The arrival of the holidays and the end of the year are making a lot of us ask where we are in the pandemic… and what we might expect from it in the months ahead. Experts at Johns Hopkins University say we’re a lot better off than we were last year at this time. A year ago, Covid cases were rising twice as fast as they are now, most schools were not in-person, and many gatherings had strict size limits. Now we have vaccines for children as well as adults, which could prevent more than 600,000 infections in the next four months alone.
Supply chain issues continue to bedevil stores… so you may be getting a lot of gift cards as presents for the holidays. Experts at Indiana University say that means managing expectations for kids… and grabbing presents when you find them on store shelves even if they’re more expensive than you’d like. Stores will likely be competing on product availability a lot more than price this season.
And finally… if you’re getting tired of buying new face masks, a study in the Journal of Hazardous Materials finds that you can decontaminate the ones you have by popping them in the oven. Five minutes at 160 degrees Fahrenheit should be enough. Any hotter than that, and most masks will melt.