Face Masks, Stress: COVID-19 Myths vs. Facts


Do you have a face mask to wear in public to protect yourself and others from COVID-19? Are you feeling symptoms of stress related to the national emergency, including difficulty sleeping, concentrating, or quieting your thoughts? Navigate the new normal with help from TRICARE resources, FAQs, and these “myths vs. facts.”

MYTH: Homemade cloth face coverings aren’t effective and shouldn’t be worn in public.

FACT: Wearing a homemade face mask may not prevent a healthy person from getting the virus. However, masks can prevent COVID-19-positive people from spreading the virus to others. Studies show that many people with coronavirus lack symptoms. People who eventually develop symptoms can give the virus to others before they show symptoms. For that reason, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing is difficult, like grocery stores. On all Department of Defense property, installations, and facilities, the Secretary of Defense directed that all individuals wear cloth face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public areas or work centers.

MYTH: Any material that covers my mouth will work as a cloth face covering.  

FACT: Cloth face coverings should cover both the nose and mouth when you’re in a community setting. Cloth face coverings should:

  • Fit snugly against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered without damaging or changing its shape.

View the CDC guidance for do-it-yourself face masks

MYTH: I’m immune to the stress and uncertainty that the COVID-19 national emergency may bring.

FACT: Stress and uncertainty related to COVID-19 can affect your emotional, mental, and physical well-being, as well as your productivity. Learn ways to reduce stress and take care of yourself and your loved ones during this time.

MYTH: Resources to help children cope with the COVID-19 pandemic are limited.

FACT: The Defense Health Agency continues to promote online programs that support the health and wellbeing of military kids. Visit Military Kids Connect and Sesame Street for Military Families to learn more.

Consider sharing Myth vs. Fact infographics and spread the truth, not the virus. And for more myths vs. facts, check out ones on pharmacy options, military hospitals and clinics, and cyber awareness. Stay safe and learn more about COVID-19.

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At the time of posting, this information is current. Visit www.cdc.gov or TRICARE COVID Guidance for the most current COVID-19 information.

Last Updated 6/23/2020