Oh jeez, get ready for a doozy. Karens and Kevins of all varieties have begun to create all kinds of myths around COVID-19, most of which center around why they shouldn’t have to wear a mask. People really just can’t be inconvenienced these days, even if it is for the good of protecting their fellow human being.
Some of these myths in particular involve how wearing a mask doesn’t let you breathe properly so
Doctor Megan Hall did a little test.
Using non-invasive pulse oximetry, Dr. Hall measured her oxygen saturation and her heart rate. She wore each mask for five minutes and had been wearing a surgical mask for five hours previous to these experiments!
The numbers showed no significant changes between wearing a mask or not. In other words it doesn’t inhibit your oxygen levels at all.
Myths like these frequently come from Facebook posts with no sources and are frequently based on conjecture if anything.
USA Today actually wrote about how masks are highly unlikely to cause any kind of breathing discomfort. These unfounded myths had a number of claims and causes for why masks could kill you. In some, you weren’t receiving enough oxygen, in others, the oxygen was fine but you weren’t able to expel your carbon dioxide properly and you were breathing it back in, which is harmful.
In the case of a lack of Oxygen, Dr. Hall essentially debunks that myth with her experiments, but there is another doctor, Dr. Daniel Pahua Díaz, saying much the same.
“This misinformation may arise from the feeling of lack of air due to mechanical obstruction depending on the type of mouthpiece we are using. But the feeling of obstruction is because we are not used to using the mouth mask. But as such it will not cause us any kind of hypoxia.”
In a different Facebook post, Dr. Hall quoted retired surgeon, Dr. Sam Laucks:
“I have spent the past 39 years working in the field of surgery. For a significant part of that time, I have worn a mask. I have worked with hundreds (probably thousands) of colleagues during those years, who have also worn masks. Not a single one us of became ill, passed out or died from lack of oxygen. Not a single one of us became ill, passed out or died from breathing too much carbon dioxide. Not a single one us of became ill, passed out or died from rebreathing a little of our own exhaled air. Let’s begin here by putting those scare tactics to rest!
“(It is true that some people, with advanced lung diseases, may be so fragile that a mask could make their already-tenuous breathing more difficult. If your lungs are that bad, you probably shouldn’t be going out in public at the present time anyway; the consequences if you are exposed to Covid-19 would likely be devastating.)”
Capping off her Facebook post regarding her experiments indicating that masks had no effect on your oxygen intake, DR. Hall had some powerful words to share:
“As a physician I urge you and ask you to please wear a mask to protect yourself and those who cannot safely wear a mask (many of my patients because they are under 2 years old). Unless you are face down with a knee on your neck, I’m confident you can still breathe.”
Well said, Doc.
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The virus that causes #COVID19 can spread from a person before they have symptoms. Take action to slow the spread by wearing a cloth face covering in public spaces, keeping at least 6 feet of physical distance, and frequently washing your hands. A cloth face covering can be made from items around your home, such as a scarf or cloth napkin. Make sure the covering reaches above your nose and below your chin. Have questions? See: https://bit.ly/FaceClothFAQ #CDC #PublicHealth
It’s all pretty concrete evidence, despite what some of the deeper, darker parts of Facebook would have you believe. It’s crazy that even simple medical science has become a political divider in this modern age!
Our best weapons against misinformation are facts, fact checking, and transparency. We must be able to admit when we’re wrong and change our views when faced with new evidence! That’s just being human, there’s nothing wrong with admitting you didn’t have all the necessary information.
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