Local doctor says masks aren’t used properly, not helping

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maskThe Centers for Disease Control is recommending Americans wear face masks to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

But a local doctor says the masks are not being used properly, and that is likely causing as much harm as it is helping.

“Masks can help in limiting the spread of the virus, but 99% of people in Denton County don’t wear or dispose of them appropriately, which increases the likelihood of exposing yourself to it,” said Lowell Phipps, MD, who practices in Highland Village. “That’s going to cause no benefit, statistically.”

Phipps said anyone who is sick should stay home if possible, and they should wear a mask if they have to leave the house. For people who are well, though, masks can lead to some false confidence, he said.

Lowell Phipps, MD

For the face masks to work, they need to be crimped and/or fitted appropriately, and people shouldn’t touch them when they’re wearing them, Phipps said. People should change them often in case they become contaminated.

“The virus could be inhaled through the fiber of the mask,” Phipps said. “If a droplet comes onto your face, you’d wipe it off. But if it’s on your mask and you don’t know it, you’re breathing back and forth and you could inhale it.”

Phipps said the coronavirus is “virtually unstoppable” and will not be going away quickly.

“We’re not going to be able to stop it,” he said, adding that people will need to make sure they are informed with the latest facts and that they understand the risks before going out in public. “In the long run, we will probably have a vaccine, more treatments and less deaths.”

About The Author

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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