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Jeruba's avatar

As we're masking up again, are you stocking up again?

Asked by Jeruba (55753points) June 3rd, 2022

Or—honestly, now—do you still have a supply of paper products, powdered milk, and canned tuna from the last time?

Is this a rerun or an all-new show?

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32 Answers

Entropy's avatar

The studies on the efficacy of cloth masks is all over the place, but not good when you actually look at them as opposed to just reading the NY Times headline.. N95 masks are effective, but no one wears them because they’re uncomfortable. Surgical masks have statically charged material and so do catch tiny particles, but they often fit poorly and most people don’t correct that, and thus they do alot less in the real world than in laboratory conditions.

Cloth masks also fit erratically, but the studies showing them as being effective against covid were often using a level of quality that very very few people have in cloth masks. They’re 3–5 ply, with 2–3 layers of specialized materials. I went on Amazon looking for masks that met the criteria of the studies showing cloth masks as effective and LITERALLY ZERO of the masks on the first two pages of cloth masks met them. The studies showing these masks as effective are testing under unrealistic conditions.

I did but a big thing of TP, bottled water, and paper towels during the height of the 2020 shortages…and they’ve been sitting unopened in my basement since.

smudges's avatar

I didn’t know we were masking up again. Forbes mag said that some states/cities are encouraging people to wear masks, but I didn’t know that had ever not been a thing.

Demosthenes's avatar

No, I never went for the panic buying, and even though some places like Alameda County are bringing back mask mandates, I’m not convinced they’re coming back in other places nor do I think the pandemic in the near future will be as bad as it was during the original outbreak and the delta variant (so far, hospitalizations and deaths remain low, so I don’t see any reason to treat this like 2020 again).

jca2's avatar

I have boxes of masks and I’m not getting rid of them, but I’m not wearing them right now either, nor are there any mask mandates presently at the places I frequent (NY/CT). If I’m out and there is a place where they want you to wear a mask, like the doctor’s office, and I forgot to bring one, they always have them for people to take.

JLeslie's avatar

Are we masking up again? Says who? I’m totally oblivious. I never stopped wearing a mask in stores, medical offices, and when sitting with a large group of people, like in a lecture. There are lots of places I don’t wear a mask, like outside at concerts and dancing.

I’m not running to buy more masks right now, but eventually I’ll buy some more. I usually wear KN95’s. One can last me a week or two. I only wear it sporadically.

SnipSnip's avatar

I have a lot of everything. I do that every year before hurricane season. I

filmfann's avatar

I am on a cruise ship right now.
Probably a little less than half are wearing masks.
We stopped in Juneau yesterday, and my wife and I bought covid tests, just to be careful.

raum's avatar

We are masking up indoors. But nothing can compare to the craziness of 2019–2020.

canidmajor's avatar

@filmfann Oh, you are brave! I remember your spring cruise of 2020!

I still mask in stores and because I am spending so much time in hospitals and doctors’ offices these days, there as well, but more heavily filtered.
I always have supplies, I shop at Costco and we’re coming into hurricane season.

janbb's avatar

Very few around here are “masking again.’ I’ve been masking indoors all along except for small group gatherings now with friends and sometimes outdoors in crowds. As for stocking up – no, but I never really did. I do have a freezer full of food as always that I’ll be hard pressed to eat if a hurricane blows out the power.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Never stopped wearing a mask indoors, doctor’s orders.

We always have two or three months supply of paper goods, even before March 2020.

hat's avatar

@Jeruba: “As we’re masking up again”

News to me.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@hat We have several counties in my state that now are considered medium risk of getting COVID-19. The health departments in those counties recommend wearing a mask when indoors and in large groups.

hat's avatar

^ I’m in MA. We’ve seen a steady drop in Covid cases over the past few weeks (peak around May 15th). Many of our counties are out of the red now. Still don’t see many masks.

JLeslie's avatar

In just a few weeks bunches of people start traveling around again. Covid cases will likely pick up.

I see about one post every week in the Disney Facebook group that someone caught or came home with covid and then the thread below of people saying they did too. Still being posted this past week.

The counties where Disney crosses are 17% positive and 330 cases per 100,000. They fly or drive home to you. I doubt anyone who lived in the US waits until they test negative to go home or a full 5 days if they feel ok enough.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m over it. I’m fully vaxxed and haven’t worn a mask since.

janbb's avatar

@Dutchess_III But everyone I know is fully vaxxed and many of them are getting it. However, it seems to be an each to his own situation now.

Demosthenes's avatar

I think it was fair to require masks in the early days of the pandemic, especially before vaccinations were widespread. Now that they are and many of us have gotten vaccinated (and received booster shots), I think mandates should be over with unless hospitals are being overrun with COVID patients.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

People are still getting “Long COVID” with long term heart, lung and brain function problems. They just don’t go to the hospital and get put on a respirator in ICU, but they have to deal with long term issues, maybe for life.

HP's avatar

I never stopped, and awoke yesterday to the news that masks are once again mandated in Oakland and the rest of Alameda county. They remain recommended in San Francisco, and all of the public transit vehicles have signs reading “mask required”. I have noticed 2 so far with signs reading “mask recommended.”

raum's avatar

I’m fully vaccinated and boosted. Though will continue to mask until vaccines have been approved for all ages…regardless of mandate.

Alameda County reinstated indoor masking. Our numbers have been going up. And everyone I know knows of at least a half dozen people who have it. :/

Last week we had a friend call to ask for help with childcare because the family who usually does it has COVID. The chair of a committee was out with COVID, so everyone was scrambling to cover for an event. Our next door neighbors had it and gave it to their contractor. And our 4th grade science camp was a super spreader event.

My dad’s friend passed away. And his wife got COVID from the funeral and is now in the hospital. (Though she is much older and was unvaccinated.) :(

Luckily everyone except my dad’s friend’s wife was vaccinated and only had mild cases.

janbb's avatar

@raum Some of the friends I know who have had it have had mild cases; others have been laid pretty low. All vaxxed and boosted. It’s a real crap shoot. I prefer not to risk it as long as I can carry on with important activities. And I do worry about long Covid.

raum's avatar

@janbb I’m considering anything that doesn’t land you in the hospital as mild. Some were definitely knocked down a bit for sure.

Yes, I’m both hoping for more and not looking forward to more research on long COVID. :/

raum's avatar

@janbb Also, I have a bunch of anti-vaccine people on one side of the family. And while I think their decision is pretty dumb, I also don’t want them to kick the bucket. :/

janbb's avatar

^^ I don’t disagree.

HP's avatar

I don’t wish them death either, but the extraordinary rise of their number assures a pool of individuals in which current strains must mutate. And some of those mutations must inevitably exceed the lethality of those thus experienced. Boosters are in store for the rest of my life and shots will be as routine as breakfast for my grandsons.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I stay fairly well stocked and our garden plus neighbor garden swapping is really nice. I planted squash and cucumbers as added garden supplies, and my husband transplanted three new asparagus root balls.
I also have at least 50–100lbs of dog food at all times, just in case.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I never stocked up the first time.

jellyjellyjelly's avatar

1. Outside: no mask

2. Indoors with a small group of people: request rapid tests before getting together, then no mask

3. Indoors with a large group of people, or untested people: N95

I follow Clean Air Crew recommendations anywhere that I control the air flow.

HP's avatar

The strangest thing for us regarding the pandemic is the accumulation of food in the house. Prior to the pandemic, the traffic through this place guaranteed that we really went through the groceries. The pandemic so shifted our lives, that the wife now refers to the shift as “the years of peace”. It’s really peculiar, but I hadn’t realized just how busy we were feeding and entertaining people. Of course we were also fed and entertained by others and there was loads of gang dining in restaurants. Since I’m no longer out and about on a daily basis, mine is now a truly disgusting sedentary existence. Our grocery bills have plummeted from pre covid levels, yet the fridge and both freezers are bulging with food. Garbage day, when we go through the fridge is shameful for the wasted food that is tossed, and the single thing I never imagined possible, the desserts, pies, cakes—DESSERTS, actually persist til they go bad. These are truly dystopian times.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I never hoarded. It’s not in my nature to join mobs.

I’m also not masking much, despite being firmly in the pro-mask and -vaccine camp all along. Only in places where it’s still the norm like the library or (of course) medical offices.

Interesting that at work masks are not required and we have a thorough mix of masking and not, I would guess ⅓ are covering up. My guess (totally a guess) is that most of the maskers have vulnerable people at home.

Also I wonder if some people just like the “armor”. We have a lot of Muslim women co-workers who always wore a face covering (niqab), showing only their eyes. After wearing masks for a couple of years, I understand the appeal of dealing with people face-to-face on a more verbal level, without the distraction of faces.

ImmaKnew's avatar

Yes and yes. A good amount of my coworkers are sick with Covid as well as family members.

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