Masking can feel like a thing of the past in the US, even in cities such as New York and Los Angeles that once embraced the precaution. But as healthcare facilities grapple with a “tripledemic” of respiratory viruses – with Covid, flu and RSV surging simultaneously – experts are once again urging the public to don face coverings.
“I would not go into a grocery store without a mask,” says John Swartzberg, clinical professor emeritus of infectious diseases and vaccinology at the University of California, Berkeley. “I wouldn’t go into rapid transit without a mask. I wouldn’t go into an airplane or be in an airport without a mask,” nor would he attend a crowded outdoor event such as a concert without one, Swartzberg says.