "Masks are effective and they’re a key part of getting us out of this pandemic.”
Gergen Barnett says masks will also remain important for some time, because the vaccines haven’t been around long enough yet for researchers to know how long they provide immunity.