If you’re still not convinced, the increasing presence of COVID-19 mutations is another reason to always wear a facial mask when social distancing isn’t possible.

Dr. Christopher Ohl, an infectious disease expert at Wake Forest Baptist Health, said last week that wearing a mask is even more important now due to these new variants of the COVID-19 virus.

COVID-19 mutations increase when viral transmissions increase and masks help prevent transmissions.

Quoting Dr. Anthony Fauci, considered the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Ohl said wearing a mask is the best way to limit COVID-19 transmissions until the supply of vaccine is more plentiful.

We’re still learning about the effectiveness of vaccines against normal mutations of the COVID-19 virus. Ohl said their impact on further mutations of COVID-19 variants is a much bigger unknown.

The virus’s genetic diversity increases over time and there is speculation that to some extent the virus is evolving in response to increasing human immunity. In other words, the potential for threatening consequences of the virus’ evolution increases as the pandemic drags on.

With new, more contagious strains of the coronavirus spreading in the U.S., and transmission levels still very high in many places, some public health experts recommend upgrading from the basic cloth masks that many have been wearing during the pandemic.

Regardless, it’s important to limit mutations of the COVID-19 virus as much as possible. Wearing a facial mask is the best way to do this, especially until many more people are vaccinated with increased availability of vaccines.

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