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Doc Dons Six Masks To Prove They Don't Affect Oxygen Levels

The anti-mask movement has a litany of reasons why they don't want to wear them - some see face masks as a symbol of oppression and tyranny, some question their effectiveness, and some say they can't breathe while wearing one.

To counter this last point at least, one doctor in Dublin, Ireland decided to put on not just one mask while measuring his oxygen levels, but six.

Dr. Maitiu O Tuathail said that he had been getting a lot of questions about face masks lowering oxygen levels recently.

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Doctors, and especially surgeons, often have to wear masks for a good portion of their day, so it's pretty safe to say that masks don't lower oxygen levels.

A surgeon performing an 18-hour operation on a patient's brain while suffering from hypoxia or hypoexemia, which causes symptoms like confusion and an increased heart rate, would not be a good mix, after all. Any mask that caused such a condition would have been banned from operating theaters long ago.

Nevertheless, the good doctor was game to provide proof that wearing a mask - or even six - won't lower a person's oxygen levels.

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So, he set up his camera, hooked himself up to an oxygen monitor, and started putting on masks. As the layers of masks built up, the monitor showed that his oxygen levels didn't waver.

They didn't even budge a bit.

Even with a sixth face mask on, Maitiu's levels remained the same.

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He sure didn't look great with all those masks wrapped around his face, and his ears must have been pretty uncomfortable, but his lungs were doing just fine.

Maitiu is far from the only medical professional to demonstrate that masks don't restrict breathing.

Dr. Mark Lewis, a medical oncologist and director of gastrointestinal oncology at Utah's Intermountain Healthcare, even put on an entire box of face masks before measuring his oxygen levels. Even when wearing 30 masks, Dr. Lewis's oxygen levels remained robust and well within normal ranges, Forbes reported.

"I wanted to highlight the absurdity of the hypoxia argument from wearing PPE. Essentially since we learned about antiseptic procedures and germ theory from Ignaz Semmelweis and Joseph Lister we’ve been using coverings of one sort or another to avoid transmitting infection as healthcare workers," he said.

It's an important myth to debunk in the age of COVID-19.

The data backs up the adoption of mask-wearing among the general public. In countries where wearing masks has been culturally adopted, coronavirus case numbers and deaths have been relatively low compared to those where mask wearing is not a traditional practice.

CDC director Robert Redfield also said that mask wearing is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19.

"I really do believe if the American public all embraced masking now and we really did it, you know, rigorously ... I think if we can get everybody to wear a mask right now, I really do think over the next four to six, eight weeks, we can bring this epidemic under control," he said, according to ABC News.