Doctor Runs 22 Miles in a Face Mask to Disprove False Claims
By now, you probably know that one of the best ways to limit the spread of coronavirus as the pandemic continues is to wear a face mask in public. In the beginning, there was some controversy surrounding the act, but now time and time again, experts are telling us that it’s vital to help save lives.
Just take this experiment that a scientist conducted to explain how masks work. To show that they block respiratory droplets that come from your mouth and throat, he sneezed, sang, talked and coughed into a culture plate with or without a mask, which crated bacteria colonies. Guess which had the least?
The thing is, wearing a mask isn’t exactly comfortable. That’s why so many people don’t like wearing them. Some have even thrown temper tantrums about having to wear them in stores with clear mask policies or have complained that they make it hard to breathe.
But despite the drama, doctors have gone through lengths to help people understand just how masks can help keep everyone around us healthy—and that they do much more good than bad.
One doctor wanted to see if wearing masks affected people’s heart rates and oxygen levels. She decided to wear four different masks for five minutes each to see if it were true. Spoiler alert: It’s not.
And now, another expert did his own version of an experiment to show how a face mask won’t deplete your oxygen levels.
Tom Lawton, an ICU doctor from the United Kingdom, decided that he would run a marathon in order to show everyone he can breathe fine in a mask.
— CTV News (@CTVNews) August 2, 2020
“I work in intensive care, I know physiology so I knew that this wasn’t true,” he said. “I thought: How can I demonstrate it? How can I reassure people who would like to do their bit and wear a mask but are scared?” Lawton told CTV News.
During the 35K race (about 21.74 miles), he monitored his oxygen levels using a pulse oximeter. This was able to track how the mask impacted his breathing.
Every half hour he’d use the oximeter to check his oxygen. Any reading over 95% would’ve been considered normal, but he even exceeded that.. “The [reading was] 98 to 99 all the time, completely normal oxygen levels all the way,” he said.
See? No problems breathing, even when sprinting across a finish line.
Lawton wants everyone to know that he completely understands that wearing a mask isn’t super comfortable, but its’ the only way we’re going to be able to get through this pandemic as quickly as possible.
“It’s certainly unpleasant and I feel for the people who don’t like wearing them, but this is one of the things that’s going to help us,” he said.
Do you struggle with wearing a mask when you go out in public? Do you have any tips for people who feel like they can’t breathe through them?