I think there is something interesting to point out. When the “cases” of COVID were being reported back in the early parts of the year, face masks were not recommended. We even had Dr. Fauci and news reporters telling us they do not offer protection and should be reserved for healthcare workers only. When Summer came and the COVID cases reduced – as is common with influenza type illnesses, the fear began to subside. Suddenly, face masks were deemed a great tool and were recommended. The studies proving their ineffectiveness which ranked in the top spots on Google, were suddenly nowhere to be seen – and instead, more and more “studies” conveniently popped up online to support the guidance.
Firstly, I’d like to cast your minds back to March 2020 and the following video of Dr. Fauci saying they do not work and actually, due to improper wearing, could come with increased risk.
FLASHBACK MARCH 2020: Fauci Says “There’s No Reason To Be Walking Around With A Mask”
Then in April the Daily Mail published an article quoting the WHO, advising again, face masks do not work and should not be worn. One quote, by Matt Hancock the health secretary in the UK, says; ‘well’ Britons do not need to wear masks because evidence on them being useless has been ‘very clear from the start’. Interesting…
Many have pointed out that even on the packaging of masks themselves, there is a disclaimer stating they do not protect against corona virus. See example here;
HighWire host Del Bigtree’s 11-year-old son, Ever, joins him on stage to test his levels of carbon dioxide inside a mask, face shield, and cloth bandana. The results from the OSHA approved testing device should shock any parent, especially when children are being encouraged to wear them in schools when they return:
Some of the “studies” being relied upon to make such decisions to mandate widespread mask wearing, are under fire by leading Scientists. They are calling on a journal to retract a paper on the effectiveness of masks, saying the study has “egregious errors” and contains numerous “verifiably false” statements. The scientists wrote a letter to the journal editors on Thursday, asking them to retract the study immediately “given the scope and severity of the issues we present, and the paper’s outsized and immediate public impact.” Full article here which links to the study in question; https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/18/health/coronavirus-retractions-studies.html
Review of the Medical Literature
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. You’ll notice these are all years prior to the pandemic, unlike many of the sudden supporting studies.
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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19216002
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. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection/article/face-masks-to-prevent-transmission-of-influenza-virus-a-systematic- review/64D368496EBDE0AFCC6639CCC9D8BC05
None of the studies reviewed showed a benefit from 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. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1750-2659.2011.00307.x
“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 https://www.cmaj.ca/content/188/8/567
“We identified six clinical studies … . In the meta-analysis of the clinical studies, we found no significant difference between N95 respirators and surgical masks in 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://academic.oup.com/cid/article/65/11/1934/4068747
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. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2749214
“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://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/jebm.12381
“A total of six RCTs involving 9,171 participants were included. There were no statistically significant differences in preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza, laboratory-confirmed respiratory viral infections, laboratory-confirmed respiratory infection, and influenza-like illness using N95 respirators and surgical masks. Meta-analysis indicated a protective effect of N95 respirators against laboratory-confirmed bacterial colonization (RR = 0.58, 95% CI 0.43-0.78). The use of N95 respirators compared with surgical masks is not associated with a lower risk of laboratory-confirmed influenza.”
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. It is not surprising, therefore, that no bias-free study has ever found a benefit from wearing a mask or respirator in this application.
As per Denis G. Rancourt, PhD; “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 aerolized 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 to 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?
By making mask-wearing recommendations and policies for the general public, or by expressly condoning the practice, governments have both ignored the scientific evidence and done the opposite of following the precautionary principle. In an absence of knowledge, governments should not make policies that have a hypothetical potential to cause harm. The government has an onus barrier before it instigates a broad social-engineering intervention, or allows corporations to exploit fear-based sentiments.”
If I was to take a guess at why mask wearing was only considered necessary when COVID rates were at their lowest, it’s possibly because it kept the virus in the forefront of our minds. When you look around you, no one is dropping dead in the street. It doesn’t look like any pandemic I have read about or seen in films. To maintain fear and remind us that our lives are not normal, we have the masks and these are ready to trade in as soon as the highly profitable vaccine arrives.
Whatever you decide to do, do it for yourself. Please do not put your thoughts and feelings of the matter on to others as there is adequate evidence to support not wearing a mask. Just because the government has mandated something it does not mean it’s safe or right. Smoking was safe, asbestos was safe, DDT was safe… the government has been wrong on countless occasions throughout history, so you’ll have to excuse the people who choose to think for themselves.