Risks of wearing a mask

Do you know the risks of wearing a mask? They are not to breathe the CO 2 that we exhale or to become submissive. Know the real risks.

Risks associated with the use of a mask

The mask is the shield that we wear to minimize the risk of contagion in our daily contact with other people. However, wearing the mask also carries risks that we must take into account.

  • Viral or bacterial pneumonia derived from the misuse of masks: The use of masks is mandatory, but it is very important to use them correctly, which includes washing them continuously or using disposable masks only for the time recommended for them. Otherwise, not only will the mask lose effectiveness but bacteria will accumulate. When inhaled, they can cause pneumonia that has nothing to do with the coronavirus.
  • Touching the mask or face too much: Having a foreign element on the face makes us put our hand to the face often. Either to reposition the mask or by simple instinct, the fact is that we do it and this can be somewhat counterproductive. That we put our hand to our face or touch the mask too much carries a risk of contagion equal to or greater than that we would expose ourselves to do without it.

The Peltzman effect

Have you heard of the Peltzman effect? This is the thesis of an economist, professor at the University of Chicago, in relation to human behavior when they assume a new security measure. The economist Sam Peltzman studied the relationship it has on human behavior in the face of a new security measure. Apparently, when we acquire a new security measure, we are less strict with others.

Sam Peltzman studied the behavior and outcome of around 3 laws in the United States. One of them, the use of seat belts in cars, is known to reduce the fatality of many accidents and to increase the accidents derived from speeding. That is, when we get used to wearing a seatbelt, we start to run more.

Thus, according to the Peltzman effect, the incorporation of the use of a mask has made us relax before other security measures. In fact, it has been possible to study a trend between the use of masks and less hand hygiene among people who use them.

Mask yes, information too

The conclusion of all this can not lead us to dispense with security measures. The seat belt saves lives, the mask greatly slows the outbreaks of the pandemic, the coronavirus tests avoid risks in contact with others. However, we must add the information to this equation. Knowing how to use the mask, being aware that wearing it does not automatically make us immune, and not neglecting other basic security measures is, without a doubt, the key to protecting ourselves (and our environment) against this new threat.

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