People are getting quite creative in their methods of encouraging others to wear masks. One 18-year-old, Madhav Bhat of Greenville, South Carolina, started the #MaskedMile challenge to show just how harmless mask-wearing is.
When Bhat hiked a local trail with friends, he wore a mask despite the hot summer temperatures. To Bhat, wearing a mask protected himself and his family back home.
“At home, I live with my grandma, and she’s immunocompromised. If I get it, it would be a big deal for them or for my friends whose parents are more susceptible,” Bhat told Runner’s World.
As a longtime cross country and track athlete, wearing a mask during a hike was fine for Bhat. However, he wondered just how he would fare if he were to wear a mask while running. Thus, the #MaskedMile challenge was born.
How to Participate in #MaskedMile
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Hey everyone! I wanted to create a challenge called the #maskedmile. All it consists of is running a mile in a mask to prove that the mask doesn’t restrict your airflow and doesn’t have as large of an impact on your respiratory system as you think it does! I challenge everyone who sees this to run the challenge, whether it’s an easy run, all out, tempo, just any type of mile and post it on your story or as an Instagram post with the hashtag #maskedmile and let’s see how big this gets! Also enjoy the video with some commentary from Gabe and Thomas. Let’s do our part to end Coronavirus!
To participate in the Masked Mile challenge, all one has to do is wear a facial covering, run and record a mile, then post about it using #MaskedMile.
Bhat began his challenge on July 9, challenging himself to wear a mask and show that it would not hinder his breathing, even in 95-degree heat.
“I hadn’t been running as much for two months, and I was still within 20 seconds of my mile PR (4:48) in super hot conditions,” he said. “I think this can prove to people that wearing a mask is not as big a health risk as people think and hopefully it encourages it on a national scale.”
Debunking Mask Myths
Bhat isn’t the first to take to social media to show the power of wearing a mask. Multiple celebrities have gone viral after encouraging their audience to wear face masks to stop the spread of coronavirus. Bill Nye the Science Guy made a super popular viral video, and Jack Black created his own hilarious PSA to tell people to be heroes and wear a mask. Others, from Jennifer Aniston to Reese Witherspoon, helped #WearADamnMask trend.
Experts have also repeatedly debunked common myths about facial coverings. Many mask naysayers claim that masks cause the wearer’s oxygen levels to drop, however, experts have proven that they don’t.