There have been a lot of videos of people crying about how a mask makes them feel “suffocated” and they refuse to wear them in public, even though they’re incredibly helpful in the effort to slow the spread of coronavirus. Well, what would actually slow the coronavirus is if the government canceled rent and handed out some stimulus checks and let people actually stay home. A mask will have to do since there’s no real government intervention!
In some states, masks aren’t even required, but in the ones that are people are putting up quite the fuss. And Dr. Megan Hall is tired of it. In a viral Facebook post, Hall decided to finally address and disprove the rumors that masks interfere with breathing. She writes:
Hi friends! I have seen numerous posts and heard people complain they “can’t breathe with a mask on” or they won’t wear one because “oxygen levels drop dramatically while wearing a mask”. Also, “a mask doesn’t protect you from breathing in the virus” but in the same sentence argue they won’t wear one because they are “rebreathing their exhaled carbon dioxide”. 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”? Viruses need a vector to spread, COVID-19’s vector is respiratory droplets, those droplets aren’t readily getting through a properly worn mask.
To prove that this weird backward logic is incorrect, Hall did an experiment with different masks. She wore each one for five minutes, then checked her oxygen levels and heart rate using a noninvasive pulse oximetry. She’s already spent about five hours in a surgical mask while on the job, but she took it off to give the baseline reading. In her post, the oxygen levels are expressed through percentages, and the heart rate by HR.
No mask: 98%, HR 64
There isn’t really much of a difference between all four mask/no mask options. Hall writes, “There is no significant change in my oxygen saturation (or HR) in any scenario. Though maybe inconvenient for some, you can still breathe.”
She added, “As a physician, I urge you and ask you to please wear a mask to protect yourself and those who cannot safely wear a mask (many of my patients because they are under 2 years old). Unless you are face down with a knee on your neck, I’m confident you can still breathe.”
You tell ’em, doctor.
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