Opinion: Masks can be dangerous


Madysen Krug, Writer

In Lincoln Park, New Jersey, a driver of a single-car crash is believed to have passed out while driving due to wearing an N-95 for too long. Lincoln Park Police Department responded to an accident on Thursday where a vehicle careened, front bumper first, into a wooden pole. Reports have said that the driver was wearing the mask several hours prior to the accident and passed out at the wheel due to insufficient oxygen intake/excessive carbon dioxide intake. This is not the only evidence that mask wearing can be dangerous. 

Masks are not only a harm to humans, but to wildlife as well. Studies show that disposable masks are harming wildlife because the straps of carelessly discarded masks are getting tangled in animals’ legs. Dolphins, turtles and other marine animals can easily choke or suffer from fatal bowel obstructions when they mistake personal protective equipment for food. 

Recently in China, two teenage boys died because they were running laps in gym class with a mask on. Wearing a mask while playing sports, working out or undergoing any physical activity is extremely dangerous. According to Dr. Leong Hoe Nam, an infectious disease expert at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, wearing a mask during a workout can be very harmful to a person’s health. She says when people put on a mask, there is a resistance in breathing, making the exercise more strenuous and can easily trigger a heart attack. Instead of wearing a mask, it would be more intelligent to stay six feet from people at the gyms or to limit exercise to outside activities. 

Wearing a mask can make it difficult for anyone to breathe, but especially for people with conditions like asthma. Dr. Connolly says that right now the best way for a person with asthma to prevent from getting seriously ill from Covid-19 is to avoid exposure to the new coronavirus altogether by social distancing and wearing a mask. While several other sources have said people with asthma should stay at home, avoid travel and have friends or family run errands for them. How is that fair? People with this condition should be able to live their lives just like everyone else. They shouldn’t have to stay home and quarantine themselves. 

People should not have to wear masks. Especially in situations that could be harmful to people’s health. When people stay six feet apart, they are practicing social distancing, a healthy and safer alternative while wearing a mask is not.