New Covid-19 variant: Scientists demand masks, people passionately reject 'covid nonsense'

As concerns about the new BA.X Covid-19 variant emerge, scientists warn we should be wearing masks again. X users are having impassioned reactions to this suggestion.

Scientists demand for return of masks amid new Covid variant, people left outraged: 'Covid nonsense'
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Scientists demand for return of masks amid new Covid variant, people left outraged: 'Covid nonsense'

A new variant of Covid-19, dubbed BA.X, has reportedly been tracked in Denmark and Israel. This new strain was originally reported by online Covid-19 tracker Ryan Hisner, who tweeted ‘this is the real deal’. It is not to be confused with the Eris variant, which was recently named a ‘variant of interest’ by the World Health Organisation.

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Scientists suggest we mask up again

It is now feared that this BA.X variant could cause another big surge of cases. Some scientists have encouraged Brits to take up wearing masks again in an effort to limit the spread of Covid-19.

As Express reports, Professor Christina Pagel, a University College London mathematician, reasons that it is ‘very very early days’ but warns that this new variant ‘has a LOT of new mutations that makes it v different to previous Omicron strains’.

Dr Trisha Greenhalgh, an Oxford Professor of Primary Health Care, warned her fellow UK citizens in a tweet posted on August 15th that it could once again be time to ‘MASK UP’:

X users express their strong feelings about masks

X is blowing up with responses from people who are less than happy with this suggestion. One user called Dr Grenhalgh out for 'spouting her covid nonsense again'. Let’s take a look at the three main reasons people are rejecting this suggested preventative measure.

Manipulative theatre

Many users are claiming that the introduction of masks was used to give people a blind sense of safety. They are not convinced that the face coverings were ever very effective in limiting the spread of Covid-19 and are making references to the multiple times that politicians were caught not abiding by mask rules during the pandemic.

Environmental disaster

Other users are concerned about the environmental impact of all these disposable masks being, well, disposed of. In 2021, MIT News reported that the pandemic was estimated to produce over 7000 tonnes of medical waste every day. Much of this was down to masks. As one X user points out, masks are not so different from other single-use plastics. Think: iced coffee, Coca Cola, smoothies…

You look silly

Finally, some users are taking to X to share their memories of just how outrageous some of the masks were during the pandemic period. It’s true that some of the more ‘makeshift’ mask solutions were a bit outlandish, and probably didn’t do much in the way of protection. That being said, we all had a moment where we really needed to nip into the shop and realised we would have to make do with whatever was lying in the bottom of our bag

Read more:Covid-19: Is the new Eris variant dangerous?

Should we be worried?

Professor Stephen Griffin, an infectious disease expert at The University of Leads, agrees with Professor Christina Pagel in that it is very early to be making bold statements about the potential threat of this new variant. He told the Daily Mail:

The best way to future proof against this is a combined vaccine and mitigation-based approach. Worryingly, in the UK, we are currently winding both of these aspects down.

This story is still developing.

Read more:

Long Covid can turn this part of your body blue

New Covid-19 'Eris' variant is spreading amongst Brits, here is how worried you should be

Sources used:

Express: Scientists demand Britons wear face masks as new Covid variant spreads

Daily Mail:Gloomy scientists call for people to start wearing Covid masks again as they sound alarm over new variant BA.6 that has 'a lot of new mutations'

MIT News: The environmental toll of disposable masks

COVID-19: New COVID testing measures have been implemented as PCR demand soars COVID-19: New COVID testing measures have been implemented as PCR demand soars