Governments around the world are enforcing facial coverings to prevent SARS-Cov-2
infection spread, but does the science support their use?
….Boris Johnson’s government announced it will henceforth be illegal to use public transportation in the UK, without wearing a mask.
This goes along with many other governments – both local and national – which have enforced mandatory mask-wearing to one extent or another.
Leaving aside the question of whether such steps are necessary to combat a virus they openly admit is harmless to the vast majority of people – the question becomes: Do masks actually do anything to prevent the spread of this disease? Or respiratory diseases in general?
Well, some mask manufacturers don’t seem to think so. Printing this warning on the side of the box:
But, in case that’s just a company seeking to prevent liability, maybe we should look at some proper scientific research on the subject. There’s quite a bit of it.
Most of the media and politicians are strident in their support of enforced mask-wearing, but the science supporting that is thin on the ground.
While the Lancet and Mayo Clinic have produced articles recommending mask use, actual scientific studies are hard to come by.
The only evidence-based review I was able to find is forced to use very soft language in its conclusions. Titled [my emphasis] “Cloth Masks MayPrevent Transmission of COVID-19″, it openly admits [again, my emphasis]:
Although no direct evidence indicates that cloth masks are effective in reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the evidence that they reduce contamination of air and surfaces is convincing
Other, purportedly scientific, publications have reduced themselves to publishing alarmist, unscientific, non-factual arguments that source the Los Angeles Times in place of any research, statistics or peer-reviewed papers.
The lack of hard science backing the government’s position on masks is evidently a concern in the propaganda networks, because they produce articles like this one in today’s Guardian:
We can’t be 100% sure face masks work – but that shouldn’t stop us wearing them
Which tries to turn it from a fact-based consideration into an ethical argument (A very common tactic among people who know they would lose an evidence-based debate):
Despite the narrative push in favour of masks, the science is far from settled. With many papers – notably those pre-dating the Covid19 outbreak – suggesting masks do little-to-nothing to prevent the spread of viral respiratory infections.
A review of several mask-related papers, entitled “Why Face Masks Don’t Work” and conducted in 2016, found that [my emphasis]:
Between 2004 and 2016 at least a dozen research or review articles have been published on the inadequacies of face masks. All agree that the poor facial fit and limited filtration characteristics of face masks make them unable to prevent the wearer inhaling airborne particles. In their well-referenced 2011 article on respiratory protection for healthcare workers, Drs. Harriman and Brosseau conclude that, “facemasks will not protect against the inhalation of aerosols.”
Health care workers have long relied heavily on surgical masks to provide protection against influenza and other infections. Yet there are no convincing scientific data that support the effectiveness of masks for respiratory protection.
It should be concluded from these and similar studies that the filter material of face masks does not retain or filter out viruses
To sum up: viruses are very, very, very small. Microns across. You can only see them with an electron microscope. As such the weave of a cloth mask provides almost no resistance to their passage.
The possible limitations of masks as a preventative are not a secret.
On May 21st, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article titled Universal Masking in Hospitals in the Covid-19 Era, which states:
We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection.
And as recently as last week, Dr April Baller of World Health Organization said:
“If you do not have any respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough or runny nose, you do not need to wear a mask,”
The common counter-argument to this point is that masks don’t prevent you from getting sick, but rather prevent you from spreading it if you’re infected.
However that is disputed by a paper published just last month, but based on research conducted in late 2019 (before the Covid outbreak),
which found that [my emphasis]:
Disposable medical masks are loose-fitting devices that were designed to be worn by medical personnel to protect accidental contamination of patient wounds, and to protect the wearer against splashes or sprays of bodily fluids. There is limited evidence for their effectiveness in preventing influenza virus transmission either when worn by the infected person for source control or when worn by uninfected persons to reduce exposure. Our systematic review found no significant effect of face masks on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.
In fact, not only is there substantial evidence masks will not prevent you getting sick, there is some evidence they could actually be counter-productive.
A trial of cloth masks in 2015 found that:
Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in an increased risk of infection.
There’s also the issue of other possible complications, such as hypercapnia, an excess of carbon dioxide in the blood caused by re-breathing your own expelled air. It’s also been shown that mask use can exacerbate chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) and perhaps other respiratory issues. There’s also the question of possible psychological harm.
The benefits of mask-wearing are, at best, unproven. The dangers, unknown. You wouldn’t expect this simple scientific question to be in any way controversial.
In April, physicist Denis Rancourt published a research review on ResearchGate.com entitled “Masks Don’t Work: A review of science relevant to COVID-19 social policy”.
After receiving over 400,000 views, it was summarily removed for “spreading information that could cause harm”.
Clearly the establishment really wants us to wear masks. What’s less clear is why.
Landmark Danish study finds no significant effect for facemask wearers
from: the Spectator
Do face masks work? Earlier this year, the UK government decided that masks could play a significant role in stopping Covid-19 and made masks mandatory in a number of public places. But are these policies backed by the scientific evidence?
Yesterday marked the publication of a long-delayed trial in Denmark which hopes to answer that very question. The ‘Danmask-19 trial’ was conducted in the spring with over 6,000 participants, when the public were not being told to wear masks but other public health measures were in place. Unlike other studies looking at masks, the Danmask study was a randomised controlled trial – making it the highest quality scientific evidence.
Around half of those in the trial received 50 disposable surgical face masks, which they were told to change after eight hours of use. After one month, the trial participants were tested using both PCR, antibody and lateral flow tests and compared with the trial participants who did not wear a mask.
In the end, there was no statistically significant difference between those who wore masks and those who did not when it came to being infected by Covid-19. 1.8 per cent of those wearing masks caught Covid, compared to 2.1 per cent of the control group. As a result, it seems that any effect masks have on preventing the spread of the disease in the community is small.
…When it comes to masks, it appears there is still little good evidence they prevent the spread of airborne diseases. The results of the Danmask-19 trial mirror other reviews into influenza-like illnesses. Nine other trials looking at the efficacy of masks (two looking at healthcare workers and seven at community transmission) have found that masks make little or no difference to whether you get influenza or not.
But overall, there is a troubling lack of robust evidence on face masks and Covid-19. There have only been three community trials during the current pandemic comparing the use of masks with various alternatives – one in Guinea-Bissau, one in India and this latest trial in Denmark. The low number of studies into the effect different interventions have on the spread of Covid-19 – a subject of global importance – suggests there is a total lack of interest from governments in pursuing evidence-based medicine. And this starkly contrasts with the huge sums they have spent on ‘boutique relations’ consultants advising the government….
This is why large, randomised trials like this most recent Danish study are so important if we want to understand the impact of measures like face masks. Many people have argued that it is too difficult to wait for randomised trials – but Danmask-19 has shown that these kind of studies are more than feasible.
And now that we have properly rigorous scientific research we can rely on, the evidence shows that wearing masks in the community does not significantly reduce the rates of infection.
Masks are neither effective nor safe: A summary of the science
Colleen Huber, NMD
July 6, 2020
At this writing, there is a recent surge in widespread use by the public of facemasks when in public places, including for extended periods of time, in the United States as well as in other countries. The public has been instructed by media and their governments that one’s use of masks, even if not sick, may prevent others from being infected with SARS-CoV-2, the infectious agent of COVID-19.
A review of the peer-reviewed medical literature examines impacts on human health, both immunological, as well as physiological. The purpose of this paper is to examine data regarding the effectiveness of facemasks, as well as safety data. The reason that both are examined in one paper is that for the general public as a whole, as well as for every individual, a risk-benefit analysis is necessary to guide decisions on if and when to wear a mask….
Cloth masks were found to have low efficiency for blocking particles of 0.3 microns and smaller. Aerosol penetration through the various cloth masks examined in this study were between 74 and 90%. Likewise, the filtration efficiency of fabric materials was 3% to 33% (26)
Healthcare workers wearing cloth masks were found to have 13 times the risk of influenza-like illness than those wearing medical masks. (27)
This 1920 analysis of cloth mask use during the 1918 pandemic examines the failure of masks to impede or stop flu transmission at that time, and concluded that the number of layers of fabric required to prevent pathogen penetration would have required a suffocating number of layers, and could not be used for that reason, as well as the problem of leakage vents around the edges of cloth masks. (28)
Weighing risks versus benefits of mask use
It must also be considered that masks impede the necessary volume of air intake required for adequate oxygen exchange, which results in observed physiological effects that may be undesirable. Even 6- minute walks, let alone more strenuous activity, resulted in dyspnea. The volume of unobstructed oxygen in a typical breath is about 100 ml, used for normal physiological processes. 100 ml O2 greatly exceeds the volume of a pathogen required for transmission.
The foregoing data show that masks serve more as instruments of obstruction of normal breathing, rather than as effective barriers to pathogens. Therefore, masks should not be used by the general public, either by adults or children, and their limitations as prophylaxis against pathogens should also be considered in medical settings.
Dutch Govt: “Wear A Mask!”; Chief ‘Scientist’ – Don’t Bother!
from: by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog
But the best part is the following, the initial piece that got me thinking about this.
Turns out that at the same moment the government issues an “urgent” advice to wear them, with a threat of making them mandatory, its chief Infectious Diseases expert, the Dutch Fauci, says he sees little benefit is wearing non-medical masks. As, ironically, Fauci, who used to say they were useless, now calls them very beneficial. (see more below)
The frequent use of masks in other countries, the pressure of public opinion in his own country, or even a direct appeal from his famous American counterpart Anthony Fauci: Jaap van Dissel sticks to his position. When asked, the director of Infectious Diseases at the RIVM repeats that, according to him, masks have “an exceptionally small effect” on the attempts to contain the spread of the corona virus. In an interview with the NOS, he calls the cabinet’s recent decision to urgently recommend masks in public indoor spaces, therefore primarily a political decision rather than one based on medical grounds.
Doctor Tells NBC: Americans Should Consider Wearing Four Face-Masks
by Paul Joseph Watson via the Summit News
Doctor Scott Segal told NBC News that Americans should consider wearing FOUR face masks if they want the most effective protection against spreading COVID-19.
As we highlighted yesterday, Dr. Fauci advised Americans to begin wearing two masks, saying that it “makes common sense” for more than one layer to be more effective.
However, Fauci was outdone by researchers at Virginia Tech, who said that two face masks only provide 50-75% efficacy and that three masks should be worn to achieve 90% effectiveness.
But why stop at 90 per cent?
According to Dr. Scott Segal, chair of anesthesiology at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, even that may not be enough.
“If you put three or four masks on, it’s going to filter better because it’s more layers of cloth,” Segal told NBC News.
However, Segal’s advice is contradicted by CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida, who said, “Three masks may be going too far, since that could interfere with the ability to breathe.”
But why concern yourself with trivial matters such as breathing when the wearing of multiple face coverings is so effective in delivering social media clout?
The NBC article also notes how the general public has been conditioned to comply with face mask mandates as part of the ‘new normal’.
“Acceptance of face coverings has come a long way over the past year. Americans increasingly use them as a way to make fashion statements or to show love for their favorite sports teams.”
What will Americans tolerate next? In China, more than a million people have undergone “anal swab coronavirus tests” because authorities say they are more effective.
Time to bend over.
A Week After Saying ‘Wear Two Masks’, Fauci Says It ‘Won’t Make A Difference’
“There’s no data that indicates that that is going to make a difference”
Less than one week after advising Americans that wearing two or even three masks would be ‘more effective’ against the spread of coronavirus, Dr Fauci has(once again) done a complete 180 (again) and admitted that there is no data to suggest it will make any difference.
After Fauci made the comments last week, the media began to push the idea that two masks wasn’t enough, and that people need to wear three, or even four masks.
However, during an interview at the weekend, Fauci completely contradicted his own comments from the previous week.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that Fauci has flip-flopped continuously on masks, having originally said that “there’s no reason to be walking around with a mask,” and that they are little more than symbolic.
Later, Fauci fully embraced the masks and stated that they ‘need to stay on’ until everyone is vaccinated.
As we previously highlighted, it went from wearing a mask to now wearing two masks being the best way virtue signal.
Why concern yourself with trivial matters such as breathing when the wearing of multiple face coverings is so effective in delivering social media clout?
Don’t let the fact that there is no evidence masks do anything get in the way of that dopamine hit.
The Mask Study~Justin Hart~via Twitter(graphs~Please see)
CDC Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, May 2020
“Although mechanistic studies support the potential effect of hand hygiene or face masks, evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials of these measures did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.”
WHO: Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19, 5 June 2020
“Many countries have recommended the use of fabric masks/face coverings for the general public. At the present time, the widespread use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not yet supported by high quality or direct scientific evidence and there are potential benefits and harms to consider.”
WHO: Advice on the use of masks for children in the community in the context of COVID-19, 21 August 2020
“Evidence on the benefits and harms of children wearing masks to mitigate transmission of COVID-19 and other coronaviruses is limited.”
COVID-19 Masks Are a Crime Against Humanity and Child Abuse
Testimony of a virologist
By Dr. Margarite Griesz-Brisson and Henna Maria
via: Global Research
Dr. Margarite Griesz-Brisson MD, PhD is a Consultant Neurologist and Neurophysiologist with a PhD in Pharmacology, with special interest in neurotoxicology, environmental medicine, neuroregeneration and neuroplasticity. This is what she has to say about masks and their effects on our brains:
“The rebreathing of our exhaled air will without a doubt create oxygen deficiency and a flooding of carbon dioxide. We know that the human brain is very sensitive to oxygen depravation. There are nerve cells for example in the hippocampus, that can’t be longer than 3 minutes without oxygen – they cannot survive. The acute warning symptoms are headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, issues in concentration, slowing down of the reaction time – reactions of the cognitive system.
However, when you have chronic oxygen depravation, all of those symptoms disappear, because you get used to it. But your efficiency will remain impaired and the undersupply of oxygen in your brain continues to progress.
We know that neurodegenerative diseases take years to decades to develop. If today you forget your phone number, the breakdown in your brain would have already started 20 or 30 years ago.
While you’re thinking, that you have gotten used to wearing your mask and rebreathing your own exhaled air, the degenerative processes in your brain are getting amplified as your oxygen deprivation continues.
The second problem is that the nerve cells in your brain are unable to divide themselves normally. So in case our governments will generously allow as to get rid of the masks and go back to breathing oxygen freely again in a few months, the lost nerve cells will no longer be regenerated. What is gone is gone.
[..]I do not wear a mask, I need my brain to think. I want to have a clear head when I deal with my patients, and not be in a carbon dioxide induced anaesthesia.
[..]There is no unfounded medical exemption from face masks because oxygen deprivation is dangerous for every single brain. It must be the free decision of every human being whether they want to wear a mask that is absolutely ineffective to protect themselves from a virus.
For children and adolescents, masks are an absolute no-no. Children and adolescents have an extremely active and adaptive immune system and they need a constant interaction with the microbiome of the Earth. Their brain is also incredibly active, as it is has so much to learn. The child’s brain, or the youth’s brain is thirsting for oxygen. The more metabolically active the organ is, the more oxygen it requires. In children and adolescents every organ is metabolically active.
To deprive a child’s or an adolescent’s brain from oxygen, or to restrict it in any way, is not only dangerous to their health, it is absolutely criminal. Oxygen deficiency inhibits the development of the brain, and the damage that has taken place as a result CANNOT be reversed.
The child needs the brain to learn, and the brain needs oxygen to function. We don’t need a clinical study for that. This is simple, indisputable physiology. Conscious and purposely induced oxygen deficiency is an absolutely deliberate health hazard, and an absolute medical contraindication.
An absolute medical contraindication in medicine means that this drug, this therapy, this method or measure should not be used – is not allowed to be used. To coerce an entire population to use an absolute medical contraindication by force, there must be definite and serious reasons for this, and the reasons must be presented to competent interdisciplinary and independent bodies to be verified and authorised.
When in ten years, dementia is going to increase exponentially, and the younger generations couldn’t reach their god-given potential, it won’t help to say “we didn’t need the masks”.
[..]How can a veterinarian, a software distributer, a business man, an electrical car manufacturer and a physicist decided on matters regarding the health of the entire population? Please dear colleagues, we all have to wake up.
I know how damaging oxygen depravation is for the brain, cardiologist knows it for the heart, the pulmonologist knows it for the lungs. Oxygen deprivation damages every single organ.
Where are our health departments, our health insurance, our medical associations? It would have been their duty to be vehemently against the lockdown and to stop it and stop it from the very beginning.
Why do the medical boards give punishments to doctors who give people exemptions? Does the person or the doctor seriously have to prove that oxygen depravation harms people? What kind of medicine are our doctors and medical associations representing?
Who is responsible for this crime? The ones who want to enforce it? The ones who let it happen and play along, or the ones who don’t prevent it?[..]It’s not about masks, it’s not about viruses, it’s certainly not about your health. It is about much much more. I am not participating. I am not afraid.
[..]You can notice, they are already taking our air to breathe.
The imperative of the hour is personal responsibility.
We are responsible for what we think, not the media. We are responsible for what we do, not our superiors. We are responsible for our health, not the World Health Organisation. And we are responsible for what happens in our country, not the government.”
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comment and start a conversation.
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