At this point, we’ve all heard just about every excuse under the sun as to why some people just refuse to wear masks. Some folks have even gone viral for tearful complaints over hardships such as not being able to see other people’s smiles, which is totally a valid concern in the face of a life-threatening virus spread through respiratory droplets. But masks are uncomfortable! Priorities!
As healthcare workers continue to plead with the American public to just wear masks so we can lower the spread of COVID-19, one doctor decided to prove once and for all that the claim of masks actually being dangerous for you is nothing more than a myth.
Dr. Megan Hall said she’s seen a lot of posts where people have refused to wear masks because “oxygen levels drop dramatically while wearing a mask.”
“Below is me in 4 scenarios,” she wrote on Facebook. “I wore each mask for 5 minutes and checked my oxygen saturation (shown as the percentage below) along with my heart rate (HR, in beats per minute) using noninvasive pulse oximetry.”
Hall also added that she had been wearing a surgical mask for a full five hours before conducting this experiment.
The results are exactly what anyone who has been paying attention would expect.
No mask: 98%, HR 64
Surgical mask: 98%, HR 68
N95 mask: 99%, HR 69
N95 plus surgical mask (which is how most healthcare providers are wearing masks): 99%, HR 69.”
In other words, wearing a mask does not make any sort of notable impact on the average person’s ability to breathe, or increase their heart rate to dangerous levels.
Hall briefly addressed another silly claim anti-maskers make as well.
A lot of folks refusing to wear masks like to whip out the talking point that masks don’t protect you from breathing in nearby respiratory droplets that carry COVID-19.
“But in the same sentence [they] argue they won’t wear one because they are ‘rebreathing their exhaled carbon dioxide,’” Hall said. “I’m not sure how one can even make sense of this theory; if you really believe the virus is penetrating the mask and you’re breathing it in, how do you also believe your exhaled CO2 is getting ‘stuck?’”
Wow, it’s almost like they’re just saying random things to get out of wearing masks!
But Hall set the record straight.
“Viruses need a vector to spread, COVID-19’s vector is respiratory droplets, those droplets aren’t readily getting through a properly worn mask,” she said.
So masks won’t hurt you, they do offer some protection, and as everyone should know by now, their main purpose is to protect others from you if you have COVID-19 and don’t know it.
Yes, they’re uncomfortable, and no, nobody enjoys wearing them. But a few months of slight discomfort is always preferable to accidentally killing somebody’s grandmother. Unless you’re a selfish sociopath.