Claim: Wearing a mask will weaken your immune system, leading to the 'next wave' of coronavirus outbreaks once lockdowns lift.
It's "proven science," read a May 2 Facebook post that said mandated lockdowns are not effective.
"WARNING: THE LONGER YOU WEAR A MASK AND STAY AWAY FROM PEOPLE, THE WEAKER YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM WILL GET. THEN WHEN YOU DO REMOVE THE MASK AND START BEING AROUND PEOPLE AGAIN, YOU WILL GET TERRIBLY SICK. ...Then they'll say it's the next wave of corona," user Rebecca Stuber posted.
Respondents to the post mostly agreed. "I literally have a panic attack wearing them. Barely wore them when I was working healthcare," read one reply.
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"Now maybe if it would actually help, I might consider wearing it," another wrote.
However, at least one dissenter wrote, "I don't care about me (weakening) my immune system, if I get it and bring it home I am basically digging a grave for my immune compromised 4 year old."
Will face masks weaken wearers?
Wearing a face mask can lessen the spread of the coronavirus from a sick person to a healthy individual, according the The Mayo Clinic. Masks are also suggested for people caring for someone with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
However, because they are not airtight and can encourage more — not less — face-touching, Mayo Clinic advised against masks for healthy people until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its recommendations last month.
In April, Surgeon General Jerome Adams asked the CDC to review its guidance on face coverings for the general public.
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“We’ve learned there’s a fair amount of asymptomatic spread, and so we’ve asked the CDC to take another look at whether or not having more people wear masks will prevent transmission of the disease to other people,” Adams said.
The CDC now recommends wearing cloth face coverings over the nose and mouth in community settings — such as pharmacies and grocery stores — to help stop the spread of the virus by asymptomatic carriers. Children younger than 2 years old, people who have trouble breathing, or those incapacitated or unconscious should not cover their faces.
But face coverings should not be the only defense. People should still practice social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet away from others while in public. Avoid touching your face and promptly remove any sort of mask upon returning home, Mayo Clinic advised.
Governors in a number of states, including New York, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia, followed CDC recommendations by requiring residents to wear face coverings in public under various circumstances.
As part of their steps to reopen businesses, parks and other public settings, states like Arizona, Michigan and Ohio are recommending or mandating that people cover their noses and mouths in enclosed spaces.
Our rating: False
We rate this claim FALSE because it is not supported by our research. Risks associated with wearing face masks only apply to a select few in the general population. The CDC recommends everyone else use cloth face coverings while out in public to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
Our fact-check sources:Centers for Disease Control and PreventionThe Mayo Clinic
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