NOT wearing a face mask could be a thing of the past say, medical experts.

We hope you're comfortable with wearing a face mask because some say they're not going anywhere anytime soon. They believe the new normal for years to come will be quarantining, social distancing, and yes, face masks.

Medical expert Ruth Collins at Cornell University tells WBNG TV that these changes are a new reality, with no signs of the pandemic ending anytime soon.

"People should be wearing masks until the epidemic is over basically. And we don't know when that's going to be, it's going to be minimum a few, a couple of years," [WBNG]

Infectious disease experts say the new protocols are not temporary, and our lifestyle changes with social distancing and staying home to stay healthy should continue.

Just this past week, Kohl's, BJ's, CVS, Walmart, Sam's Club, Best Buy, Starbucks, and Target outlets, with locations in Utica, Rome, Syracuse, and throughout Central New York have announced that face masks are now required to enter stores.

The simple act of shaking hands is also a thing of the past as it spreads all sorts of germs and infections to others. Harvard Medical School says shaking hands transmits two times more bacteria than high fives and ten times more bacteria than bumping fists. It's also unacceptable to hug or give a peck on the cheek during the pandemic.

Do you think this is our new reality?

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