The new omicron variant brought about higher rates of infection, pauses on in-person learning and proof that COVID-19 most certainly won’t be going anywhere ― at least not anytime soon. Inevitably, this also means that mask-wearing will continue as we navigate the coming months of rising cases and ever-evolving Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
Erica N. Johnson is a board-certified internal medicine and infectious disease doctor, as well as chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine. Johnson told HuffPost that although vaccines and more treatments have placed us in a better position than 2020, face masks continue to be one of the best ways to prevent transmission of the virus.
“We know vaccines are a key component, but it’s still possible to contract the virus even with a vaccine, so masks really are one of those last layers of protection. The optimal thing would be to prevent getting COVID-19 at all,” Johnson said.
The question then becomes how we can we continue to be better about wearing our masks consistently and ensuring that they are in good enough condition to be protective in the first place?
Johnson agreed that a lanyard, specifically-designed to keep your mask around your neck, can be a great option.
“I think one of the main benefits of a mask lanyard is that it keeps your mask easily on hand to facilitate wearing it and keeping it in place. It can be really useful for children or for anyone who is in a situation where they might need to remove their mask frequently,” she said.
Johnson reminds us of the sanitary aspect in keeping your mask around your neck, rather than shoved into a pocket or purse, which, she said, can increase the risk of dropping the mask on the ground or excessive touching.
“Lanyards might also help in maintaining the integrity of your mask,”Johnson said. “Specifically surgical masks or KN95s, which are more likely be worn out quicker, particularly in areas like the nose piece which keep the mask secure.”
If you find yourself frequently forgetting your mask or like the convenience that a mask lanyard could provide, see below for some lanyard options that range from stylish to functional and above all, safe.
A washable fabric lanyard with snap button closures
An easy-to-clean silicone lanyard that’s also very lightweight
A dainty rose gold chain that won’t clash with your outfit
A durable and easy breakaway lanyard for safety
A chic acrylic chain lanyard with tortoise shell pattern
A personalized lanyard perfect for kids
A pack of 10 adjustable elastic lanyards for the whole family
A delicate beaded lanyard that looks more like a necklace
A customizable macrame lanyard with a lot of colors to choose from
A DIY kit to make your own beaded lanyard