The New Face Mask Myth You Need to Stop Believing

Don't fall for this debunked coronavirus conspiracy theory.

With the pandemic altering our reality, it's harder than ever to separate fact from fiction. And it seems like there are varying opinions everywhere you look, some that still spread after being proven false. But amid all of the COVID-19 conspiracy theories out there, one new myth is circulating that is wilder than the rest: that face masks have secret 5G antennas.

The messages started making rounds on social media when someone falsely stated that the wire in the top of your surgical mask is actually a 5G antenna that the government can use to track your whereabouts via radio waves. They also claim it can give you brain cancer. In reality, that harmless wire is only there so you can fit the mask around the bridge of your nose. Face masks should not gap there, so few respiratory droplets can escape.

Steve Sbraccia, a consumer investigator for CBS17, did some digging and found that the original patent for these disposable face masks dates back to the 1970s—way before any modern-day technology existed. The patent shows that the plastic-wrapped wire is there to make the mask safe and snug on your face.

This is not the first outlandish idea about 5G that has stemmed from the pandemic panic. Another similar coronavirus myth claimed that the illness was created and transmitted through cell phone signals. That misinformation spread so far that the World Health Organization (WHO) had to debunk it. "Viruses cannot travel on radio waves or mobile networks," WHO states in the video below. "COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks."

So, the next time you read something on the internet or hear a rumor, make sure to stop and fact check it first. And for more falsehoods you shouldn't fall for, check out the 25 Coronavirus Myths You Need to Stop Believing, According to Doctors.

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