Common Myths About Disposable Medical Face Mask
In recent times there has been a lot of information being shared over social media regarding masks and their effectiveness and masked as useful information, many are spreading misinformation to cause panic and create fear among the masses. Face masks are important in a time like this, when COVID 19 is spreading like wildfire one must cover their nose and mouth properly as when worn correctly, it reduces the spread of COVID 19. Lately seeing the conditions improving day by day as all responsible citizens wear face masks and follow social distancing, the spread of COVID 19 and daily reported cases are going down, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have relaxed their face masks guidance. Face masks are still required to be worn in crowded public places like schools, health care institutions, all public transportation, and in areas and communities where reported cases of COVID 19 are higher than others. Everyone stepping out must be cautious to wear face masks as every other day a new variant of COVID 19 is being reported. Amidst the fear against COVID 19 and many being hesitant to wear face masks due to some of the other myth that has been spread using social media and the internet, here are some common myths about medical disposable face masks followed by the truth-
Myth #1- Any sort of face-covering can be used to protect against COVID 19.
According to the California Department of Public Health, the best face masks are N95, KN95, and KF94 masks along with medical disposable masks or full face masks which cover your nose and mouth properly. Cloth masks are used but advised against if made with only one layer. At least 3 or more layers are recommended.
Myth #2- Masks make it harder to breathe.
A good face mask is made of materials that provide safety against the virus and let the user breathe properly as well. Often having two or more layers as recommended by the CDC, it is made keeping in mind that the user does not struggle to breathe. Disposable medical masks or even dental face masks are recommended for those who are not used to wearing masks with multiple layers as they can get used to them and be safe at the same time.
Myth #3- Wearing a mask exempts me from social distancing.
Wearing a face mask is just one small step in protecting yourself against COVID 19. Along with wearing masks, a responsible citizen should also get vaccinated and get subsequent booster shots. Practice social distancing in crowded areas, wash hands whenever possible for at least 20 seconds, and use hand sanitizers in public with adequate alcohol content. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, ears, or mouth without washing your hands. Regularly disinfect your surroundings and objects you touch and stay home in isolation if any symptoms show up.
Myth #4- Masks trap in the carbon dioxide we breathe out.
Many believe that masks trap the carbon dioxide we breathe out which leads to carbon dioxide poisoning known as hypercapnia. This is false as Carbon Dioxide molecules are very small and cannot be trapped in masks made with breathable material. Doctors, Surgeons, and Dentists, all wear masks in their profession and have no trouble breathing or performing their jobs.
Myth #5- Masks only help if someone has symptoms-
Symptoms of COVID 19 can take 2-14 days to develop, so you can have it without even knowing it. Wearing a mask will stop the spread of the virus in case you have been infected. In case someone around you is infected and you both are masked, the spread of infected droplets in the air will be less as the mask acts as a barrier for both.
So always make sure to mask up before stepping out of your house, don’t be peer pressured by your friends to take it off, maintain social distancing and make sure to buy the best mask to safeguard yourself effectively.