Do we still need to wear masks?
It really is a simple question to answer. The answer is- yes, for now.
Again a simple answer. The answer is- the trials that were done on the vaccines were done to first determine if the vaccines prevent people from getting sick, NOT to determine whether it stops the virus from entering your body and residing at the back of your throat where it could still be passed on to others. Therefore wearing a mask until many people are vaccinated ensures that we don’t spread the virus to people that may get sick and die.
So what’s the purpose of the vaccine then if I can still get COVID?
Well there’s a big difference between getting the virus versus getting sick, getting hospitalised and dying. The vaccines prevent the latter.
Infection involves the virus residing at the back of your throat whereas sickness means the virus is entering your cells and overwhelming your body. It is also able to continue making more of itself and better versions of itself when it gets into our cells. So, reducing sickness reduces death but also reduces virus replication thus decreasing the prevalence of the virus in the population.
Also, no one said that the vaccine doesn’t protect you from contracting the virus, only that that hasn’t been tested as yet except for minimally in the Johnson and Johnson trial in which preliminary results show that it did prevent infection.
So will we just be wearing masks forever?
Simple answer- no. The more people that get vaccinated the more we can stop wearing masks because then we will know that even if by chance the virus is transmitted people won’t get very sick or die.
Do I need to wear masks around another vaccinated person?
Simple answer- no. If you are both vaccinated, you are both likely to be protected.
Do I need to wear masks around a non-vaccinated person?
Simple answer- Yes, for now. Until enough people in the population are vaccinated and therefore the virus supressed, you should wear masks around non-vaccinated people so as not to spread to them unintentionally.
So what difference does the vaccine make?
The vaccines prevent people from becoming ill and dying. In some time, they will also help to suppress the virus to a low enough level to help us go on living more normal lives.
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