“Does my beard impact my mask’s effectiveness?”
The two most important considerations about masks are filtration and fit.
Filtration is how effectively the mask blocks or removes infectious particles from the air you breathe, but even if you use a medical grade N95 mask, if it doesn’t fit snugly to your face, infected droplets can go around the mask.
That’s where beards are a potential problem. You don’t have to shave the beard off to get a more snug mask fit, just be aware that it does impact its effectiveness.
”Is there a concern that people will become more reckless with the false notion of being safe after receiving a vaccine?”
For two reasons, yes.
First, the vaccines are very good, but they aren’t perfect and at least 5% of vaccinated people can become symptomatically infected.
Secondly, we don’t know if it’s possible for vaccinated people to asymptomatically spread coronavirus. That’s why masks and social distancing is important.
“We’re buying a dog from a breeder who told us their family had COVID, is it possible for the puppy to infect us?”
Probably not. Animals -- such as cats, dogs and ferrets -- can be infected with coronavirus, but there’s no indication that they can carry it long term and there is no documented cases of animal to human spread. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. We don’t have enough research into patterns of transmission in domesticated animals. It’s believed animals can spread it to each other and they can get it from us, but it’s believed we are safe from them.
Questions about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge