Maria Godoy

After months of public health experts urging Americans to start wearing higher quality masks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday updated its mask guidance for consumers. While the agency didn't recommend one type of mask over another, its new guidance emphasizes that N95s and similar high-filtration respirators offer the best protection against COVID-19.

With another coronavirus variant racing across the U.S., once again health authorities are urging people to mask up indoors. Yes, you've heard it all before. But given how contagious omicron is, experts say, it's seriously time to upgrade to an N95 or similar high-filtration respirator when you're in public indoor spaces.

"Cloth masks are not going to cut it with omicron," says Linsey Marr, a researcher at Virginia Tech who studies how viruses transmit in the air.

America spends $3.8 trillion on health care annually, more than any other country. Yet when it comes to creating a more equitable public health system, it could learn a thing or two from some of the world's poorest nations, says Katie Bollbach, executive director of Partners in Health-U.S.

Updated December 20, 2021 at 6:45 PM ET

Here we go again.

Just in time for the holidays, federal officials announced Monday that the omicron variant of the coronavirus is spreading quickly in the U.S., and it's now the dominant strain in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

I've got a kitchen confession: I don't do Thanksgiving turkey.

It's not because of dietary restrictions, although I do try to limit my meat consumption. It's more a matter of soul-crushing disappointment. Years ago, my family and I decided we weren't going to serve Thanksgiving turkey anymore because it kept turning out dry and flavorless.

What's the point of getting up super-early and spending hours laboring and stressing in the kitchen if you're just going to end up with a bland bird?

I don't need that kind of holiday heartache.

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