It’s always good to know history – the history of countries, religions, economics, and even your own family.
So, with the current mask debate going on these days, let’s look at some history to determine if their continuous use is really safe or not.
Why People Wear Masks
Masks originated in ancient religious ceremonies. Chinese Shigong dance masks were used in shamanic rituals to thank the gods, while Nuo dance masks were carved in the shape of animals to remain protected from bad spirits. The oldest mask discovered is dated from 7000 BC.
Archeologists actually think that masks found around the world are actually older because the materials originally used in ancient masks were from leather and wood, which deteriorate over time.
After thousands of years, masks are still used today in religious ceremonies in many countries. In Africa, masks are deeply religious and symbolic respecting Nature.
Many African masks honor deceased ancestors and powerful spirits.
To the best of our knowledge, the first face mask was invented in England during the 18th century by Madame Rowley – she called it a “face glove” – a thick pasted mask created for anyone who wanted to bleach, purify and preserve the complexion of their skin.
Johann von Mikulicz-Radecki of Breslau, Germany, first introduced the surgical mask made from cloth in 1897, but they weren’t required to be worn by doctors or nurses until the 1960s in America.
Modern surgical masks were not made of cloth, but were a bubble surgical mask that 3M released in 1961, taken from the inspiration of the cup of a bra.
All surgical masks have ties so they can be adjusted for a tight fit, and are tied over the top of a surgical cap.
A procedure mask is what is used today to protect people from potential environmental contaminants.
Not To Mask
For some people, wearing a mask too tightly, too often, or for too long at one time can actually be pretty unhealthy, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
This is common sense, in many cases.
Inhaling high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) can be life-threatening. Hypercapnia (carbon dioxide toxicity) can cause headaches, vertigo, double vision, the inability to concentrate, tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ear canal that’s not caused by an outside source), seizures, or suffocation due to displacement of air.
Cup your hands in front of your nose and breath in and out for a while. Same thing.
If you are not demanded by law to wear a mask, you decide what’s best for you.
Everyone is different, so remember to be flexible, don’t focus on the fear-factor, and stay open-minded with others.
Be safe. Stay healthy. Practice prevention.
This, too, shall pass.
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