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8 dangerous COVID-19 face mask myths you need to stop believing


Even if you are not sick, you should still wear a face mask.

Sarah Tew / CNET

For the latest news and information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Anyone can acquire coronavirus and develop COVID-19 children, billionaires, even President Donald Trump. And wearing a face mask that covers both the nose and mouth is one way to combat the spread of a disease that has so far infected over 7.3 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and other health experts worldwide. .

As a result, mask mandate Across the United States is often applied when you can not social distance from people outside your household, such as in shops, hairdressers, schools and gas stations.

Incorrect information about face covers, however, continues to circulate throughout the country. For example, some people who are against masking wear masks masks that “cover” the nose and mouth but still allow the types of drops known to transmit the virus To pass. And others believe that they do not have to wear a mask if they do not experience symptoms – it is a myth that is not supported by leading health experts, doctors, researchers or national and international recommendations.

Here are eight myths about wearing face masks during the pandemic. This history is often updated with new information and draws recommendations from the CDC, WHO and other healthcare institutions. It is intended for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. If you think you may have coronavirus, follow these steps.

Read more: Where can I buy a face mask online now

Myth 1: Coronavirus is not real, so masking is not necessary

More than 34 million confirmed cases and over 1 million coronavirus deaths have been reported worldwide. Yet some still believe that the virus is either a nap or overblown. The United States alone has had more than 7.3 million confirmed cases and more than 210,000 deaths. “CNET’s science editor Jackson Ryan, who has a doctorate in medical clinical science, calls anti-vaccine conspiracies”dangerous and poorly informed. ”

Trump, who announced on Twitter on October 1 that he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19, has continuously said that coronavirus would disappear with or without a vaccine (it has not). In September, he said the United States would develop a “herd mentality,” as reported by The Hill. Last month, Trump also admitted that he downplayed the virus, saying, “I still like to play it down, because I do not want to panic.”

There are also conspiracy theories on social media. For example, Plandemic, a thread of videos showing false conspiracy theories, is partly responsible for spreading truths from COVID-19. These falsehoods have been repeatedly abolished by the medical and scientific communities.

If you travel in public or around people who are not in your household, use a face mask to protect yourself and others. You or the other person may be ill without your knowledge, either because you are asymptomatic, presymptomatic or mistaken mild symptoms of other causes, such as allergies. People who are easily affected can spread the virus to others, including loved ones higher risk develop severe forms of COVID-19.

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Myth 2: Masks can be made of any material as long as your face is covered

With a subset of people against the idea of ​​wearing face masks (“anti-masks”), several sellers offer online mask and lace masks to buy. The sellers claim that the masks are more breathable. But an open tissue does not fulfill the function of catching large droplets of breathing – from talking, coughing and sneezing – which may contain coronavirus. An anti-masker on Twitter claims that wearing masks is about “compliance, not safety.”

The best masks have a dense material and a filter pocket to prevent respiratory droplets from passing through the mask. The most protective masks, N95 respiratory protection, block 95% of small particles, including viruses, but during the pandemic it has been difficult to get hold of them and organizations have said that medical and healthcare professionals should get first dibs.

A study from the Journal of Hospital Infection showed that wearing a face mask reduced the risk of infection by 24% for a simple cotton blanket and up to 99% for a professional, medically filtered mask. The researchers too ranked face mask materials from most to least effective in their testing.

Read more: These face masks were made only for children


Wear a mask even when you are not experiencing symptoms.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Myth 3: Only sick people need to wear face masks

Just because you do not experience Covid19 symptom does not mean you are not sick. The CDC cites more than a dozen studies that show asymptomatic or presymptomatic people can still spread the coronavirus, even if they are not aware that they are sick.

The earliest WHO recommendations supported the view that healthy people did not have to wear masks, but after more evidence emerged, the organization updated its official recommendation.

Before tests positive for coronavirus, Trump often refused to wear face masks, even at large meetings, and relied on frequent White House tests to monitor sick people and isolate them when needed. That method did not stop Trump and others in his administration from acquiring COVID-19.

To prevent the transmission of the virus to others, it is safest to wear a mask when you are near someone who is not in your household. It helps to lower risk of spreading droplets from talking, coughing and sneezing.

There may also be growing evidence that coronavirus can be airborne, which means that it can stay in the air long enough for someone to inhale and become infected. Wearing a worm forms a barrier that traps virus-containing droplets released by the wearer. In other words, if you do not wear a worm and breathe in the same air as an infected person who also does not wear a worm, your risk of getting coronavirus increases.

Read more: MIT engineers design a reusable face mask that can be as effective as an N95

Myth 4: Wearing a medical mask causes you to inhale more carbon dioxide

When worn properly, the masks cover the bridge of the nose (above the nostrils) and extend under the chin without gaps on the sides, covering the nose and mouth completely.

Some people suggest that medical masks (also known as surgical masks) capture exhaled carbon dioxide and make you do so. inhale more carbon dioxide. The WHO says that the long-term use of surgical masks does not lead to carbon dioxide poisoning or lack of oxygen.

44-homemade-face mask

Masks are just one step in preventing the spread of coronavirus.

Anne Dujmovic / CNET

Myth 5: You do not have to have social distance if you wear a mask

People wear masks to reduce their chances of getting or spreading the coronavirus, as if they were in a crowded store, a busy restaurant or walking downtown. However, the WHO says that it is not enough to use masks to provide adequate protection. Unlike N95 masks, which undergo a certification process, there is no regulatory body that governs materials or process that goes into face masks you buy or do at home.

For example, a fabric mask with only one fabric layer is not considered as robust as a fabric mask with three layers and a filter. Meanwhile, N95 masks are certified, but after a critical shortage puts frontline workers at risk, organizations have said they should be left to health care workers.

Along with mask use, you should continue to practice physical distance, wash your hands often, and avoid touching your face.

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Myth 6: Masks weaken your immune system

This myth stems from the idea that the human immune system is strengthened by exposure to bacteria and other pathogens.

The American Lung Association says there is no scientific evidence that wearing a mask weakens the immune system. But even if someone who becomes COVID-19 is young and healthy without pre-existing conditions, there is evidence that they can and will become seriously ill or account for the spread of coronavirus. For example, in California on October 1, the age group with the most reported cases was 18-34, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Children are also at risk develops a fatal syndrome caused by coronavirus, although it is rare. It should not be taken lightly, however schools reopen to personal classes across the country.

Washing your hands and wearing a mask does not adversely affect your immune system, especially in adults who have already developed immune systems, according to Beaumont Health. If you are worried about having a weakened constitution, here it is Five Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System.

Myth 7: Fabric masks offer no protection against COVID-19

At the beginning of the pandemic, the coronavirus was so new that doctors were unsure of the extent to which wearing fabric face covers or homemade masks – compared to medical-grade surgical or N95 masks – would help prevent the virus from spreading.

Studies have since suggested that a mask over the nose and mouth acts as a physical barrier by absorbing respiratory droplets that can carry and spread coronavirus. Although a cloth cover may not completely prevent someone from acquiring coronavirus, it does make it possible to contain the virus.

Other countries that demanded the use of masks early in the pandemic have seen the spread of coronavirus slow down, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Myth 8: You do not have to wear a mask outside

Spending time outdoors may be safer due to better air circulation, but you should still wear a mask in areas where physical distance is not possible. For example, if you are walking on a busy path or if you are in an amusement park. As of August, more than half of Americans still do not wear masks outdoors, according to a Gallup poll.

You do not have to wear a mask outdoors if you run in a secluded area or if you spend time in your own garden with the people you live with. However, if you are planning to go to a crowded outdoor area, you should be asked to wear a mask.

Do you need more information about face masks? Here is where you can buy one online, how to make your face mask more comfortable and that best and worst materials to protect against coronavirus.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health problem.

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