Debunking Mask Myths Part 2

By Mark Watola on 12/28/2020

Currently medical workers and high-risk groups, like the elderly, are receiving the recently produced COVID-19 vaccines. While waiting for the vaccine distribution to the general public, and for some time thereafter, we need to continue wearing face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A lot of myths exist regarding face masks, from their effectiveness to different types of masks. The myths prevent the wary from wearing masks to protect themselves and others, so we’ll discuss some common myths if you’re still having second thoughts.

Myth: Face masks don’t prevent you from COVID-19 exposure.

Depending on the face mask, they provide some level of protection to the wearer from COVID-19 exposure from that may come from people in close-contact.

Face masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by containing water droplets expelled by the person wearing it when coughing, sneezing, and talking. Wearing a facemask reduces the rate of transmission from the carrier to others, whether the carrier shows symptoms or not.

Myth: All masks are the safe.

Each mask differs from each other, depending on the type of fabric and number of layers. The CDC recommends using a washable, three-layer mask with an inner filter layer.

For gaiters, wear a two layered covering, or fold it over to create a second layer of protection.

Disposable masks provide protection, but only for a single use. Ensure you do not purchase a counterfeit mask, which does not include the necessary protection.

The CDC does not recommend masks with valves. Though they protect the wearer, water droplets can escape more easily from the valve when the wearer exhales.

Myth: Masks cause breathing problems.

Multiple studies indicate that masks do not cause breathing or lung problems. Some popular myths concerning breathing problems include:

Myth: Wearing a mask causes an increase in CO2 inhalation within the mask.

Masks with the right material, such as cotton, provide ample breathability. Masks do not cause an increase in carbon dioxide intake. 
Source: https://uihc.org/health-topics/do-face-masks-make-you-retain-carbon-dioxide

Myth: Bacteria or fungus does not accumulate in a mask, affecting lung function and causing sickness.

Most objects will grow bacteria or fungus over time when not cleaned. Mitigate bacteria or fungus buildup by cleaning and replacing a face mask as necessary.

Myth: Wearing a mask while exercising will affect lung capacity.

Masks may not always provide comfort especially while exercising, but research indicates negligible effects on the body while wearing a mask during exercise in healthy individuals. 
Source: https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1513/AnnalsATS.202008-990CME

If you live with a pre-existing condition and concerned with a mask interfering with your breathing, consult your doctor.

Myth: If I have a face shield, I don’t need a face mask.

The CDC recommends wearing a facemask because research regarding the effectiveness of a face shield is still ongoing. Research indicates, “expelled droplets can move around the visor.” It might not hurt to wear both, but if you wear just one, wear a face mask. 
Source: https://aip.scitation.org/doi/pdf/10.1063/5.0022968

Don’t let the rumor mill deter you from wearing a mask since they provide protection for yourself and others. Check out HomElectrical’s selection of masks if you’re looking for a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Other Sources:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html
https://www.hopkinsallchildrens.org/ACH-News/General-News/Myths-about-Masks-and-Other-Coronavirus-Facial-Cov

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