Face Masks Are Safe To Wear

Why masks don’t cause Long COVID, and the evidence behind this bizarre myth

Gideon M-K; Health Nerd
10 min readApr 18, 2023
Pictured: Not a disease. Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

Note: The mask review that is discussed in this article has recently been retracted due in part to the errors identified here.

There have been a huge number of myths that have sprung up during the pandemic. Whether it was the bizarre idea that pandemic deaths were drastically over-counted, despite the evidence showing precisely the opposite, or the wild story that COVID-19 tests were mostly false positives, the last three years have been filled to the brim with nonsensical arguments.

The most recent of these, which has managed to go viral online, is the strange conjecture that the issues we’re seeing with Long COVID are probably caused, not by COVID-19 infections, but by people wearing face masks instead.

As unlikely as this claim seems, it has now been repeated by dozens of very large accounts online, and has become quite popular with people who have been campaigning for some time against mask usage during the pandemic. The idea…