Make Up Your Mind!

The lies and misinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic can be comical at times.

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According to some people who don’t like masks, masks don’t work against the novel coronavirus that is causing the COVID-19 pandemic. They say that infections still happen even when people wear masks, so there’s no sense in wearing them. When they are opposed with evidence, they quickly move the goalposts and say that masks hurt people by keeping oxygen out or carbon dioxide in.

I wish they would make up their minds.

Viruses are much bigger than the molecules of oxygen or carbon dioxide. It’s not even close. According to the Franklin Institute:

“A micron is a millionth of a meter; for reference, the width of a single human hair is generally anywhere between 17–180 microns. Using high-powered electron microscopy to take pictures of the virus, scientists have determined that the coronavirus is about 0.1 microns in diameter.

Remember how the coronavirus is about 0.1 microns wide? A molecule of carbon dioxide is about 0.00033 microns wide, and oxygen is about the same — almost a thousand times smaller. No molecule that small will get trapped in a mask. To help us picture the difference, let’s estimate that the period you see at the end of this sentence is about 1 millimeter wide. If we pretend that the…

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René F. Najera, MPH, DrPH

DrPH in Epidemiology. Associate/JHBSPH. Adjunct/GMU. Epidemiologist. Father. Husband. (He/Him/His/El)