“Wearing a mask…offers little, if any, protection from infection” – Harvard doctors
- The Facts:
A study published in the New England Medical Journal outlines how it's already known that masks provide little to zero benefit when it comes to protection a public setting.
- Reflect On:
Should we have the freedom to wear masks? Why are so many things we are doing right now contrary to data and evidence? Are these measures helping us thrive, or are they totalitarian type measures?
What Happened: Is this fake news? No, it’s a quote directly from a paper published a couple of months ago in the New England Journal of Medicine by, Michael Klompas, M.D., M.P.H., Charles A. Morris, M.D., M.P.H., Julia Sinclair, M.B.A., Madelyn Pearson, D.N.P., R.N., and Erica S. Shenoy, M.D., Ph.D. Whether or not it’s true may be up for debate, but these authors put it quite bluntly. According to the paper:
We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.
The calculus may be different, however, in health care settings. First and foremost, a mask is a core component of the personal protective equipment (PPE) clinicians need when caring for symptomatic patients with respiratory viral infections, in conjunction with gown, gloves, and eye protection. Masking in this context is already part of routine operations for most hospitals. What is less clear is whether a mask offers any further protection in health care settings in which the wearer has no direct interactions with symptomatic patients.
That being said, the study acknowledge that the mask “may” provide some protection, and so do other published studies as well, but we can’t say this for sure. It might simply be a harmless precautionary measure in the minds of many as well. But to mandate them seems to be, in the minds of many, not the correct thing to do, especially when there is science on both ends of the coin.
The study goes on to examine whether a mask alone is even an effective health-care measure, and discusses its capability alone devoid of other, what seem to be more important practices, like washing your hands. Instead of a mandate, should the citizenry simply be encouraged to wear masks, with the government explaining the science and still giving people a choice? Why are they saying it’s to protect other people when there is no evidence that it actually does that?
What’s interesting about this particular study is that it’s one of multiple that mention how masks are more of a symbolic representation. As mentioned above, the paper states that “in many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.” Again, the study is an examination of the validity of masks in a health care setting (which is also questionable) with regards to the new coronavirus, and clearly states that it’s already known that they offer almost zero protection in a public setting.
It is also clear that masks serve symbolic roles. Masks are not only tools, they are also talismans that may help increase health care workers’ perceived sense of safety, well-being, and trust in their hospitals. Although such reactions may not be strictly logical, we are all subject to fear and anxiety, especially during times of crisis. One might argue that fear and anxiety are better countered with data and education than with a marginally beneficial mask, particularly in light of the worldwide mask shortage, but it is difficult to get clinicians to hear this message in the heat of the current crisis. Expanded masking protocols’ greatest contribution may be to reduce the transmission of anxiety, over and above whatever role they may play in reducing transmission of Covid-19.
Below is a quote from a very interesting paper published in 2016, titled “The Surgical Mask Is A Bad Fit For Risk Reduction.”
As represented by our cinema and other media, Western society expects too much of masks. In the public’s mind, the still-legitimate use of masks for source control has gone off-label; masks are thought to prevent infection. From here, another problem arises: because surgical masks are thought to protect against infection in the community setting, people wearing masks for legitimate purposes (those who have a cough in a hospital, say) form part of the larger misperception and act to reinforce it. Even this proper use of surgical masks is incorporated into a larger improper use in the era of pandemic fear, especially in Asia, where such fear is high. The widespread misconception about the use of surgical masks — that wearing a mask protects against the transmission of virus — is a problem of the kind theorized by German sociologist Ulrich Beck.
The birth of the mask came from the realization that surgical wounds need protection from the droplets released in the breath of surgeons. The technology was applied outside the operating room in an effort to control the spread of infectious epidemics. In the 1919 influenza pandemic, masks were available and were dispensed to populations, but they had no impact on the epidemic curve. At the time, it was unknown that the influenza organism is nanoscopic and can theoretically penetrate the surgical mask barrier. As recently as 2010, the US National Academy of Sciences declared that, in the community setting, “face masks are not designed or certified to protect the wearer from exposure to respiratory hazards.” A number of studies have shown the inefficacy of the surgical mask in household settings to prevent transmission of the influenza virus…
A study published in 2015 found that cloth masks can increase healthcare workers risk of infection. It also called into question the efficacy of medical masks. You can read more about that and access it here.
The physiological effects of breathing elevated inhaled CO2 may include changes in visual performance, modified exercise endurance, headaches and dyspnea. The psychological effects include decreased reasoning and alertness, increased irritability, severe dyspnea, headache, dizziness, perspiration, and short-term memory loss. (source)
There are studies out there that also suggest that wearing masks can indeed help prevent Covid-19, especially in an acute care setting, it’s just that we are hearing so much of it that we forget to examine the science on the other side of the coin.
The list goes on, these are just a few examples.
The next important question to ask ourselves is, are health authorities making this pandemic out to be more serious than it actually is? Many scientists and epidemiologists from around the world have expressed this belief, and many of them, as a result, have been censored by social media platforms. Why is there an authoritarian “fact-checker” going around censoring information, evidence, and opinions being presented by some of the worlds leading scientists in this area simply because it opposes the narrative given to us by organizations like The World Health Organization? (WHO)
Are masks being used to prolong fear and hysteria?
John P. A. Ioannidis, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Stanford University has said that the infection fatality rate is close to 0 percent for people under the age of 45 years old. Why are we taking such measures for a respiratory infection when tens of millions of people get infected and die from respiratory viruses every single year?
Why is there so much controversy surrounding the deaths? For example, in Toronto Canada, “Individuals who have died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19 are included in the case counts for COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.” (source)
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, recently stated that, even if it’s clear one died of an alternative cause, their death will still be marked as a COVID death.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced a change to how it tallies coronavirus deaths amid complaints that it inflated numbers. This has been a common theme throughout the US as well as the World.
Vittorio Sgarbi, Italian politician Mayor of Sutri gave an emotional speech at a hearing on the 24th of April where he emphasized that the number of deaths in Italy due to COVID-19 are completely false and that the people are being lied to.
This isn’t even the tip of the ice-berg when it comes to manufactured deaths.
What’s really going on here? Is this actually about the pandemic, or was Edward Snowden right? That governments are using the new coronavirus to impose more authoritarian measures on the population, measures that will stick around long after the virus is gone? You can read more about his comments here.
Was Dr. Ron Paul correct when he said that this virus is less dangerous than it’s being made out to be? And that people will profit both politically and financially from this in the form of more of our basic rights being taken away? Is this simply being used like the justification for mass surveillance was used? To protect the population, or is it for, as NSA whistle-blower William Binney says, “total population control?” You can read more about his comments here.
It’s quite clear that a large portion of the population doesn’t agree with various medical mandates, and wearing masks is one of those mandates. The reason is justified, and that’s simply because there is no evidence that they can protect the general public, and depending on the material, in some cases it can be harmful. I find it hard to believe that someone would have an issue with someone else not wanting to breathe in their own carbon monoxide, but I also understand that many peoples perception with regards to this pandemic has been severely manipulated.
On the flip side, due to so many instances where things don’t make sense, this pandemic is contributing to another large amount of people questioning what we are being told and being forced to do by our government, this is causing a deep awakening of the masses. Perhaps this is the larger reason it’s playing out from a collective consciousness perspective.
At the end of the day, more measures are continually pushed upon the population without their consent. We don’t have to continue to obey, continue to elect, and help maintain a system that is clearly not serving us to thrive.