The number of coronavirus cases in the United States has surpassed 1.8 million.
People need to take action to protect themselves and their families against the deadly disease. But false health claims and incorrect rumors do not fight against transmission.
False health claims can cause people to follow incorrect health procedures and increase their risk of developing diseases. Anyone can post misleading health information online and create a wave of hysteria.
One of the most controversial topics surrounding the COVID pandemic is the use of facemasks. The spread of misinformation, such as that face masks don't work, can contribute to the spread of the virus.
Let's get to the bottom of the rumors. Keep reading to explore the facts about face masks and how they protect your body.
False Health Claim: Masks Don't Protect People
When COVID-19 started spreading through the United States, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stated that face masks do not protect against the virus.
However, in April of 2020, the CDC revised its initial statement regarding the use of face masks.
After studying the spread of the disease through various research sources, the CDC recommended wearing masks and cloth face coverings whenever in public spaces to reduce community-based transmissions of the virus.
Coronaviruses commonly spread when people are close to one another. The droplets are passed onto another person through speaking, coughing, and sneezing. Facemasks prevent droplets from spreading to others by covering vulnerable areas.
Face masks protect people from passing along the virus when social distancing is difficult, such as in restaurants and grocery stores.
Scientists in Hong Kong found the rate of non-contact transmission by airborne particles decreased by 75% when face masks were used.
False Health Claim: Masks Don't Have to Cover Your Nose
Face masks must cover the main points of entry in which a virus can enter your body. This includes your mouth and your nose.
Wearing a face mask, but leaving your nose open, decreases the effectiveness of a mask. It increases your risk of breathing in air droplets that contain the virus.
Face masks are most effective when they cover your mouth and the majority of your nose.
A face mask should comfortably fit toward the bridge of your nose. While your chin does not need to be covered, in doing so, you ensure a tight seal around your mouth.
The position of your face mask may depend on the size and shape of your nose. Most people can wear their masks at the top of their nose, right below their eyes.
False Health Claim: Face Masks Restrict Oxygen Intake
If you wear a face mask correctly, you should not experience reduced oxygen intake.
Viral social media posts claim face masks reduce oxygen intake by up to 60% and increase your risk of CO2 poisoning. This is information has never proven.
Masks that are too tight restrict breathing. A face mask should fit comfortably and leave room for you to easily inhale and exhale.
Masks should also be made from light and airy material. Thick masks make it difficult for oxygen to reach your nose. If you're having trouble breathing, try a face mask made from a lighter material.
False Health Claim: I Don't Need a Mask If I Feel Healthy
The novel coronavirus is unique in that it affects everyone differently. While some become bedridden from the disease, others do not realize they are carrying the virus.
The CDC has found that while 25% of infected people may not show COVID-19 symptoms, they can still spread the disease.
Unless you receive an antibody test, it is impossible to know if you are carrying the virus. Wearing a mask, even when you feel healthy, prevents you from spreading the disease.
Face masks stop your nose and mouth from transmitting air droplets that contain the COVID-19 virus into the air. While you may be asymptomatic, many other people are not. Covering up prevents you from passing along the disease, therefore saving lives.
False Health Claim: Face Masks Cause Hypercapnia
Rumors of toxic masks are false and can prevent people from protecting themselves. One of the most destructive false health claims is wearing masks causes hypercapnia.
Misleading social media posts show incorrect diagrams of how wearing a face mask causes people to rebreathe CO2.
Hypercapnia occurs when excessive carbon dioxide is delivered to your bloodstream. Breathing CO2 causes headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, cognitive problems, and flushed skin.
Hypercapnia is commonly caused by hyperventilation and lung disease. People may develop it after being in an environment with high concentrations of carbon dioxide, which leads to inhaling excessive amounts of CO2.
There is no evidence that wearing a face mask results in hypercapnia.
Wearing a mask should not lead to breathing problems or brain infections. Instead, face masks protect your body from viruses (like COVID-19) that directly impair the lungs and hinder your ability to breathe.
False Health Claim: Face Masks Are the Only Way to Protect Against Viruses
Wearing a mask is an effective way to decrease the spread of dangerous viruses like COVID-19. However, putting on a face mask is not the only thing you should do to protect against diseases.
Viruses spread through close contact with others. Adhere to social distancing guidelines to decrease your risk of getting the illness, such as standing six feet apart from others.
Wash your hands often. Use soapy water and wash for at least 20 seconds. Clean your hands after being in public areas, touching public surfaces, or coughing.
Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth if your hands are not clean.
Use hand sanitizer when you cannot wash your hands. Stick with sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol.
Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces and objects. Use disinfectants to wipe down machinery, sinks, handles, light switches, doorknobs, toys, credit cards, keypads, and phones.
Enhance your lifestyle to boost your immune system. Maintain a wholesome diet, get regular exercise, and receive plenty of sleep to make your body strong enough to fight off infections and diseases.
Following these procedures, in addition to wearing a face mask in public areas, significantly decreases your risk of contracting COVID-19 and other harmful viruses.
False Health Claim: Face Masks Cannot Be Reused
Face masks can be reused as long as you follow safety precautions.
People who are in high-risk areas, such as healthcare workers, should not recycle masks. However, those of us who throw on a mask to run to the grocery store should feel safe reusing them.
Remove your face masks by touching its surface as little as possible. Use the ear straps to take off the mask. Avoid touching the front of the face mask.
Place the mask in a safe storage spot. Minimize the mask's contact with other objects and surfaces. Keep the mask in an area with good ventilation, so it can air out.
Let the mask sit for 10 to 14 days. After two weeks, the virus will die, and the mask can be used again.
There are also reusable masks available for purchase. These masks are made from protective cloth and are machine washable. Just throw the masks in with the rest of your laundry to eliminate any germs.
False Health Claim: Face Masks Weaken Immune Systems
People have objected to wearing face masks based on the idea they weaken the immune system. False rumors have spread that the once lockdown is lifted, people will be exposed to COVID, and their immune systems will not be able to fight the infections.
These claims are false, and they are stopping people from protecting themselves and others.
No research has been released to support the claim that our bodies suffer from wearing face masks. Sporting a face mask at work or during a trip to the store should not cause your immune system to break down.
Covering your face does not stop a person from breathing in infectious particles, but rather prevents people from spreading them. Cloth fabrics absorb exhaled droplets, reducing the spread of the disease.
This means you can wear a mask and continue to breathe in bacteria that make your immune system stronger.
Microbes enter the body in numerous ways. You can ingest them from food, water, and touching surfaces. Even kissing your spouse transmits bacteria and microbes that keep your immune system strong and healthy.
In reality, as long as you are living, you can ingest bacteria. Face masks prevent you from spreading harmful bacteria, like the COVID-19 virus, to others. They do not stop you from inhaling microbes or put your immune system at risk.
Clear the Air With a Reusable Face Mask
False health claims are dangerous. They provide people with inaccurate information. Believing health myths can increase transmissions of dangerous diseases.
Don't believe everything you hear or see on social media. Consult with health professionals or research reputable health blogs to ensure you're following the correct health protocols.
The bottom line about face masks is that they are effective tools in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Protect yourself by purchasing a high-quality adult reusable adult face mask. Click here to browse our diverse face mask collection.