The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) would like us to also wear masks of type 2 in busy outdoor areas. According to the experts, the so-called type 1 masks or the washable variants do not protect well enough. But what is the difference between the two types? “One protects 95 percent and the other 98 percent,” explains De Jong.
But the difference is not visible to the naked eye. You only know that by looking at the packaging, which shows the type printed by the manufacturer. De Jong does not think that it will make a difference if people start wearing a type 2 mouth mask. “If people wear the caps well and press well, so that your glasses do not fog up, then you can continue with type 1.”
By the way, the best protection is provided by the FFP2 masks. They are mandatory in Germany and Austria, but the OMT sticks to the type 2 mouth cap in its advice. For comparison: a mouth mask is also used in hospitals that is very similar to type 2. But that mask also protects against water droplets that being coughed on the mouth cap,
“The FFP2 is the best mouth mask. It has a very good fit and protects the best against aerosols, but is also the least pleasant to wear,” says De Jong. Aerosols are small droplets that float in the air. “But because the mask closes so well, it makes you stuffy. People don’t like to wear it.”
Listen below to the entire conversation with De Jongh about the mouth caps.
Then De Jongh also has encouraging news about the omikron variant: “Omikron seems to infect the upper respiratory tract, more the throat area.” The doctor points to six studies that have now shown that there are fewer hospital admissions with omikron. “Omikron does not seem to specifically cause severe pneumonia, so fewer people come to the intensive care unit and the disease is slightly milder.”
De Jongh hopes that this will provide light at the end of the tunnel. “If it is a milder form that is very contagious – because you can easily infect someone else with a cough from the throat – but the disease course is milder, then it starts to look like a severe flu.”
That does not mean that everyone who gets it will easily roll through it. “Of course there will always be people with a bad immune system who will have a very hard time with it, but so will they with a severe flu.”