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One of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 is to wear a mask when you are around others. It’s why we require everyone to wear a mask in all Phoebe facilities, and it’s why Phoebe has purchased 220,000 reusable masks to distribute to our staff and throughout the community. We care about your wellbeing, and we take our responsibility to educate and protect our community seriously.

Unfortunately, misinformation about face coverings is rampant. Here are some of the most common myths and misconceptions.

Myth: Masks don’t work.

FACT: When worn properly, fully covering your mouth and nose, cloth face coverings and surgical masks offer effective protection against the spread of COVID-19. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked at a hair salon in Missouri where two stylists saw dozens of patients after developing symptoms which were later confirmed as COVID-19. Because both stylists and their customers wore masks during their interactions, no customers got sick. When you wear a mask, you receive some protection from inhaling infected droplets. You also drastically reduce the respiratory droplets you release when you talk, cough or sneeze. That is important because, if you are infected, you can spread the virus before you realize you are sick.

Myth: Wearing a mask can make you sick.

FACT: Carbon dioxide passes through a mask. It does not build up, and it will not make you dizzy or give you a headache. There is also no evidence that masks lead to fungal or bacterial infections or weaken your immune system.

Myth: I won’t be able to breath if I wear a mask.

FACT: Wearing a mask does not measurably reduce your oxygen intake. If you’ve ever had surgery, you know every member of your surgical team wore a mask for the entire procedure. I can assure you, they were all able to breathe just fine and got plenty of oxygen.

Myth: If I wear a mask, I don’t need to physically distance.

FACT: Wearing a mask and avoiding close contact with others are both important. Each measure offers protection individually, and they work even better when practiced together.

Myth: COVID-19 isn’t real or is no worse than the flu, so wearing a mask is pointless.

FACT: More than 170,000 deaths from COVID-19 have been confirmed in the U.S. in less than six months. That’s nearly five times the average number of estimated influenza deaths in an entire year. COVID-19 most certainly is real and dangerous, and it continues to spread in our community. While some people who are infected may only suffer mild symptoms, many others will die or suffer long-lasting impacts.

Phoebe has been working closely with the Sherwood Baptist Church Hope Center to distribute masks to those who need them. If your family, church or organization needs masks, you can call the Hope Center at 229-883-1910 to requests masks or find out a schedule of upcoming distribution events.

We all need to do our part to help win our collective fight against COVID-19. We urge you to wear a mask in public, avoid close contact with others and practice proper hand hygiene. Those are unquestionably the right steps to take to keep yourself, your family and our community safe.