Our lives have changed all because of a virus. This pandemic has gripped the whole world and has claimed over 8.5 Lakh lives. Millions are infected. In India too, people are worried and scientists and governments are doing everything possible to keep everyone safe.
All International health organizations, including ones in India, have said that wearing a mask is one of the truly effective ways of halting the pandemic. In India, it is mandatory to wear a mask when you step out. A mask prevents respiratory particles containing the COVID-19 virus from an infected person from escaping into the air when he/she coughs or sneezes. Thus, if an infected person wears a mask, other healthy people will not catch the disease. Similarly, when a healthy person wears a mask, it acts as a wall of defence against the virus that is floating in the air.
But are you tired of wearing a mask?
You are not alone. We wear it to save our lives but let’s face it, it’s not very comfortable & gives some people rashes too! If you are in a hurry and your heart rate has gone up, the mask can make breathing slightly difficult and it also fogs up our glasses. But what if we told you that you may not have to wear those masks for much longer? Let’s find out what the experts are saying.
COVID-19 is here to stay
Once upon a time, the common cold and flu used to claim thousands of lives. In fact, the Spanish flu killed at least 14 million people in India. But people dying of the flu is unthinkable today, right? Why? Because in the last century, medicinal science has made immense progress. When someone catches a cold or viral fever or the flu, some medicines can bring down the temperature, rehydrate the body and ease the symptoms. Then there are flu shots and pneumonia shots that ensure that even if you do get the flu, the infection does not enter your lungs and make your condition worse.
So what does this mean for coronavirus? Scientists feel that the COVID-19 virus is like the influenza virus. It can never be eliminated. The coronavirus will stay with us. As it is, several new strains of it are developing.
But do not be alarmed. Even if coronavirus cannot be destroyed like smallpox or polio, we can combat it. And those inconvenient masks may soon be a thing of history.
Will we need masks in the near future?
Researchers from the University of Texas feel that masks and other COVID-19 precautions like social distancing will gradually not be needed in 2 years. Can’t believe it? Scientists give 2 reasons to back up their claim-
1. Herd immunity through vaccination
Herd immunity means immunity of the whole population. As you know, many countries are racing to find a vaccine that is effective against coronavirus. In fact, 2 of India’s vaccines are in the human trial phase and may be ready very soon. The USA, Britain, Germany and Russia too have made immense progress with their vaccines. According to the BBC, scientists believe that the world will have COVID-19 vaccines by the middle of 2021- just a year from now! Once you are vaccinated, your body’s immune system will produce antibodies that can destroy the coronavirus.
2. Herd immunity through exposure to COVID-19
Scientists know that once you contract COVID-19 and recover from it, your immunity becomes tough. The antibodies your lymphocytes (immunity cells) produced to kill the coronavirus remain in your blood and protect you from another COVID-19 infection. A huge number of people all over the world have been infected, so it is possible that they will be safe from COVID-19.
So this means that in 2 years, there will be no need to wear masks or maintain social distancing. Most people will not be contracting the virus. And even if you do, it will be as harmless as a common cold and with medicine and rest you will be fine.
In the meantime, continue to wear masks at all times outside the house. Stay home, go out only when necessary and maintain 6 feet of distance from others.