Anti-maskers are all too common in the United States, especially in lesser populated areas where they cannot see the effects of COVID-19 first hand. After extensive research on their beliefs through popular anti-mask hashtags on Twitter, here are their fundamental points for why they will not wear a mask, debunked using highly reliable and scientific sources.
1. As long as I stay six feet away from others, I do not need to wear a mask.
While staying six feet away from others is a good idea, it might not always be enough. To understand why, it’s essential to know how coronavirus travels from person to person. COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets that contain the virus, and if people are within close contact with each other, less then six feet. However, an air current has the ability to make the virus travel further than six feet.
This occurred at a restaurant in Guangzhou China equipped with an air conditioning system. The air current was the likey culprit that caused COVID-19 to successfully travel from one person infected with the virus to another, even though they were further than the six-foot mandate. A more recent example of COVID-19 traveling further than six feet was at a slaughterhouse in Germany. The virus traveled from one person to another, a stunning twenty-six foot gap.
Although epidemiologists did not yet reach a consensus on how this was possible, it was likely due to the cold temperature combined with the stale air environment. Based on this research, it is essential to wear a mask indoors, even if you are socially distancing.
2. Masks create a buildup of carbon dioxide which could cause Hypercapnia.
Heavier duty face coverings such as N-95 masks may cause a small buildup of carbon dioxide, but it is not nearly enough to cause harm. On the other hand, lighter duty masks such as cloth masks have no carbon dioxide buildup because the carbon dioxide molecules are small enough to pass through the fabric. That being said, if the user has any preexisting medical conditions that may influence breathing or is under the age of two, the CDC advises them not to wear masks.
If you have extreme difficulty breathing while wearing a face covering, consider purchasing a face shield. Face shields do not constrict the users breathing like a face mask may. Many pharmacies and online markets sell face shields. If a face shield is not an option for you, talk to your doctor for the best next steps. Avoid arguing with store managers about the policies they have over face masks, as it will only make the situation worse.
If you do not have a doctor or are unable to reach them, take advantage of curbside pick-up programs that many stores offer or delivery programs that bring food orders directly to your house. By using contactless food delivery methods, you are better protecting workers at the stores, especially if you cannot wear a face covering.
3. Businesses enforcing mandatory face coverings infringes on my rights.
Just like how citizens have the right to freedom, businesses can refuse service to anyone, even without reason, unless the government says otherwise. One of the most notable preexisting examples of this is the “No shirt, no shoes, no service” rule enforced by many businesses.
Some state and local governments banned the right for businesses to refuse service to those who do not wear a face covering. Even though it may be legal to go mask-less while at businesses in those areas, it is still possible to spread or receive COVID-19, and laws do not change that.
4. Masks offer no protection to me, it says so on the box.
Face coverings do not guarantee that the user is safe from coronavirus, and the primary purpose of wearing them is not to protect the user but to protect others from the user. Masks limit how far respiratory droplets can travel from the user, which decreases the likelihood that others can contract COVID-19 if the user has it. Mask producers put this claim on their box to make that clear, although it is not entirely correct.
Firstly, masks help the user not touch their face, making it harder to get COVID-19 from touching an infected surface. Secondly, new research shows that masks limit the amount of COVID-19 particles that can enter the body. It is unknown how many individual virus particles humans need to become sick, but we know that the less people get exposed to, the less likely they will get sick.
In conclusion, everyone must wear a mask, whether they like it or not, as by not, they are putting others at risk. Nearly every day, the US reaches a new high of cases. This trend will continue unless everyone starts realizing the drastic dangers of COVID-19 and steps up to take action. We need to take care of our communities — and our world.
Ignoring the fact that coronavirus exists will not do anything but harm our future. It is already unlikely that we will return to the way things were before patient zero, but we can lessen the viruses impact if we all do one, simple task. Wear a mask.
Carlton, Jim. “Mandatory Mask Laws Aren’t Enforced as Coronavirus Continues to Spread.” The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, 17 July 2020, https://tinyurl.com/FCFMMD1.
Cobb, James C. “History Shows We Can’t Go Back to ‘Normal’ After Coronavirus.” Time, Time, 27 Apr. 2020, https://tinyurl.com/FCFMMD2.
Dunn, Adrienne. “Fact Check: Wearing a Face Mask Will Not Cause Hypoxia, Hypoxemia or Hypercapnia.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 1 June 2020, https://tinyurl.com/FCFMMD3.
Durisin, Megan. “Virus Can Travel 26 Feet at Cold Meat Plants With Stale Air.” Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg, 23 July 2020, https://tinyurl.com/FCFMMD4.
Karimi, Faith, and Caroline Matthews. “Here’s Why Some Businesses Can Deny You Service — but Others Can’t.” CNN, Cable News Network, 30 June 2018, https://tinyurl.com/FCFMMD5.
Katz, Josh, et al. “A Detailed Map of Who Is Wearing a Mask in the U.S.” The New York Times, 17 June 2020, https://tinyurl.com/FCFMMD6.
“Killer COVID-19 Masks? The Truth About Trapped Carbon Dioxide.” Hartford HealthCare, Hartford HealthCare, 22 June 2020, https://tinyurl.com/FCFMMD7.
Lu, Jianyun, et al. “COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with Air Conditioning in Restaurant, Guangzhou, China, 2020 — Volume 26, Number 7-July 2020 — Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal — CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, July 2020, https://tinyurl.com/FCFMMD8.
Nashwa, Bawab. “A Viral Image Posing a Misleading Question Has Made the Rounds Online.” WUSA9, WUSA9, 25 June 20AD, https://tinyurl.com/FCFMMD9.
Padilla, Mariel. “Who’s Wearing a Mask? Women, Democrats and City Dwellers.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 2 June 2020, https://tinyurl.com/FCFMMD10.
Powell, Alvin. “Air Conditioning May Be Factor in COVID-19 Spread in the South.” Harvard Gazette, Harvard Gazette, 30 June 2020, https://tinyurl.com/FCFMMD11.