It might be time to think again if you’re in the no-mask-camp. Since Canada’s top doc, Dr. Theresa Tam, told Canadians to wear non-medical face coverings back in May, the rumours and myths about face masks and coverings have reached conspiracy levels.
But the fact is, wearing a mask can slow the spread of coronavirus in the community, and no myth or misinformation can change that.
But we can bust the myths! Here’s a few that just don’t stand up to scientific scrutiny.
Myth: Masks will make me sick from carbon dioxide
Fact: The levels of CO2 that can accumulate in your mask are insignificant for most. Your mask is designed to stop aerosols and particles, not your ability to breathe properly. That’s why doctors, nurses and other health professionals can wear masks for many hours every day without falling ill from carbon dioxide poisoning.
Myth: Mask don’t work
Fact: This myth is understandable because of the mixed messages we received at the start of the pandemic. But now, science is proving that masks do, in fact, work. With the help of researchers and a bunch of cuddly hamsters, face masks were shown to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 by 60%. When those in masks did become infected, they had lower viral loads than those not wearing masks.
Myth: A mask alone will keep me safe
Fact: Masks are a valuable tool in the fight against the spread of Covid-19, but they’re just one tool. To be as safe as possible, we should all consider masks along with frequent hand washing, avoiding crowded areas and events, and physical distancing as much as we can.
Myth: Mandatory face coverings are an affront to my civil liberties.
Fact: Okay, this one's not science, but no, no they’re not. Face coverings in a pandemic are no more egregious to our personal rights than clothing, seat belts, stop signs, and legal drinking ages. These mandatory social rules are in place to protect each other and to protect ourselves. Mandatory mask requirements are no different.
Will you rethink the whole mask issue? Hopefully we all will, because it's up to each of us to keep everyone else safe.