Truth or Hoax: CDC Recommends Shaving Your Beard To Protect Against the Coronavirus

Could supporting a goatee, horseshoe or a villain mustache save you from the coronavirus? Probably not.
Derya Ozdemir

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention graphic has been getting passed around in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, telling people to shave their beards to protect themselves against the virus.

National news and local news outlets alike have shared the CDC graphic with similar titles; however, it seems that the graphic has nothing to do with the coronavirus at all.

It turns out that the CDC guidelines and the graphic were originally posted in 2017 as a part of the No-Shave November to advise those who were growing their beards that month. It wasn’t about spreading illness at all and was dedicated to people who have to wear form-fitting masks in professional settings.


The graphic shows which facial hair works with tight-fitting respirators, and to be honest, it can be a general guide to follow in any situation where you need to wear a face mask or respirator.

However, those who have started the misinformation-wagon seems to have missed the current coronavirus advice regarding respiratory protection by the CDC. It states, “CDC does not recommend the routine use of respirators outside of workplace settings (in the community).”

Seriously though, a respirator must be fit-tested to be fully effective. In this case, facial hair can pose serious problems which is why this infographic was designed in the first place.

So good news is that you shouldn't change your “chin curtain” or “hulihee” to scare away the coronavirus. However, this CDC graphic is just another example of the misinformation public is objected to every day. 

However, as always, people managed to found humor, and learned something in the process.

The CDC has really helped me out today! After all these years of thinking I had a goatee, they have identified it as a circle beard!

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— Carl Hughes (@HughesCarl) February 26, 2020

Here is a not-so-fun fact: Hitler was ordered to trim his mustache to the "toothbrush". Before WWI, he would wear a long curling mustache. He shaved it down to his classic look to wear a gas mask.

Stay strong Brooklyn. 

You shouldn't wait for a pandemic to rock your dream beard-look.

And here is a smart fellow who got his priorities straight.

Concerned about the coronavirus like the rest of us? You can stay up to date through Latest Updates on Wuhan's Deadly Virus.

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