Masks to slow the spread of the caronavirus are already in regular use, now it seems insect netting is a necessary accessory for spending time outdoors here in the tri-state area.  "Gnat" is something of a blanket term for several types of small flying insect (maybe that explains the unnecessary "G"), and if you thought you'd experienced more of them than normal over the past couple of years, many scientists say you're right.

A Gnat hat is considered very fashionable now in certain circles.

Probably the most difficult among the various gnat species for humans to contend with are the Biting Gnats (BGs - not to be confused with The BeeGees, although each can cause distress, and the sound of the insect in your ear is only slightly lower in pitch than the uber successful pop music group).

Some of us are encountering a new species of BG called Simulium tuberosum.  This is a more aggressive gnat, one of those that likes to fly into your eyes, ears, nose and mouth.  Experts expect dry, hot summer weather to reduce their numbers quite a bit.

To protect yourself, experts recommend using an EPA-approved bug spray (DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus are most effective), covering your head and neck, wearing light colors, and avoiding peak times.

The good news is gnats, mosquitoes, and ticks can't spread COVID-19.