Since the beginning of the pandemic, governments worldwide are seen to encourage the public to wear face masks. As COVID-19 transmission occurs through respiratory droplets, a face mask is the first line of defense against it and therefore important.
While most people comply and wear face masks in public, there are still those who don’t.
Megan Hill is a doctor who witnessed several people say they couldn’t wear face masks because they struggled to breathe with it. It pushed her to plan a small experiment to find out whether different types of masks do hinder breathing.
She took to Facebook to share the results of the experiment, ever since then her post has gone viral.
In her experiment, she chose four different scenarios. In the four scenarios, she included one with no mask, one with a surgical mask, one with an N95 mask, and an N95 plus surgical mask.
The last mask, N95 plus, is a mask she says most healthcare workers in the US prefer to wear. From this experiment, she thus aimed to find results to support the wearing of face masks.
She wore each mask for a duration of five minutes and at the end of each period, she measured her heart rate and oxygen saturation. Previously she had been wearing a surgical mask for five hours a day at work.
The results from her experiment answered the doubts and suspicions of many people who were wary of wearing a mask. She found little change in heart rate and oxygen in all of the four scenarios she recorded.
Without a mask, her oxygen saturation measured to be 98 percent and her heart rate was at 64 beats per minute.
When she wore a surgical mask, there was no change in oxygen level but her heart rate did increase to 68.
Both the mask N95 and N95 plus gave an oxygen saturation reading of 99 percent but the heart rate was steady at 69 beats per minute.
Megan spoke about the experiment saying the difference recorded isn’t significant enough for concern. While she admits that it may feel uncomfortable she stresses that it does not deter breathing and should be worn regardless.
She urged people to wear a mask so that people who can’t wear one can be protected against the lethal coronavirus. She pointed out many of her patients could not wear a mask because they were under the age of two. Such children need protection and only those who wear masks can give it to them by limiting the risk of transmission.
She asserts the fact that to wear a face mask one does not need much effort and therefore is only the easiest way one can save the lives of many others.
Her post received massive support and over 32,000 people shared it with other people. The message also garnered 15,000 likes proving people’s concern over the matter. Most users expressed how not wearing a mask was selfish given Megan’s results that show how safe it is. Her efforts will stand as proof that wearing a mask is really the easiest way to limit transmission.