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Back in April, I wrote a tip about why you should upgrade your cloth mask after test results showed they’re not nearly as effective as medical-grade masks. I’ve been wearing high-quality masks ever since – especially when I travel. But it amazes me to see that so many Americans still aren’t, even with Omicron just plowing through people.

Seven of my neighbors from three different households have come down with it and they were all vaccinated and some had COVID in the past. The reason is that they let their guard down. Fortunately, their symptoms have been mild except for their toddler who ran a fever.

Omicron is disrupting airline schedules; over 13,000 flights have been cancelled since Friday, mostly because of flight crew getting sick and not being able to find replacements (one of the main reasons the CDC just reduced quarantine from 10 to 5 days for asymptomatic people). It’s not surprising to learn from a medical advisor for the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that Omicron doubles or triples the risk of infection on flights.

According to the South China Morning Post: “Whatever the risk was with Delta, we would have to assume the risk would be two to three times greater with Omicron, just as we’ve seen in other environments,” Dr David Powell, medical adviser at the International Air Transport Association, said on Tuesday. “The relative risk has probably increased, just as the relative risk of going to the supermarket or catching a bus has increased with Omicron,” Powell added.

That stat is scary and should make everyone who’s still using virtually useless cloth masks upgrade their masks, especially travelers. Dr. Anne Rimoin, a Professor of Epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Infectious Disease Division of the Geffen School, was on our local Spectrum News this morning saying people really need to get rid of cloth masks and use a KN95, KF95 or KF94 when indoors. She advises leaving N95s for healthcare workers. If you’re having trouble finding face masks, also check out WellBefore for KN95 face masks and KN95 face masks for kids.

According to MarketWatch: “Because we know that COVID is airborne, the quality of the mask really matters,” Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, told MarketWatch. And a single-layer cloth mask “provides very little protection against the delta variant, and certainly against the very contagious omicron variant,” she added. “This is why it’s so critical to upgrade our masks.”

Another UCLA doctor who treats my friend who has long-haul COVID said he could travel as long as he wore an N95 and a face shield since he was more susceptible.

15 Comments On "These Are the Only Masks Travelers Should Be Wearing, According to Experts"
  1. Retired Gambler|

    Everyone is likely to get COVID due to Omicron. Therefore, it really isn’t about prevention but what happens when you get it. If you are vaccinated, especially with a booster, and aren’t immune compromised, very old (like over 80) or have co-morbidities you will almost certainly have effectively a bad cold at worst (many will be asymptomatic). On the other hand if you aren’t vaccinated or have one of the conditions above all bets are off. Sorry but avoidance really isn’t an issue.

    Personally I have been wearing a KN95 mask along w a cloth mask on flights and likely will continue doing that through February (I am boosted and have no major conditions that put me at risk). Those that are fearful of getting COVID just need to lock themselves at home and even then it will find them so accept the fact you likely will be infected and life will be a lot less stressful.

  2. Will|

    I use to read your articles but now a giant pop-up comes and blocks most of what I am reading so I just click off your site when that happens. Very annoying.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Thanks for the feedback. I’m working on fixing it.

  3. R Johnson|

    Funny article. This is what I’ve been saying since the start. The cloth masks are not effective and never have been. But, there have been a lot of know it alls who told me I was crazy. Guess they were the crazy ones.

    I see where several airline heads have questioned the need for masks on airplanes. You don’t read much about that because it does not fit the Biden narrative. Now of course, our Joe, who had a “plan” has given up on solving the COVID issue after he went after Trump non stop during the campaign about not having a plan. He also had said that if you had 250K deaths due to COVID that you should not be president – I guess he’ll be resigning soon!

    The posturing of this thing has been obscene from the start. Instead of saying, “this is going to be unknown territory” everything need to be politicized. So, now the shoe is on the other foot. Especially that Biden has had the vaccines available from day one of his presidency. I was vaccinated on 1/21/21 with the first shot. Well, we need to keep the heat on Biden – he’s now fully responsible for all this. To bad if it’s politicized – he and Harris were the originators of the politicization. Now, they wear the blood of every death!

    Will the airlines give us the KN95 or N95 ultimatum? We shall see won’t we. I think they won’t because they are afraid of Fauci and his minions.

  4. Ross Craig|

    I am still amazed you can fly in the US and not be vaccinated. The homemade masks should never have been allowed, same thing as the neck gators or handkerchief. I will have my booster on January 7th. We have 486 active cases here in Newfoundland and Labrador with a population of around 525K and we are in semi lockdown, bars are closed, businesses at 50% capacity and have to isolate for 5 days when you arrive on the island.

  5. Patrick Berg|

    In my humble opinion…
    KN95 masks are made in China and should not be trusted.
    Get a mask from a reputable company such as HALOLIFE® or SONOVIA.

  6. Norma Jane Zuckerman|

    Hey Johnny…
    I emailed you but haven’t heard back….can you please tell me if the AD that pops up is the mask you recommend from HOPE Health Supply. I especially like the elastic that goes around the ears.
    Thanks and Happy and Healthy New Year !
    Norma Zuckerman

  7. Kathleen Hargan| make medical grade “every day” masks for low risk situations and a KN95 mask as well as kid masks. Before they came out with the KN95 I used their regular masks exclusively. For exercise they are the best. Now I use the KN95 and also find them as comfortable as a mask can be. They are reasonably priced, sustainably produced and all packaging is biodegradable. There is also the opportunity to contribute to the One Tree Planted campaign. They are currently planting in Palizada, Mexico.

  8. Meri|

    Robert Koch Institute report released today states that 95.58% of the #Omicron cases in Germany are fully vaccinated (28% of those had a “booster”), 4.42% are unvaccinated. 71.1% of the total population is fully vaccinated in Germany. Yesterday the US media reported 90% of ICU patients were unvaccinated. Today they report 90% haven’t had the top up. So the 90% are vaccinated but considered unvaccinated because they’ve not taken the booster. What was once just another conspiracy theory becomes reality.

    Worldwide COVID deaths:
    2020 – 1,941,647
    2021 – 3,475,060
    Nearly double the deaths after the vaccine was introduced….

  9. Don|

    I’ve gotta agree with Will. The giant pop-up is really getting old.

  10. Mallthus|

    100% of people with COVID will die. 100% of vaccinated people will die. 100% of unvaccinated people will die. All of these “statistics” are accurate and verifiable.

    Is it a conspiracy?

    No, because if you took a step back, you’d realize that those “statistics” are without context and utterly meaningless.

    Just like yours.

  11. Macky|

    DECEMBER 29, 2021 AT 12:12 AM | REPLY
    Thanks for the feedback. I’m working on fixing it.

    It’s ok Johnny, a little annoyance is fine. That’s how every blogger makes for a living since you are offering the WORK YOU DID FOR FREE. I can have your page open for few hours just to support you. Thank you!

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Thank you!

  12. HeidiH|

    Thanks for the reminder to wear better masks!
    On a flight to Europe in October, Lufthansa required surgical masks (or better) for all passengers. They explicitly banned all cloth masks. Air Baltic required the same on an intra continent transfer. There was very wide spread masking in all of the European cities I visited and hardly anyone had cloth masks. Also rapid tests were available in drugstores for about 10/$5. Prior to start of business meeting, it was common to attendees to reports they had tested that negative that morning. It made me feel more at ease and wished cheap rapid testing was more available here at home!

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Good to know! Thanks for sharing

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