Albert Mabille, mayor of Floreffe, takes stock of the epidemic situation in his town. Little affected by the coronavirus rebound, Floreffe is far from having high rates of contamination. This allows the mayor to reassure his fellow citizens.
But where we can ask questions about the relevance of his words is when he talks about wearing a mask. Several of its citizens were logically surprised by such remarks and alerted us.
“While it can provide some security, wearing a mask is inconvenient. We breathe our own perspiration. This has a negative effect on health since we breathe our own CO2, ”he said, taking up one of the elements of a fake news spread on social networks concerning masks.
“A mask is not a closed circuit. Almost all the exhaled air escapes from the mask so you do not breathe your own CO2 ”, explained Shane Shapera, director of the pulmonary diseases program at the public hospital in Toronto (Canada), to AFP. In addition, a small build-up of CO2 would not cause health problems, according to Professor Vinita Dubey, medical officer of health at the Toronto Public Health Agency in Canada.
Does the mask decrease oxygen supply? False also according to Yves Coppieters, epidemiologist and professor of public health at the Free University of Brussels (ULB), who had been questioned on the question a few days ago by our colleagues from L’Avenir. “It’s a fantasy. The mask can possibly slightly reduce the oxygen supply and hinder the breathing of a person with heart or respiratory problems or in the event of great physical exertion such as jogging ”, he explained. “There may also be a feeling of discomfort that causes a feeling of suffocation, but it’s psychological. In the case of a healthy person, it does not at all prevent normal daily activities. ”
“A recent study was done on the most waterproof masks, the FFP2. People were exercised at moderate to sustained intensity for over an hour. The researchers measured the levels of oxygen and CO2 in the blood and there had been no modification, ”indicated Pierre Parneix, medical officer of the Bordeaux University Hospital, to France Inter. “Of course, we can accumulate a little more carbon dioxide inside the mask than outside, however, it has not been shown that this would cause hypercapnia (an increase in the volume of CO2 in the blood , Editor’s note) – in masked individuals ”.
The burgomaster reacts
The burgomaster, faced with the outcry provoked by his words, wanted to explain what he really wanted to say. According to him, he was not talking about breathing his “own sweat” but his own breathing. He also said he was not against wearing a mask, in the comments of his controversial publication. “Wearing a mask yes. It is a protection for others and for oneself. This is the reason why the Municipality of Floreffe distributed masks during the month of May. On the other hand, putting on a mask when taking the air while walking in nature is not justified. When you are alone or when it is possible to keep distances from the people you meet, this is not justified in the current state of the presence of the virus in our municipality ”.
Albert Mabille also recommended in his life to increase as much as possible his immunity by eating fruits and vegetables. Which, of course, is not bad advice but which seems rather derisory in the face of the current Covid-19 pandemic.