Debunking myths about face masks

| | Sumit Roy

The spread of COVID-19 can be restricted by wearing a face mask, along with a combination of various precautions such as washing hands frequently and social distancing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests wearing a face mask while being in public settings. Though, a number of misinformation has spread through online mediums regarding the use of face mask. In this article, we will be debunking some myths about face mask.  

Myth 1: I will not wear a mask if I’m not sick 

In layman’s terms, wearing a face mask helps in decreasing the spread of COVID-19 virus. It has been found in research that a significant number of people with COVID-19 infection lack symptoms. Unknowingly, they are transmitting the virus to other people while coughing, sneezing, talking, or shouting. Wearing a face mask will help in reducing the transmission of the virus through respiratory droplets around you. Therefore, it is essential for you to wear a face mask in order to protect others, and they should wear to protect you.  

Myth 2: A cloth face mask won’t protect you from the COVID-19 virus 

A cloth face mask is worn by an individual to protect others in case he has the virus. Countries aware of the requirement of wearing a face mask, social distancing, isolation, and testing early in the pandemic period, achieved success in slowing the spread of the disease. Some protection is better than none. Cloth face masks help in reducing the microbial particulates while sneezing, coughing, and talking. The total number of microbial particulates present in the air reduces when more individuals wear a face mask, helping in reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread.  

Myth 3: Face mask increases the carbon dioxide amount while breathing and will result to sickness 

For years, healthcare providers use face masks for extended periods with no serious health reactions.  While breathing, carbon dioxide easily diffuses through your mask. In case you feel uncomfortable with your mask, try to talk less and breathe more through your nose. This process will help in reducing the level of humidity in your mask.  

Myth 4: Wearing a face mask will reduce the need for social distancing 

To wear a face mask is just one step in reducing the COVID-19 spread. Apart from this, one should continue practising the behaviours below as well.  

  • Limit physical meetings.  
  • Prefer staying at home if not feeling well.  
  • Maintaining a physical distance of at least 6 feet from other people.  
  • Practice washing your hands with soap, more often.  
  • If facing COVID-19 symptoms get a test or call your healthcare provider.  
  • If being around someone who tested positive or is sick, self-isolate.  

Myth 5: Wearing a mask is harmful while exercising 

If you wear a face mask while exercising, you might have felt lack of enough air. This may be scary but is not harmful. Researches recommend that wearing a face mask while exercising will not make you have low oxygen or high carbon dioxide. Though, wearing a face mask while working out is not safe for people having lung or cardiac disease. Exercise leads to an increased heart rate and breathing takes a little more effort while wearing a mask, which also increases heart rate.


Wearing a face mask is completely safe and effective. While being in an indoor public place, wearing a mask is highly essential.  Though, there is not much we can do to control the pandemic, we can definitely protect ourselves and others by wearing a face mask.   


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