I have observed several potential dangers while wearing a mask during this Wuhan Flu pandemic. I noticed this soon after people started wearing masks out there.
Three specific dangers are very clear to me. And I will try to explain what I mean below. They are fidgeting, low oxygen, and a false sense of security.
[ I am not suggesting that you do not wear a mask ]
As I see it, one of the biggest dangers of wearing a mask is…
Fidgeting With The Mask
People are near constantly fidgeting, adjusting, shifting their face masks. I don’t blame them. Because it’s a pain in the a$$ dealing with them and their “fit”.
Many of them are difficult to breathe with. Plus there’s always trouble with the fit, how it goes over the nose, and so on. Try wearing a mask while wearing glasses — the glasses tend to fog up. But here’s the danger…
If Covid-19 Coronavirus is out there, on surfaces (for example), you’re more likely to get that virus right into your body (from contaminated surfaces) than if you were not wearing a mask.
Why? Because you’re fidgeting with the mask — and it gets in through your eyes, nose, or mouth. “If” the virus gets on your hands (for whatever reason or source) then all that mask fidgeting is going to place that virus right on your face. NOT GOOD!
Here’s another thought. “If” Let’s say that a Covid-carrier sneezed in the area that you’re walking in the grocery store. Not long afterwards you happen to walk through the invisible aerosol cloud. Some of the virus gets on your mask. Well, 99% of the people I see will reuse that same mask. Take it off, hang it over the car’s rear-view mirror (or wherever). So what do you think is now on your hands, having handled your contaminated mask?
Breathing Your Own Carbon Dioxide
I can’t stand breathing my own carbon dioxide. It’s suffocating. It is a proven fact that one’s oxygen levels are reduced while wearing a mask. A Pulse Oximeter will confirm this.
I have read reports of professional measuring equipment being used to test carbon dioxide levels inside a mask and oxygen levels of the person. In many instances levels were in the “dangerous” zones.
Logically these effects will vary depending on the mask itself, the person, and their activity level.
Wearing a mask for long periods of time can’t be good for you in this regard.
Masks Are Causing A False Sense Of Security
The vast majority of the common public believe that wearing “a mask” is the best thing you can do to avoid getting the Wuhan Flu.
This is not true. The best thing you can do is not touch your face (eyes/nose/mouth), and to wash your hands (properly).
There are all sorts of masks. Look around. You’ll see an endless parade of mask styles. But here’s the critical thing… nearly ALL of those masks will NOT block the Covid-19 virus.
“Hey Ken, how’s that?”
Virus Size versus Mask Material
Well, wrap your head around this fact… The Covid-19 coronavirus is about 0.12 microns in diameter (a slight range of + or -).
Most people that I see are wearing some sort of cloth mask, dust mask, or neck gaitors of varying fabrics. Very rarely do I see anyone wearing a “real” N95 mask (I’ll explain that one in a minute).
The weave of a cloth mask, dust mask, varying fabrics… Though it may seem tight, in reality (if you could see it under a powerful microscope), it’s enormous when compared with the virus itself. Generally speaking you might compare it to using a chain link fence on your porch to keep out mosquitoes.
The first thing people may argue about in this regard is that the virus typically will be attached to water droplets. And the water droplets are easily stopped by a cloth mask. While that may be largely true, there are two things to consider…
One, Not every virus particle may be attached to something else (e.g. water droplet).
Two, If the virus lands on your mask attached to an aerosolized water droplet, what happens when the water evaporates / dries out? Maybe you guessed it — that virus will get sucked right into your mouth when you breathe. Seems logical.
Okay, the N95 mask. It does have the ability to filter down to the approximate size of the Covid-19 virus. It’s close. It protects with 95% efficiency, which is where it gets its name. That means (if it’s worn correctly) there’s still a 5% chance of getting in. But like I said earlier, I rarely see anyone wearing a real N95 mask out there.
While taking precautions is excellent, especially for those who are vulnerable, I caution about the false sense of security that wearing a mask is providing the common public. I believe that it is encouraging too much hands to the face fidgeting with the mask. I believe that most masks people wear may be useless when it comes to actually stopping the 0.1 micron virus. Additionally, low oxygen levels for long periods of time are not good for one’s own health and immune system.
Wearing a mask does have its advantages if you happen to be in proximity with the virus. I certainly would be happy to have been wearing a mask if a Covid-carrier sneezed next to me! Though I would immediately leave the area and dispose of that mask!
Another benefit to wearing a mask is if YOU yourself happen to have the active virus. A mask will help reduce coughing/sneezing/exhaling it into the room. However I’ve read that asymptomatic spreaders are rare (I believe someone at the WHO said that).
I am not suggesting that wearing a mask is a useless endeavor. Rather, I’m pointing out what I view as some of the risks that people may not realize.
[ Read: How Long Covid-19 Stays On Surfaces ]