Doctor Runs 22 Miles Wearing Face Mask to Show it Doesn't Cut Oxygen Levels

A doctor has run 22 miles to work and back wearing a mask to help stop the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories around face coverings and to raise funds for charity.

Tom Lawton, who works at the Bradford Royal Infirmary in Yorkshire, north England, said he decided to run with the mask on, following his concerns for people with respiratory illnesses who want to wear a mask but are too scared to do so over false information.

He recorded that oxygen levels never fell below 98% of what it would usually be.

He told Newsweek: "There are a lot of people out there who just don't want to wear a mask and will find any excuse they can but the people I'm more concerned about are people with respiratory illnesses, who would like to wear a mask, would like to do their bit, but are scared because there have been reports that it causes hypoxia [a condition where the body is deprived of oxygen], I've seen some reports about people dropping dead while wearing masks.

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"I'm someone who understands the science, I've got access to a pulse-oximeter (a device used to monitor the amount of oxygen carried around the body) so I can actually go out and show that it definitely doesn't.

"To make up for the fact that I'm fit and healthy, I thought if I'm running then I'm using 10 times the amount of oxygen as I would if I'm just sat here. If I can show that I can get 10 peoples worth of oxygen through the mask then hopefully someone who has a respiratory disease and wants to wear a mask, they can be reassured that it is safe thing to do."

Tom has also raised more than £2,400 for the Trussell Trust, a charity that works to end food poverty and supports foodbanks throughout the U.K..

Speaking of the challenges of families who cannot afford food, he said: "It's something that has been a big problem for some time and COVID-19 has unfortunately made it worse.

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"I live in Bradford, it's one of the hardest-hit areas from COVID-19, it's an area where there is a significant ethnic minority population, there's a lot of deprivation and its really really hard hit from COVID-19 and I hear reports from the foodbanks that the requirement has at least doubled for foodbanks in the area, so I thought it'd be good to raise money."

Tom said that given the constant comparisons between COVID-19 effort and the "Blitz spirit" he thought it important that just as people turned their lights off during the Blitz and everybody did their bit, the same happened in the fight against the virus.

Face masks
Tom Lawton ran 22 miles to work and back while wearing a face mask Tom Lawton

"There are obviously people who can't wear masks for one reason or another, mostly for psychological reasons or PTSD, but everyone who can do so really should.

"My mask protects you, your mask protects me."

Hundreds of people took to London's Hyde Park to protest against being made to wear a face mask in England.

In the U.K., the government has made the wearing of face masks mandatory in England for those visiting shops and supermarkets from July 24 in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Those who refuse to wear a mask will face a fine of £100 which will be reduced to £50 if they pay it within 14 days.

In the U.S., protests have taken place in a number of states against the wearing of face masks, with President Trump saying he would not be wearing a face mask after the Centre for Disease Control recommended that "cloth face coverings" should be worn when social distance cannot be maintained.

On Saturday however, President Trump was seen wearing a face mask, but vowed not to order Americans to wear masks to contain the spread of coronavirus.

If you would like to donate to Tom's fundraiser, you can do so on the following link.

Doctor Runs 22 Miles Wearing Face Mask to Show it Doesn't Cut Oxygen Levels | World