How coronavirus protection has changed

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Pandemic control measures have evolved with the coronavirus.

With time, masks have only become mandatory in health facilities and public transport. But when he hides a new variant more dangerous than the previous onesthen come the moments of extraordinary restrictions.

At this time, despite increase in casesof clinical severity and of a new virus is circulatingthe precautions remain the same as when COVID-19 has been compared to the common cold. But the experts and the studies who hunt SARS-CoV-2 wherever it goes insist once again that the instruments we have no longer work the same.

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Masks, social distancing and vaccines are still essential to stop the spread of the virus and the worst cases of the disease it causes. Although the idea that everyone acts the same or that one continues to be protected after a natural infection or the full course of the vaccine is evolving.

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The effectiveness of the mask depends on the model and the number of people wearing it — you no longer protect each other —

Girl with mask.

Health authorities have relaxed pandemic control measures. Between them, the use of masks. In Spain they are only mandatory in the public transport and in health centers or services.

The idea of ​​”my mask protects you, your mask protects me” is no longer relevant. Now you can only make sure you don’t catch it – and it’s not 100% sure either. wearing a model of greater protection made of high quality filter material, like that of N95 masks.

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“The best filtering for the variants we have, including the omicron, is undoubtedly the FFP2. It’s the most practical, the one that best adapts to the face and the one to use”, says Alex Arenasphysicist expert in the evolution of pandemics.

“If you really want to avoid contagion, it’s the FFP2s that work,” he adds.

Immunity against natural infections and vaccines do not protect against variants in the same way

A woman with a prepared vaccine dose.

Many people believed that even after receiving only the first of the injections against COVID-19 they could stop thinking about masks and social distancing. But we go for the fourth dosethe second reinforcement.

The virus evolves and tests the immune system. To add insult to injury, protection levels drop over time. And it’s still a long time until we have one sterilizing vaccine -This prevents that you are infected with the coronavirus—.

Hybrid immunity is the best protection against COVID-19 right now: a single graph compares vaccine effectiveness and previous coronavirus infection

Best of all is that available injections continue to protect against serious events disease caused by the virus. The “worst” is that they are not enough and that doses could jump to the endemic phase of the virus —cunt seasonal vaccinationas the flu campaigns—.

The 2 meters of social distance remained at the start of the pandemic

Elderly people wearing a mask due to COVID-19

charged particles of the virus can go beyond 2 metersespecially in interior spaces, where you are most likely to contract COVID-19.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge in the UK used computer simulations to test scenarios of a person coughing. In the absence of masks, a person with COVID-19 could infect another at a distance of 2 meters, even outdoors.

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“Distancing doesn’t help you much and besides gives you a false sense of security. You are as safe at 2 meters as at 20 meters inside”, he explains to CNBC Martin Bazant, one of the researchers at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA).

According to Bazant, the social distancing rule is a guideline that offers little protection against pathogen-carrying aerosol droplets small enough to continuously mix indoors, such as those of the coronavirus.

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