NIOSH approved N-95 face mask.
One of the things epidemiologists have learned about the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is that the possibility infection is less determined by the duration and quantity of the viral load transferred to a new "victim" than with the Delta strain. It is much more quickly infectious which means that, more than ever before, good mask protocols are vital for prevention. It takes a lot less time for Omicron to hit the tipping point into infection. One cough in an elevator might be enough to start the process.
From a business point of view I'm finding that many of the companies that were anxious to get back to work in the Fall are less motivated to do so now. We're seeing a spate of "re-scheduling" even with projects that were ongoing.
In general, people are treating the new variant as a less lethal version of the virus and that may be the case but we still are unsure of what the long term effects of the resulting illness might be. With that in mind we've gone back to masking up in all public encounters. From grocery shopping to coffee ordering to quick meetings. And we're doing it indoors also with friends and family who have been vaccinated three times. Our take on it is: Better safe than horribly sorry.
With that in mind I re-ordered a 60 peice batch of the full on, N-95 masks as well as another 100 KF95 masks. The N-95s are for the unknown situations while the KF-95s are for the rest of our face-to-face encounters with people we know to be cautious and responsible. And in outdoor situations with room to distance.
Just a reminder that while everyone expects this wave to be steep but quick we're in no way out of the woods for at least a month or two more in the USA. This impacts all businesses that don't have the luxury of working remotely. And try as I might I can't figure out how to do satisfying photo work remotely.
At least this time around I have a reasonable expectation that with all my vaccines present and accounted for I have a very good chance of NOT dying should all prevention measures fail. And I'm able to readily source really effective masks instead of only having access to the ill-fitting surgical masks.
If we happen to run into each other indoors, ordering coffee or something like that, please be kind and pull the damned mask up over your nose. At least while I'm standing there in front of you. After all, you wouldn't walk around in public with your trousers unzipped.....
With a little luck and much due diligence we might be through the worst of this new wave by the end of February. Earlier if you still believe in miracles. Maybe hope for Valentine's Day?
A safe activity? Ordering cameras and lenses online and having them shipped to your home. Just sayin.