July 15, 2022
Mask lesson hard learned
Learn your lessons and wear a mask.
That’s the message from microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles as the Government rolls out additional measures to help tackle the second Omicron wave, including expanding access to free RATs and masks and providing schools with mask supplies and more support for ventilation and winter heating costs.
Dr Wiles says making those moves, as well as expanding access to anti-viral medicines which can help keep high-risk people out of hospital, will be important for keeping the health system functioning over winter.
She says there’s too much disinformation about claiming mask wearing is unsafe or ineffective.
“They’re clearly not dangerous and they do really work. We’ve just got some data from looking at some of the schools in New Zealand that kept their mask mandates and they’ve had far fewer illnesses and staff illnesses than those schools that said it was OK to only wear them if you wanted to wear them so we know they work but there are a lot of people pushing back against that.” Dr Wiles says.
She says people only seem to wear masks when there are mandates in place, but they need to do the right thing.