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By: Mylen Manto | Published Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Gov. Gwen Garcia clarifies that she wears mask in closed or crowded places as seen in different occasions, such as the recent meeting with the IATF, DOH, and tri-city mayors at the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas. (Junjie Mendoza)

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia clarified that she wears a mask in closed or crowded places, only, that she does not wear one while in her office --  where windows and doors are open.

“I will wear a mask when I am in crowded places. Yes, mo sul-ob ko out of courtesy even though it will cost me a lot of discomfort, but do not ask me to wear a mask the whole day. Maglisod kog ginhawa,” she said.

Many have asked the question about her not wearing a mask, since she does not wear one during her daily livestreaming on Facebook where she gives updates on the situation of the Cebu Province’s towns and cities amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last Monday, June 15, she stressed that wearing a mask in public places or crowded places is good for protection. 

However, she added, wearing a mask for long periods would also be detrimental to health.

She explained that she is asthmatic, so she cannot wear a mask for prolonged periods. However, she said she wears one when facing a crowd or when in crowded places. 

“You ask me ngano di ko mag mask, mag mask man ko, wa mo kakita? If I am in closed places unya naay daghang tawo nag mask ko intawn oi. For your information, during sa opening sa IEC, opening sa Noah Complex even didto ko sa office ni Mike Dino sa Opav nga closed, nagmask ko. But please naman pud, ayaw mog demand nga all times I will be wearing mask especially here in my own office,” she explained. 

Garcia presented different studies on the effects of prolonged mask use, such as from Dr. Russell Blaylock, a retired neurosurgeon. Blaylock highlighted a number of studies linking prolonged mask use to headaches and lowered blood oxygen levels, which can weaken the immune system.

“Kay while we are trying to fight Covid-19 by boosting the immune system, kung magpadayon tag sul-ob og mask even when usahay kamo ra usa, nagsige naa sud sa kwarto, that could weaken your immune system,” she said.

Dr. Blaylock also mentioned other side effects from prolonged wearing of mask which “can vary from headaches to increased airway resistance, carbon dioxide accumulation, to hypoxia, all the way to serious life-threatening complications.”

“Not only maglisod kog ginhawa, it makes me feel groggy. I need my full mental faculties kay nagsige kog sulbad sa atong problema karon. And you want me to lose my mental health because you insist that I should be wearing a mask for longer periods of time? If you want, pwede man mo, maybe you have a better breathing capacity than me. Asthmatic man ko,” Garcia stated.

She stressed that she is wearing a personal air purifier that releases negative ions that protects her.

Garcia said she respects the opinion of others, but she appeals for them to respect that she can’t wear a face mask for long periods of time for her own physical health.
“So this is now about my own personal safety. This is now about my own physical and mental state and I need to protect my physical and mental state right now because I’m your governor, I have huge responsibilities. I am taking care of 3.2 million people unya muingon pa gyud mo bad example ko kay wa ko nag mask, I did not know himuon kog model ninyo for mask,” she stated. (Mylen P. Manto)