WHO: Masks may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably while exercising

The World Health Organization is correct that masks may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably. Varying your exercising route may allow the mask to be safely removed for some sections – for instance, on reaching a park.

Several coronavirus variants have been shown to be more transmissible than the original virus. Because each infected person is now likely to infect 30 to 60 percent more people than previously, an unlucky inhalation in the vicinity of a passing jogger is now much more likely to lead to an escalating series of secondary cases, one or more of which could be fatal.

Contrary to some information sources, there is no evidence that casual jogging in a mask (as opposed to vigorous exercise undertaken in a tight-fitting respirator with the specific goal of pushing one’s physiology to extremes) leads to significant metabolic harm. And in particular, blood oxygen levels are not reduced when exercising in a cloth or medical mask.

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