Masking the problems

The belief that masks are bad is entirely false

Sophomore+Macy+Maynard+practices+tennis+while+wearing+her+face+mask.+Whether+people+like+it+or+not%2C+masks+are+required+on+and+off+of+campus+to+help+prevent+the+spread+of+COVID-19.

Photo by Abby Bunch

Sophomore Macy Maynard practices tennis while wearing her face mask. Whether people like it or not, masks are required on and off of campus to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Story by Katey Pappas, staff writer

Amidst the wonderful COVID-19 pandemic, a common misconception that has been going around is that masks cause health issues. Just the other day, I had a family friend— an adult— try to tell my parents that people would die from masks because “they give you CO2 poisoning.” This is a very false statement. Masks are helping people stay safe. No, doctors aren’t telling you to wear them so they can “take away your rights.” No, the CDC isn’t putting out false information to make the president look bad. They are trying to keep people from spreading germs. 

If you are going out on the town, wearing masks shouldn’t even be a choice. And guess what? Many people who have knowledge in medicine, science and humans believe that wearing a mask is not too terrible.

 Recently, several doctors have done experiments in which they test their oxygen levels while they are wearing a mask. In a very interesting experiment, Dr. Tom Lawton from the Bradford Royal Infirmary in Yorkshire, England ran miles with a mask on. According to ABC News, “The ICU doctor, who is also an avid runner, masked up and set out for an 8-mile jog to work while monitoring his oxygen levels through a pulse oximeter — a medical device that measures oxygen saturation in a person’s red blood cells. Lawton said that his oxygen level never fell below 98%. Any value above 95% is considered normal.” This is just one of the few examples that shows that wearing a mask doesn’t cause any harm to a healthy person’s body. 

Another question that people have been wondering is “What if I have claustrophobia or a respiratory-related health condition?” There is a simple answer to this: Just try not to go out. If you already have breathing issues, you probably don’t need to be catching COVID on top of that. According to the CDC, the following shouldn’t wear face coverings: Children under 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. 

If you have a job or a school that requires you to go out and you are not able to wear a mask, you probably should just talk to your boss about alternative options or try to wear another type of face covering. If you are violently ill or are at risk of dying, then it won’t matter if you work or learn anyway. 

In the end, wearing a mask seems to be the most logical option compared to not wearing one. From the study above, it seems like the only way you will be harmed by a mask is if you have an uncommon, preexisting health condition or you somehow manage to choke on your mask and die. 

The best thing that everyone can do right now is be safe, wear a mask, be smart and just stay at home if you don’t want to wear one. After all, you wear a seatbelt when you get in the car. It’s simply the law.