The omicron strain of Covid is now widespread across much of the world, including the US. It is many times more contagious than even the delta variant of Covid or than the flu. It seems to be causing milder illness – whether due to the strain itself or to years of exposures and immunity to Covid or a combination. Omicron protection from vaccines is not as strong as against previous strains but is still very helpful against severe illness and hospitalization, if vaccines and boosters are up to date (due 6 months after primary Pfizer/BioNTech & Moderna vaccines and 2 months after J&J). Good news, though, is that omicron disease seems to offer protection against more severe delta illness.
Cloth masks do very little to prevent omicron contagion, even worse than other strains. Masks should be 3-layer surgical masks or N95s for best protection.
We do know that the more we do to stop the spread of Covid with vaccines, masking, and other hygiene methods, the less chance the current Covid has to change into something worse.