Your COVID-19 Questions Answered by an Expert

These are certainly trying times we live in.  We understand your worries and anxieties about trying to get back to a normal life in the midst of a pandemic.  To help address your questions about life in the pandemic, we have asked the world-renowned COVID-19 expert and etiquette maven, Toni Faucinini, to answer your questions about appropriate social behavior in this crazy COVID world.

Dear Toni,

I am hosting a dinner party next week.  Approximately 15 guests will be attending.  It is in celebration of my husband’s 40th birthday.  We have gone to great lengths to make sure all persons attending are vaccinated.  But I have this question.  Is it OK to mix and match people at the same table who have different vaccinations?  Or should we segregate the persons at each table by vaccination type?

    • Perplexed in Pottstown


Dear Perplexed,

First, I sympathize with the pain of your uncertainty.  You sound like such a sensitive host.  I am sure your celebration will be a success!  And congrats to your husband!  40 years in today’s world is quite an accomplishment!  Excellent question.  The CDC has conducted some studies on this subject, but because of the small sample size, the results of the studies have not been published and there are no definitive answers to your question.  We live in a world of such uncertainty!  However, I have a relative who works for the CDC, and he tells me that their studies suggest that persons who received the Moderna vaccine can sit at the same table as persons who got the Pfizer vaccine.  In fact some studies suggest that mixing persons who received different vaccines at the same table  might enhance the protection levels of those persons.  Isn’t science wonderful!  However, beware!  People who got the J&J vaccine should not be allowed to attend the party. The CDC is about to leak a blockbuster internal memo that says the J&J vaccine was nothing but leftover Roundup that J&J had to get out of its warehouse before it ate through its steel drum containers.  J&J repurposed the Roundup inventory as a COVID vaccine, thinking it would knock out the corona virus just like it kills weeds.  While it might be marginally more effective than ivermectin, it nevertheless makes for unpleasant dinner conversation, so keep those people out!  Don’t worry about them, they are used to being excluded from most groups.  Let me know how the party goes!

    • Toni


Dear Toni,

It is so hard to know what’s right, especially for kids in today’s world.  I live in a small city in Vermont where masks are mandated.  My kids are going to go trick-or-treating this year come hell or high water (and what with all this climate change stuff, who knows, could happen, right?).  In keeping with the Halloween tradition of scary costumes, my son is going as Steve Bannon and my daughter as Kyrsten Sinema.  What could be scarier?  Everything is so political these days, even the kids are into it.  My question is this.  Of course, each is going to wear a costume mask.  Is this sufficient to protect them?  I think it would be a shame to force them to wear a COVID protective mask over their Halloween masks, as that would distract from their costumes.  What do you think?   What would you do?

    • Dazed and Confused in Brattleboro


Dear Dazed,

Children are so precious!  My heart goes out to you raising children in a world ravaged by bat viruses and climate change.  God bless!  And such a sensitive, relevant question!  You sound like such a wonderful parent, I am sure your children are a never-ending source of joy and inspiration in these trying times.  Let’s try to keep them around.  It is difficult to answer your question without knowing the composition of the masks your children will be wearing.  The typical Halloween mask, made of plastic and probably manufactured in China not far from Wuhan City, would not be a good choice to protect your children.  The CDC has published several bulletins suggesting that plastic is not a good barrier to prevent infection from the corona virus.  Alas, we all know that quality is a thing of the past!  So let me suggest that your children wear a N95 or N99 mask underneath their costume masks.  That will protect your children while keeping the integrity of the costume intact.  And for God sakes, I am sure it goes without saying, please sterilize all candy before letting them eat it.  Subjecting the candy to a strong dose of ultraviolet pulsing light waves powered by a flux capacitor for at least 10 minutes should do the trick.  Then, enjoy!   

    • Toni


Dear Toni,

Me and some of the Soprano fellas is planning to visit a bank in some location at some time to do some stuff.  Usually when me and the boys do bank stuff, we wear our bank masks.  Whaddya think, is it good enough these days to just wear a bank mask or do we need to wear COVID protective masks as well?

    • Christopher in New Jersey


Dear Christopher,

Please see my answer to the letter above.  I think the socially proper thing is to don that extra layer of protection.  I admit it may be a drag, but that’s the price we pay to be good citizens.  However, you do raise another important point that many people are perplexed about.  I suspect that you and your boys visit banks to do your bank stuff over and over.  (Let’s just take a moment to celebrate how far we have come and appreciate the fact that banks are once again open and that we no longer have to deal with all those ATMs and, God forbid, internet banking!  I’ll bet that put a crimp in your bank stuff!) In which case, you are probably re-using your bank masks and your COVID protection masks.  So let me ask you, how often do you clean your masks?  Hygiene is a very important but often overlooked aspect of COVID protocol.  Masks should be cleaned!  And cleaned often!!  As I told Dazed in Brattleboro, nothing beats a good strong 10 minute daily dose of ultraviolet pulsing light waves powered by a flux capacitor.  In our house, the ultraviolet lights pulse each night before we go to bed.  We have made it part of our daily bedtime routine.  Helps put us in the mood for sleep, and these days, the good lord knows a refreshing sleep is hard to come by.  If you don’t have an ultraviolet light pulsing machine powered by a flux capacitor (ideally turbo-charged with redundant back-up), try cleaning your masks in the washing machine using the heavy-duty all-white cycle.  And go heavy on the Clorox (or you could use Roundup)!  Then put them in the dryer on high heat for at least an hour.  That is the socially considerate thing to do.  And good luck with that bank stuff in New Jersey!

    • Toni