Neither quarantine nor the mandatory wearing of masks for more than a year on a global scale has not been finally canceled. The quarantine was weakened, they were allowed to be on the street without masks, but in order to completely return everything to the "distant" dock-like times everywhere - this was not the case. Nevertheless, individual administrative units of different countries have abolished masks, and in some countries have obliged the population to wear respirators instead of masks.
Canceling mask regime
The mandatory wearing of masks from the very beginning of the pandemic caused a lot of controversy about their effectiveness, but the WHO insisted, and the world got used to it. We were allowed to take off our masks and breathe freely last summer, and now we were again obliged to wear them everywhere. And while the whole world is looking forward to when it will be possible to forget about the obligatory wearing of masks, in the states of Texas, Mississippi, Wyoming, Maryland and Oklahoma they have already been canceled.
US President Joe Biden condemned this decision by local governors, calling it premature and thoughtless. The population of these states is used to masks, and most do not mind wearing them.
Gibraltar has also completely canceled the mask mode. The entire adult population has already been vaccinated here, so it will no longer be necessary to wear masks on the central streets, but they are still required in public transport, shops, and other closed premises.
That is, the cancellation is pretty conditional. And, most likely, masks will stay with us for a long time, the maximum that humanity can count on in the foreseeable future is the abolition of the mandatory wearing of masks on the streets; "masks save lives."
Respiratory mode instead of cloth masks
The requirement to wear FFP2 respirators instead of cloth masks in Europe is due to the spread of a new coronavirus mutation. Such respirators have a higher degree of protection, but at the same time, they are more expensive than conventional medical masks.
Austria became the first country to oblige its citizens over the age of 14 to wear FFP2 respirators in public transport, shops and businesses, pharmacies, and hospitals, and healthcare facilities. Pregnant women and people who suffer from respiratory diseases were freed from the requirement to wear them here.
Following Austria's lead, the German authorities obliged their residents to wear FFP2 respirators. Wearing them has become mandatory in medical institutions, transport, shops, and cultural institutions. It is forbidden to wear ordinary masks in public places.
The requirement to wear FFP2 respirators has sparked speculation that it may be related to the business of one of the German officials. According to one version, the production of respirators belongs to the wife of Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Seder. According to the other, Seder's wife and her brother run the largest mask manufacturer in Germany. But the woman's company denies information about the production of FFP2 respirators.
The FFP2 respirator is several times more expensive than a regular mask, its cost is from 2 to 6 euros, while the price of an ordinary medical mask is around 10 cents. But FFP2 can be used multiple times.
FFP is an abbreviation for Filtering Face Piece. FFP2, also known as an N95 respirator, is used in construction sites and for medical purposes.
Differences between masks and respirators
By donning a conventional, surgical mask, you protect others first. That is, when you cough, runny nose, sneeze, you must wear a mask so as not to infect others. But if your health is normal, but there is a sick person nearby, a regular mask will not protect you from illness.
But by putting on a respirator that hermetically covers the area of the mouth and nose, you can protect yourself as much as possible from viruses and bacteria that are in the air. For example, the FFP2 respirator holds up to 94% of the harmful substances in the air. But at the same time, breathing in it can be uncomfortable.
Ukrainians still have the opportunity to decide for themselves what to choose - a mask or a respirator. Ideally, of course, have both. For all occasions.