Like most of you, I detest having to wear a mask. They are uncomfortable in this hot weather, and I sweat beneath the mask something awful. I am an asthmatic, and I think too, that probably affects my psychological perspective, and consequently, my breathing, which becomes laboured and somewhat desperate. Or maybe it is not all in my head…
The Centers Disease Control in the United States says, “If you have a chronic respiratory condition such as asthma, covering your mouth and nose can be especially challenging. The physical barrier of the mask makes it harder to take in air; it also traps some carbon dioxide as you exhale, which means you end up breathing in air that is warmer and moister. Add a compromised respiratory system to the equation and a mask can feel downright suffocating”.
Founder of the Asthma and Chest Foundation, Professor Gregory Erhabor, added “Asthmatics, could react to some of the materials used in the masks, which could serve as irritants and provoke an (allergic) attack. This could be idiosyncratic and patients may react in different ways. Some asthmatics can become claustrophobic and breathless, so a mask will worsen their condition. Also, wearing masks may result in hypoxia, with subsequent difficulty in breathing”.
I noted that the various consequences of hypoxia include inflammation and swelling of the airways, destruction of lung tissue, called alveoli, restricted blood flow affecting heart and brain health, hypercapnia, which is the excessive retention of carbon dioxide in the lungs. Untreated, hypoxia can lead to depression and mood swings, fatigue, headaches, hypertension, pulmonary hypertension, an increase in red blood cells, polycythemia, respiratory or heart failure.
If I wasn’t already a ‘cot-case’, I am now, as David Abrams, a New York University psychologist, suggests that many of us “don’t like to wear masks because it shows that we are afraid for the consequences of COVID-19, and of course, especially we ‘alpha males,’ don’t want to show fear!”
Hmmmm… So, I am being paranoid about my health… and I cannot see through these fogged-up glasses!
Let’s be completely clear! The reason for using masks is to prevent those who are infected with COVID-19 from infecting the community, because some people can be carriers without being symptomatic, and the reason we must do that is because far too many of you/us have flouted the recommendations and directives of the Supreme Committee… and remarkably… too many still do! It is not good enough!