Will masks be the new normal?

Coronavirus Local Impact

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Masks have become a part of our daily lives but how common will they be once the pandemic is eventually lifted?

22News has heard it from many people, they didn’t get that annual common cold this past year because of the mask wearing and some may keep there face coverings around after the pandemic.

This year’s flu season was virtually nonexistent thanks in large part to social distancing measures and masking up. According to CDC, the hospitalization rate for the 2020-21 flu season in America was the lowest since the agency started tracking flu data in 2005.

Now with the mask order ending next weekend, health experts predict many will keep their masks around.

“I think one thing that the general public is aware of is that masks and washing your hands and staying away from people you don’t normally interact with is a very affective infection control strategy,” said Dr. Robert Roose, Chief Medical Officer of Mercy Medical Center.

One downside experts say about the low flu season numbers is scientists may struggle to predict what flu strains will dominate the next flu season making it challenging to create effective vaccines.

It’s up to individual cities and towns to decide whether masks should still be worn and how many restrictions will be lifted.

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