Doctors and nurses are even more overworked than usual these days, with the pandemic still raging strong in certain parts of the world with no clue as to when it might finally be under control. They should be using their sporadic free time to relax, or sleep, or spend time with their families if they can do so safely.
Instead, too many of them keep having to spend time convincing the rest of us to wear our freaking masks. Numerous videos featuring healthcare workers measuring their oxygen levels with various types of masks on have surfaced at this point. The results are always the same: wearing a mask does not in any way lower the oxygen levels of an average, relatively healthy human with no pre-existing breathing issues.
But the pushback is always the same, too: anti-maskers inevitably complain that wearing a mask for a few seconds or a few minutes isn’t comparable to wearing a mask for hours at a time.
We already know this isn’t true, both because doctors wear masks in surgery without issue literally every single day, and because science has repeatedly told us that cloth and surgical masks are completely safe.
Still, anti-maskers insist on their absurd conspiracies and fake science.
So Tom Lawton, an ICU doctor at the Bradford Royal Infirmary in Yorkshire, strapped on his mask and ran 22 miles in yet another attempt by doctors to prove that science is, you know, real.
“I’m someone who understands the science, I’ve got access to a pulse-oximeter (a device used to monitor the amount of oxygen carried around the body) so I can actually go out and show that [masks don’t cause hypoxia,” he told Newsweek, referring to a condition where the body is deprived of oxygen.
Lawton decided to run rather than simply wear the mask for an extended period of time as a counterbalance to the fact that he’s fit and healthy. That, he thought, would make him use 10 times the amount of oxygen he would otherwise.
“If I can show that I can get 10 peoples worth of oxygen through the mask then hopefully someone who has a respiratory disease and wants to wear a mask, they can be reassured that it is a safe thing to do,” he said.
Lawton documented parts of his journey as he ran.
And his oxygen levels remained steady.
Lawton says his oxygen levels never dipped below 98% despite wearing a cloth mask for the entire run.
And while he knows it’s unlikely this will convince the hardcore anti-maskers, who routinely scoff in the face of science and factual information, Lawton is hoping it will make a difference for those who have heard their conspiracy theories and didn’t know what to believe.
“There are a lot of people out there who just don’t want to wear a mask and will find any excuse they can but the people I’m more concerned about are people with respiratory illnesses, who would like to wear a mask, would like to do their bit, but are scared,” he said.
And as a bonus, his efforts have raised £3,401 for the Trussell Trust, a group that operates food banks around the UK.