4 News Now Q&A: Debunking face mask myths

Myth No. 1: Wearing a mask won’t really protect me from the virus

According to research from the University of Washington, the latest projection says more than 179,000 Americans will die by October 1. But as the green line on this graphic shows, universal mask wearing could help save more than 33,000 lives by October 1.

“For pretty much every state that we’ve looked at if we can get people to wear masks we can not only saves lives but I sort of think of it as we can also save the economy because we can keep business going,” said Dr. Chris Murray, University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

A different study, published in the Journal of Health Affairs, shows wearing face masks in public prevented as many as 450,000 new cases of Coronavirus. Researchers estimate between 230,000 and 450,000 cases of the virus were prevented in the states that enacted requirements for mask use between April 8 and May 15.

The longer the mandates were in place, the higher the reduction in COVID-19 cases.

Myth No. 2: We’ll still see positive results, even if people are not wearing masks

Health experts want to remind you that if your nose is not covered by your mask, you’re wearing it wrong.

They said COVID-19 actually attaches to receptors in the nose, which is a gateway to the body. Scientists have found that specific cells in the nose have high levels of the proteins that the virus uses to get into our cells.

To ensure you’re protecting others from infection, make sure the mask covers your mouth and nose.

Research shows wearing a face mask in public can prevent us from getting sick while also protecting other people from infection.

Myth No. 3: Wearing a face mask will make me feel sick in other ways

According to health officials from the CDC, Hypercapnia is the medical term for breathing in carbon dioxide. Some symptoms include dizziness, fatigue and feeling short of breath.

Experts say carbon dioxide will slowly build up in the mask over time. However, breathing in high amounts is very unlikely.

Most people can tolerate the levels, especially if you’re only wearing a mask for an hour or two. You might get a mild headache, but healthcare workers say it’s unlikely you’ll suffer from Hypercapnia.

Myth No. 4: Being required to wear my mask is violating my rights

The American Bar Association says the 10th Amendment gives states the authority to take public health emergency actions. That would include setting quarantines and business restrictions.

Businesses not allowing customers to come in without mask is also okay. Think of the term ‘No shoes, no shirt, no service. It’s the same concept, but with masks.

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