With so much information being circulated daily, it’s easy to fall victim to one of these myths
Masks are Only for Symptomatic People
False! According to Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, more than half of COVID-19 cases are made up of people showing mild or no symptoms at all. These “silent-spreaders” are responsible for the majority of transmissions of the disease and can sustain outbreaks even if all symptomatic people were immediately isolated, a recent study showed.
The study went on to suggest that in addition to coughing and sneezing, every day occurrences like talking and yelling can spread droplets that carry the virus. Going about your normal daily routines without a mask can easily spread the virus without you even knowing it
Only N95 Masks Offer Protection from the Virus
False! N95 rated masks are important for those people in the medical field who are treating those infected who cannot wear their own mask to prevent the virus from spreading. However, for the general public, any face covering is better than nothing as the idea is to stop the wearer from potentially spreading the virus by limiting respiratory droplets from spreading from one host to another.
Masks still help the wearer avoid infection as well, even if it’s not N95 rated it will still filter a certain amount of virus particles. If you breathe in a smaller amount of the virus, you may find yourself not infected at all as the body is able to fight off the smaller amount quickly and efficiently or lead to a mild infection with mild symptoms that is easily recovered from. With no mask at all, you risk inhaling large amounts of the virus from droplets in the air, which can result in a severe infection. Dr. Chin-Hong states that, “Any mask can provide a barrier to respiratory droplets.”
However, there are certain N95 rated masks that people are wearing that contain a vent on the front of it. This vent is designed to close when the wearer inhales, but open when the exhale. These only protect the wearer but not others around them as they essentially funnel and concentrate a person’s breath which could contain infectious droplets. If you have one of these masks, health experts suggest covering the vent with tape to help prevent the spread of the disease.
Masks Reduce Blood Oxygen and Increase CO2
False! Many people who feel they don’t need to wear a mask have been sharing this myth around various social media channels, but the truth is that all masks provide adequate airflow.
Tests have even been conducted that show wearing a mask does not result in lower oxygen levels in the blood. There have even been reports of people with severe lung disease who still wear a mask safely.
As we move further through this pandemic, its becoming even more vital for everyone to be wearing masks, there have been confirmed cases of business owners who were unknowingly infected interacting with customers, but because they were all wearing masks, none of the customers contracted the disease.