Updated: Feb 23
And once again... masks are starting to resurface.
Quite honestly. If you WANT to wear one, have at it.
But don't ENFORCE/MANDATE/REQUIRE it.
It's NOT supported by SCIENCE.
Let alone, logical thought and basic understanding of physiology, virology, and immunology.
References and Resources
Physical inactivity is associated with a higher risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes: a study in 48 440 adult patients
Masks Are Neither Effective Nor Safe: A Summary Of The Science
^^^ A great start to many of your questions and assumptions.
All you Need
Masks are Tools for Discrimination
Masks are Ineffective and Risky, So Stop Calling Us Selfish
In Epidemics 2017, a meta-analysis concluded that masks had a non-significant protective effect. There is a lack of real scientific evidence that cloth and surgical masks are too effective in reducing the risk of SARS-CoV2 transmission.
According to a University of New South Wales, the widespread use of masks by healthcare workers may put them at increased risk of respiratory illness and viral infections, and their global use should be discouraged.
In the British Medical Journal 2015, “Over three times, the risk of contracting influenza-like illness if a cloth mask is used versus no mask at all.” Contaminated masks and masks holding moisture and pathogen retention can increase the risk of infection.
A 2016 study in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology found 97% of particles penetrated cloth masks, and 44% of particles penetrated medical masks. They reported that cloth masks are only marginally beneficial in protecting individuals from particles less than 2.5 micrometers. As referenced in the New England Journal of Medicine, the size of Coronavirus particles varied between 0.06 micrometers and 0.14 micrometers.
Cloth and surgical masks do not have a fit test. When worn, gaps around the edges allow small particles to enter the respiratory system. Also, according to the May 2010 edition of PLoS One, lack of eye protection was a primary risk factor of SARS-CoV transmission.
Wearing a mask for seven hours straight may not be safe. Carbon dioxide (CO2) rebreathing has been recognized as a concern in the Ergonomics Journal. The CDC has also admitted that the CO2 slowly builds up in the mask over time. This build-up can cause a condition called Hypercapnia. Essentially, CO2 poisoning - can cause mild symptoms of drowsiness or a headache. More severe symptoms can cause shortness of breath and even death. On May 6th, 2020, the New York Post reported the death of two boys dying within a week of each other while wearing a face mask during gym class.
In February, the CDC said they don’t recommend people use face masks. The World Health Organization also advised people to wear a mask only if they are displaying symptoms of Coronavirus or “taking care of a person with a suspected 2019-nCoV infection.”
There is zero scientific evidence that wearing a mask, especially for more extended periods, protects us. However, several studies found significant problems with wearing one. Side-effects range from headaches to increased airway resistance, carbon dioxide accumulation, hypoxia, to more severe complications.
In the Head and Neck Pain Journal, most healthcare workers develop de novo PPE‐associated headaches or exacerbation of their pre‐existing headache disorders.
When a person is infected with a respiratory virus, they will expel some of the virus with each breath. Wearing a mask creates a situation in which the individual continually breathes back in their viruses—breathing viruses back in raises the concentration of the virus in the lungs and nasal passages. It has been studied that those with a higher number of viral particles can develop a more severe illness. A recent study out of China published in the Lancet Journal reported a strong association between Covid19 disease severity and the amount of virus present in the nose.
The Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control Journal demonstrated, “Breathing through N95 mask materials have been shown to impede gaseous exchange and impose an additional workload on the metabolic system of pregnant healthcare workers. The benefits of using an N95 mask to prevent serious emerging infectious diseases should be weighed against potential respiratory consequences associated with extended N95 respirator usage.
Wearing a mask could put you at a greater risk of getting Covid19. Regular cloth or surgical masks, irritate the user, causing the user to touch their face with dirty hands more often. Also, the Coronavirus spreads in droplets, which most masks do not block. These masks can actually trap droplets inside, increasing risk instead of reducing it.
Masks also hamper oxygen intake; the body and the immune system require optimal levels of oxygen to feed cells and fight off illness, including Covid19. When studied, surgeons who wore surgical masks had a decrease in blood O2 saturation and an increase in pulse rates of the surgeons after the operations due to surgical mask usage.
According to the Journal of Biomedicines, our oxygen concentration is closely associated with cell survival and immune functioning, making one more susceptible to illness.
Masks can cause difficulty and labored breathing – even in a healthy individual. Blocking air even partially puts excess stress on thoracic muscles and the diaphragm, causing a person to feel out of breath. Wearing a mask can also make a person feel anxiety and panic. Claustrophobia and a feeling of suffocation must be acknowledged, especially among individuals who have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health issues.
So, in summary, mask-wearing can be dangerous and is shown over and over again to be ineffective. It appears masks are more effective in helping to spread illness, by providing a surface for viruses to collect on, like carrying a petri dish in front of your face. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, if wearing a mask poses a mental or physical risk, there are exemptions. So please don’t mandate them to attend school, and please don’t teach the masses to hate and shame those that do not comply. This conditioning leads people to be more willing to follow irrational orders and do things without questioning authority, or logic, in the future. When there is a risk, there should always be a choice.
Facemasks in the COVID-19 era: A health hypothesis
Baruch Vainshelboim * Cardiology Division, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System/Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, United States
Efficacy of cloth face mask in prevention of novel coronavirus infection transmission: A systematic review and meta-analysis
RESULTS: Cloth face masks show minimum efficacy in source control than the medical grade mask. The efficacy of cloth face masks filtration varies and depends on the type of material used, number of layers, and degree of moisture in mask and fitting of mask on face.
CONCLUSION: Cloth face masks have limited efficacy in combating viral infection transmission. However, it may be used in closed, crowded indoor, and outdoor public spaces involving physical proximity to prevent spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards?
"For a quantitative evaluation, 44 mostly experimental studies were referenced, and for a substantive evaluation, 65 publications were found. The literature revealed relevant adverse effects of masks in numerous disciplines. In this paper, we refer to the psychological and physical deterioration as well as multiple symptoms described because of their consistent, recurrent and uniform presentation from different disciplines as a Mask-Induced Exhaustion Syndrome (MIES). We objectified evaluation evidenced changes in respiratory physiology of mask wearers with significant correlation of O2 drop and fatigue (p < 0.05), a clustered co-occurrence of respiratory impairment and O2 drop (67%), N95 mask and CO2 rise (82%), N95 mask and O2 drop (72%), N95 mask and headache (60%), respiratory impairment and temperature rise (88%), but also temperature rise and moisture (100%) under the masks. Extended mask-wearing by the general population could lead to relevant effects and consequences in many medical fields."
Masks Are Neither Effective Nor Safe: A Summary Of The Science
New Study Highlights Face Mask Problems with Safety and Efficacy
Compilation of 35+ studies
Masks Don't Work: A Review of Science Relevant to COVID-19 Social Policy
Boat load of noteworthy research:
An overview of the current evidence regarding the effectiveness of face masks. 1. Studies on the effectiveness of face masks So far, most studies found little to no evidence for the effectiveness of cloth face masks in the general population, neither as personal protective equipment nor as a source control.
A May 2020 meta-study on pandemic influenza published by the US CDC found that face masks had no effect, neither as personal protective equipment nor as a source control. (Source)
A Danish randomized controlled trial with 6000 participants, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in November 2020, found no statistically significant effect of high-quality medical face masks against SARS-CoV-2 infection in a community setting. (Source)
A large randomized controlled trial with close to 8000 participants, published in October 2020 in PLOS One, found that face masks “did not seem to be effective against laboratory-confirmed viral respiratory infections nor against clinical respiratory infection.” (Source)
A February 2021 review by the European CDC found no significant evidence supporting the effectiveness of non-medical and medical face masks in the community. Furthermore, the European CDC advised against the use of FFP2/N95 respirators by the general public. (Source)
A July 2020 review by the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine found that there is no evidence for the effectiveness of cloth masks against virus infection or transmission. (Source)
A November 2020 Cochrane review found that face masks did not reduce influenza-like illness (ILI) cases, neither in the general population nor in health care workers. (Source)
An April 2020 review by two US professors in respiratory and infectious disease from the University of Illinois concluded that face masks have no effect in everyday life, neither as self-protection nor to protect third parties (so-called source control). (Source)
An article in the New England Journal of Medicine from May 2020 came to the conclusion that cloth face masks offer little to no protection in everyday life. (Source)
A 2015 study in the British Medical Journal BMJ Open found that cloth masks were penetrated by 97% of particles and may increase infection risk by retaining moisture or repeated use. (Source)
An August 2020 review by a German professor in virology, epidemiology and hygiene found that there is no evidence for the effectiveness of cloth face masks and that the improper daily use of masks by the public may in fact lead to an increase in infections. (Source)
A meta-study in the journal Lancet, commissioned by the WHO, claimed that masks “could” lead to a reduction in the risk of infection, but the studies considered mainly N95 respirators in a hospital setting, not cloth masks in a community setting, the strength of the evidence was reported as “low”, and experts found numerous flaws in the study. Professor Peter Jueni, epidemiologist at the University of Toronto, called the WHO study “essentially useless”.
A study in the journal PNAS claimed that masks had led to a decrease in infections in three global hotspots (including New York City), but the study did not take into account the natural decrease in infections and other simultaneous measures. The study was so flawed that over 40 scientists recommended that the study be withdrawn.
A US study claimed that US counties with mask mandates had lower Covid infection and hospitalization rates, but the authors had to withdraw their study as infections and hospitalizations increased in many of these counties shortly after the study was published.
A German study claimed that the introduction of mandatory face masks in German cities had led to a decrease in infections. But the data does not support this claim: in some cities there was no change, in others a decrease, in others an increase in infections (see graph below). The city of Jena was an ‘exception’ only because it simultaneously introduced the strictest quarantine rules in Germany, but the study did not mention this.
A Canadian study claimed that countries with mandatory masks had fewer deaths than countries without mandatory masks. But the study compared African, Latin American, Asian and Eastern European countries with very different infection rates and population structures.
A review by the University of Oxford claimed that face masks are effective, but it was based on studies about SARS-1 and in health care settings, not in community settings.
A review by members of the lobby group ‘Masks for All’, published in the journal PNAS, claimed that masks are effective as a source control against aerosol transmission in the community, but the review provided no real-world evidence supporting this proposition.
A few more studies to investigate:::
1. bin-Reza F et al. The use of mask and respirators to prevent transmission of influenza: A systematic review of the scientific evidence. Resp Viruses 2012;6(4):257-67. 2. Zhu JH et al. Effects of long-duration wearing of N95 respirator and surgical facemask: a pilot study. J Lung Pulm Resp Res 2014:4:97-100. 3. Ong JJY et al. Headaches associated with personal protective equipment- A cross-sectional study among frontline healthcare workers during COVID-19. Headache 2020;60(5):864-877. 4. Bader A et al. Preliminary report on surgical mask induced deoxygenation during major surgery. Neurocirugia 2008;19:12-126. 5. Shehade H et al. Cutting edge: Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 negatively regulates Th1 function. J Immunol 2015;195:1372-1376. 6. Westendorf AM et al. Hypoxia enhances immunosuppression by inhibiting CD4+ effector T cell function and promoting Treg activity. Cell Physiol Biochem 2017;41:1271-84. 7. Sceneay J et al. Hypoxia-driven immunosuppression contributes to the pre-metastatic niche. Oncoimmunology 2013;2:1 e22355. 8. Blaylock RL. Immunoexcitatory mechanisms in glioma proliferation, invasion and occasional metastasis. Surg Neurol Inter 2013;4:15.
(Thanks Dr. David Jockers)
Do facemasks protect against COVID‐19? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7323223/?fbclid=IwAR1jt_JzRdoAht0ra1hxp3sQxgDfV1gfhmCHKF0BCeYGotlJ0s4ecMozr3s "A meta‐analysis of randomised controlled trials of pre‐COVID‐19 showed that surgical masks or N95 respirators reduced clinical respiratory illness in health‐care workers by 41% and influenza‐like illness by 66%: they work but are far from perfect. 1 N95 masks were not statistically better than surgical masks in preventing proven influenza, 2 nor in preventing COVID‐19, although the latter is based on weak data. 3 N95 masks are more efficient filters of small particles, but these findings suggest it is reasonable to recommend that health‐care workers use surgical masks when there is risk of droplet spread and reserve precious N95 masks for health‐care workers performing aerosol‐generating procedures." "The public might wear masks to avoid infection or to protect others. During the 2009 pandemic of H1N1 influenza (swine flu), encouraging the public to wash their hands reduced the incidence of infection significantly whereas wearing facemasks did not. 5There is no good evidence that facemasks protect the public against infection with respiratory viruses, including COVID‐19. 6" "During the pandemics caused by swine flu and by the coronaviruses which caused SARS and MERS, many people in Asia and elsewhere walked around wearing surgical or homemade cotton masks to protect themselves. One danger of doing this is the illusion of protection. Surgical facemasks are designed to be discarded after single use. As they become moist they become porous and no longer protect. Indeed, experiments have shown that surgical and cotton masks do not trap the SARS‐CoV‐2 (COVID‐19) virus, which can be detected on the outer surface of the masks for up to 7 days. 7 , 8 Thus, a pre‐symptomatic or mildly infected person wearing a facemask for hours without changing it and without washing hands every time they touched the mask could paradoxically increase the risk of infecting others. Because the USA is in a desperate situation, their Centers for Disease Control has recommended the public wear homemade cloth masks. This was essentially done in an effort to try and reduce community transmission, especially from people who may not perceive themselves to be symptomatic, rather than to protect the wearer, although the evidence for this is scant. In contrast, the World Health Organization currently recommends against the public routinely wearing facemasks.In Australia and New Zealand currently, the questionable benefits arguably do not justify health‐care staff wearing surgical masks when treating low‐risk patients and may impede the normal caring relationship between patients, parents and staff. We counsel against such practice, at least at present."
Volume 26, Number 5—May 2020 Policy Review Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article?fbclid=IwAR03mZyGlNZfZeXDQu0ZaETxnK-h4e01I1U_IZMn5ekqocm1e6dQfUpla7I " 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. We similarly found limited evidence on the effectiveness of improved hygiene and environmental cleaning. We identified several major knowledge gaps requiring further research, most fundamentally an improved characterization of the modes of person-to-person transmission." Most of these studies are aimed towards the influenza virus (80-120um), which is LARGER (or similar sized) than the Coronavirus (60-140um). ** Note, masks are NOT selective on the virus, only the size of particles, which is what most of these studies analyze. Cover your cough, wash your hands, and think before touch commonly touched areas! https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4420971/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18500410/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15340662/ https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00173017 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18331781/ https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-35797-3 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31479137/ https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/4/e006577#T1 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21477136/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28039289/ https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/4/e006577.long https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20584862/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22188875/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31479137/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27531371/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29855107/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29678452/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25806411/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23108786/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25858901/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/5333967/ https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article… https://academic.oup.com/annweh/article/54/7/789/202744 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27531371/ https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0843-2 https://vimeo.com/424254660 https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=276231940292992&ref=watch_permalink https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0t84p6H4XA https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19216002/ https://www.cambridge.org/…/64D368496EBDE0AFCC6639CCC9D8BC05 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/…/…/j.1750-2659.2011.00307.x https://www.cmaj.ca/content/188/8/567 https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/65/11/1934/4068747 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2749214 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/jebm.12381 https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download… https://www.cambridge.org/…/0921A05A69A9419C862FA2F35F819D55 https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/11/3/494/397025 https://royalsocietypublishing.org/d…/10.1098/rsif.2011.0537 https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article… https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/…/1471-2458-12-106 https://royalsocietypublishing.org/d…/10.1098/rsif.2010.0686 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12560-011-9056-7 Here are key anchor points to the extensive scientific literature that establishes that wearing surgical masks and respirators (e.g., "N95") does not reduce the risk of contracting a verified illness: • Jacobs, J. L. et al. (2009) "Use of surgical face masks to reduce the incidence of the common cold among health care workers in Japan: A randomized controlled trial," American Journal of Infection Control, Volume 37, Issue 5, 417 - 419. N95-masked health-care workers (HCW) were significantly more likely to experience headaches. Face mask use in HCW was not demonstrated to provide benefit in terms of cold symptoms or getting colds. • Cowling, B. et al. (2010) "Face masks to prevent transmission of influenza virus: A systematic review," Epidemiology and Infection, 138(4), 449-456. DOI:10.1017/S0950268809991658 None of the studies reviewed showed the benefit of wearing a mask in either HCW or community members in households (H). See summary Tables 1 and 2 therein. • bin-Reza et al. (2012), "The use of masks and respirators to prevent transmission of influenza: a systematic review of the scientific evidence," Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 6(4), 257-267. “There were 17 eligible studies. [...] None of the studies established a conclusive relationship between mask/respirator use and protection against inﬂuenza infection." • Smith, J.D. et al. (2016) "Effectiveness of N95 respirators versus surgical masks in protecting health care workers from acute respiratory infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis", CMAJ Mar 2016, cmaj.150835; DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.15083 "We identified 6 clinical studies ... In the meta-analysis of the clinical studies, we found no significant difference between N95 respirators and surgical masks in the associated risk of (a) laboratory-confirmed respiratory infection, (b) influenza-like illness, or (c) reported work-place absenteeism." • Offeddu, V. et al. (2017) "Effectiveness of Masks and Respirators Against Respiratory Infections in Healthcare Workers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis," Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 65, Issue 11, 1 December 2017, Pages 1934-1942, https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/cix681 • Radonovich, L.J. et al. (2019) "N95 Respirators vs. Medical Masks for Preventing Influenza Among Health Care Personnel: A Randomized Clinical Trial", JAMA. 2019; 322(9): 824-833. DOI:10.1001/jama.2019.11645 "Among 2862 randomized participants, 2371, completed the study and accounted for 5180 HCW-seasons. ... Among outpatient health care personnel, N95 respirators vs. medical masks as worn by participants in this trial resulted in no significant difference in the incidence of laboratory-confirmed influenza.” • Long, Y. et al. (2020) "Effectiveness of N95 respirators versus surgical masks against influenza: A systematic review and meta-analysis", J Evid Based Med. 2020; 1- 9. https://doi.org/10.1111/jebm.12381 No study with verified outcome shows a benefit for HCW or community members in households to wearing a mask or respirator. There is no such study. There are no exceptions. Likewise, no study exists that shows a benefit from a broad policy to wear masks in public. Furthermore, if there were any benefit to wearing a mask, because of the blocking power against droplets and aerosol particles, then there should be more benefit from wearing a respirator (N95) compared to a surgical mask, yet several large meta-analyses, and all the RCT, prove that there is no such relative benefit. Masks and respirators do not work. Many potential harms may arise from broad public policies to wear masks, and the following unanswered questions arise: • Do used and loaded masks become sources of enhanced transmission, for the wearer and others? • Do masks become collectors and retainers of pathogens that the mask wearer would otherwise avoid when breathing without a mask? • Are large droplets captured by a mask atomized or aerosolized into breathable components? Can virions escape an evaporating droplet stuck to a mask fiber? • What are the dangers of bacterial growth on a used and loaded mask? • How do pathogen-laden droplets interact with environmental dust and aerosols captured on the mask? • What are long-term health effects on HCW, such as headaches, arising from impeded breathing? • Are there negative social consequences to a masked society? • Are there negative psychological consequences of wearing a mask, as a fear-based behavioral modification? • What are the environmental consequences of mask manufacturing and disposal? • Do the masks shed fibers or substances that are harmful when inhaled? God bless y’all Dr. Serge
Thinking a mask will save you is like thinking a 'filter' on a cigarette will prevent lung cancer.
Volume 26, Number 5—May 2020
Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures
"In our systematic review, we identified 10 RCTs that reported estimates of the effectiveness of face masks in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections in the community from literature published during 1946–July 27, 2018. In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks (RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.51–1.20; I2 = 30%, p = 0.25) (Figure 2)"
Emerg Infect Dis
. 2020 May;26(5):961-966. doi: 10.3201/eid2605.190993. Epub 2020 May 17. Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings-International Travel-Related Measures
Now that we have a randomized controlled trial (RCT) about masks, will it change what you do? https://aapsonline.org/now-that-we-have-a-randomized-controlled-trial-rct-about-masks-will-it-change-what-you-do/