Are Masks a Good option to Protect you from a Virus infection? Is there any Side Effects from Long Term use?
Why do we cover this topic? Because it has become in 2020, a widely spread suggestion by many governments to use MASKS as one of your best daily protection against the VIRUS.
Lets start step by step, since this can be a highly polemic topic. What do the people that make the MASKS most commonly used say ...
Here is the first RED FLAG we detected! What does it say it CAPITAL LETTERS:
"WARNING: THIS PRODUCT IS AN EAR LOOP MASK. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT A RESPIRATOR AND WILL NOT PROVIDE ANY PROTECTION AGAINST COVID-19 ( CORONAVIRUS) OR OTHER VIRUSES OR CONTAMINANTS. Wearing an ear loop mask does not reduce the risk of contracting any disease or infection ...."
This seems very CLEAR , so then why suggest it as one of the best protections? when the same manufacturers says it does not PROTECT?
But let's see what the World Health Organization says about this ...
If you see the HIGH LIGHTED section, even the WHO does not suggest use general use, UNLESS physical distancing cannot be maintained . Then why do we see people driving by themselves and wearing a mask? Running in the park and wearing a mask? Even in the super market, if you maintain your 6 ft distance, masks are not suggest according to the WHO.
Now lets see what some Experts say about Masks ...
Here we see Dr. Fauci clearly stating that :"IN THE MIDDLE OF AN OUTBREAK , WE SHOULD NOT ALL WEAR A MASK, he even said that using "MASKS has UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES". But the strange thing is that later on he changed , and said we all should were masks . Did the SCIENCE CHANGE?
NOTE: When asked about this Video, He justified his comments by saying that he only said that , to prevent shortage of masks for essential workers, but please review the video again, and you will see that it was clearly not the case.
Now let's see what the Head of the CDC has shared about MASKS ....
Once again, we see many INCONSISTENCIES ... First the Head of the CDC clearly STATED that we all should NOT use masks . Even initially in their own site they posted that Recommendation, and the head of the CDC even shared that on his twitter feed. But then he changed, and said that MASKS are the most important protective measure , even more important than VACCINES???? Once again : Did the SCIENCE suddenly Changed?
But let's keep investigating , because so far the MESSAGE still is not clear if there is SCIENTIFIC PROOF of the Benefits of using a MASKS to prevent the VIRUS INFECTION.
Since W.H.O. apparently is serving as a guide of what to do and not do for Governments, let's see what SCIENCE they have found as evidence of Risks/Benefits of using a Masks:
Here we have another RED FLAG, W.H.O. clearly states the BLUE SELECTED text this :"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" .... So that Means that on top of not having solid proof of benefits, they have potential HARMS???? What are those potential Harms?
This risks described here are very critical to consider, and exactly in regards that point, we will share now an INTERVIEW with some OSHA Experts that Train Doctors on how to use properly masks , and they explain how masking all people is VERY RISKY and can even INCREASE the Spread of the DISEASE for not knowing how to use it correctly ! that is a BIG RED FLAG ! So on top of not helping, it can even make things worst?
Source of CDC Study cited in Previous VIDEO where it shows that MASKS did not work: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6936a5.htm
As we can see, we have RED FLAGS all over ! But lets see more SCIENCE behind Masks:
As you can see from the SCIENCE cited, just as W.H.O. described, their are NO good scientific proof of the benefits in preventing VIRUS INFECTION, but on top of that, just as the OSHA experts shared, their are many Scientific evidence, as just attached, that share about potential RISKS, specially when used incorrectly and/or for a prolonged time. Are we really considering those RISKS/BENEFITS?
Medical Doctor Warns that “Bacterial Pneumonias Are on the Rise” from Mask Wearing
Did you know that in the PANDEMIC of 1918 , most people DID NOT DIE of the VIRUS, but from Bacterial pneumonias ?
All this STATED directly by a Government site , from the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH ...
After seeing that happened in 1918, Shouldn't we more concerned about Masking all People?
But if you still have doubts, let us include some more additional information from More Experts and Studies around the World in regards Masks:
Additional information in REGARDS MASKS ....
Face masks decrease oxygen, increase carbon dioxide, and alter breathing in ways that increase susceptibility and severity of CoVID-19
Mask wearers frequently report symptoms of difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, headache, lightheadedness, dizziness, anxiety, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, and other subjective symptoms while wearing medical masks. As a surgeon, I have worn masks for prolonged periods of time in thousands of surgeries and can assure you these symptoms do occur when surgical masks are worn for extended periods of time. The longer a surgical mask is worn, the more saturated with moisture it becomes, and the more significantly it inhibits the inflow of oxygen and outflow of carbon dioxide.
In fact, clinical research shows that medical masks lower blood oxygen levels[R] and raise carbon dioxide blood levels.[R] The deviations in oxygen and carbon dioxide may not reach the clinical criteria for hypoxia (low blood oxygen), hypoxemia (low tissue oxygen), or hypercapnia (elevated blood carbon dioxide), but they can deviate enough to cause even healthy individuals to become symptomatic, as occurred with the surgeons studied and published in this report:
At the same time masks inhibit oxygen intake, they trap the carbon dioxide rich breath in the mouth/mask inter-space. Thus, a fraction of carbon dioxide previously exhaled is inhaled at each respiratory cycle.
Masks force you to re-breathe a portion of your own breath, including all the stuff (infectious viral particles) the lungs were trying to remove from the body (more on this later).
As medical masks lower oxygen and raise carbon dioxide in the blood, the brain senses the changes and the risk they pose to the maintenance of normal physiology. Thus, the brain goes to work to bring things back in order. To obtain more oxygen and remove more carbon dioxide, the brain tells the lungs to increase the rate (frequency) and depth of breaths.[R] Unfortunately, struggle as they may, your brain and lungs can not fully compensate for the negative effects of the mask. Some may even suffer the symptoms of carbon dioxide toxicity.
For people with diseases of the lungs, especially chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), face masks are intolerable to wear as they worsen breathlessness.[R]
In the case of respiratory pathogens, the negative effects of masks and the respiratory changes they induce could increase susceptibility and transmission of CoVID-19, as well as other respiratory pathogens.
Viral particles move through face masks with relative ease. Studies show that about 44% of viral particles pass through surgical masks, 97% pass through cloth masks, and about 5% through N95 masks. Increasing tidal volume (depth of breaths) results in literally sucking more air, more forcefully through and around the mask. Any SARS CoV-2 particles on, in, or around the mask are more forcefully suctioned into the mouth and lungs as a result of the compensatory increases in tidal volume.
The changes in respiratory rate and depth may also increase the severity of CoVID-19 as the increased tidal volume delivers the viral particles deeper into the lungs.
These changes may worsen the community transmission of CoVID-19 when infected people wearing masks exhale air more heavily contaminated with viral particles from the lungs.
These effects are amplified if face masks are contaminated with the viruses, bacteria, or fungi that find their way or opportunistically grow in the warm, moist environment that medical masks quickly become.
Despite the scientific evidence to the contrary, public health experts claim that medical masks do not cause clinically significant hypoxia (low oxygen) and hypercapnia (high CO2). I would like to ask those experts to explain the growing number of cases in which medical masks worn during exercise have resulted in lung injuries and heart attacks:
Jogger's lung collapses after he ran for 2.5 miles while wearing a face mask [R]
If medical masks were perfectly safe and effective, then why would healthy boys suffer heart attacks or a 26 year old man collapse his lung while wearing masks and running?! In my opinion, these are tragic examples of the risks of wearing medical masks. And we are only getting started.
SARS CoV-2 becomes more dangerous when blood oxygen levels decline
Low blood levels of oxygen is a critical issue in the pathogenicity of CoVID-19. The virus' ability to infect cells is markedly enhanced by oxygen desaturation, which we know occurs when wearing a surgical mask.[R]
One of the features that make SARS CoV-2 uniquely infectious is the "furin cleavage" sequence in the virus that activates increased ACE2 receptor attack and cellular invasion in low oxygen environments.[R]
The furin cleavage site of SARS CoV-2 increases cellular invasion, especially during hypoxia (low blood oxygen levels)[R]
The furin cleavage site found in SARS CoV-2 is the likely result of the bio-engineering “gain of function” (increasing the virulence of a pathogen) research conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. This unethical, dangerous, and illegal-in-most-countries research is alleged to have been funded by Dr. Anthony Fauci (with $7.4 million taxpayer dollars) and Bill Gates.
Furin cleavage sites are found in some of the most pathogenic forms of influenza. The furin cleavage domain in SARS CoV-2 is cleaved by furin on the target cell.
Furin is an ubiquitous protease in humans. It is found in a wide variety of tissues in the human body: heart, brain, kidney, etc. It is expressed in significant concentrations in human lung cells, the common target of SARS CoV-2. When the virus encounters a lung cell expressing (both an ACE2 receptor and furin), the furin cleaves the furin cleavage site on SARS CoV-2, activates the virus' surface S (spike) protein, and enables the virus to more effectively bind the ACE2 receptors and more efficiently invade the cell.[R]
Remember how medical face masks decrease blood oxygen levels? Well, now you need to know that SARS CoV-2's ability to invade and infect our cells is greatly enhanced under conditions of low oxygen.[R]
Therefore, wearing a medical mask may increase the severity of CoVID-19. If that does not motivate you to ditch your mask, there are more reasons to come.
Some of the most pathogenic forms of influenza and HIV are armed with similar furin cleavage sites. However, furin cleavage sites are not present in other beta coronaviruses. The furin cleavage site is NOT present in SARS CoV-1, MERS, or the other "bat coronaviruses" postulated to be the progenitors of SARS CoV-2.
It is worth repeating: SARS-CoV, which is closely related to the newest SARS-CoV-2 strain, does not bear the furin cleavage site. So how did SARS CoV-2 gain the furin cleavage function?
Dr. Fauci built his career on HIV research, HIV vaccine failures, and unethical "gain of function" research. He undoubtedly knows a lot about furin cleavage sites and the suspicious origins of SARS CoV-2. Perhaps Congress should ask him...under oath...preferably with an indictment.
The question we should all be asking is how did the genetic sequence that codes for this serious gain of function that increases the potential for the virus to successfully infiltrate the host find its way into SARS-CoV-2? That’s the trillion dollar question; it demands a real answer.
Medical masks trap exhaled viral particles in the mouth/mask interspace, increase viral load, and increase the severity of disease.
Face masks trap exhaled viral particles in the mouth/mask inter-space.[R] The trapped viral particles are prevented from removal from the airways. The mask wearer is thus forced to re-breathe the viral particles, increasing infectious viral particles in the airways and lungs. In this way, medical masks cause self-inoculation, increase viral load, and increase the severity of disease.
Asymptomatic or mild cases of CoVID-19 become more severe when an infected individual is masked, oxygen lowers, viral load increases from particle re-breathing, and the disease overwhelms the innate immune system.
The main purpose of the innate immune response is to immediately prevent the spread and movement of foreign pathogens throughout the body.[R]
The innate immune system plays a crucial role in destroying the virus, preventing infection, or decreasing the viral load to decrease the severity of infection.
The innate immunity’s effectiveness is highly dependent on the viral load. If face masks increase viral particle re-breathing at the same time they create a humid habitat where SARS-CoV-2 remains actively infectious, the mask increases the viral load and can overwhelm the innate immune system.
This trapping, re-breathing, and increasing pathogen load delivered to the lungs becomes dramatically more dangerous when the medical mask becomes contaminated with the opportunistic viruses, bacteria, and fungi that can grow in the warm, moist environment of the mask.
“By wearing a mask, the exhaled viruses will not be able to escape and will concentrate in the nasal passages, enter the olfactory nerves and travel into the brain.” - Russell Blaylock, MD
Masks are unnecessary when asymptomatic spreading of SARS CoV-2 is “very rare”
Much of the recommendation for community wearing of masks was based on the belief that asymptomatic carriers of SARS CoV-2 were responsible for the transmission and spread of CoVID-19. There was no real scientific evidence for this belief. However, antibody testing began demonstrating larger numbers of people with antibodies to the virus than anyone imagined. Therefore, the belief was that these people must represent asymptomatic carriers that were spreading the disease.
Contact tracing has determined that asymptomatic cases are not causing secondary transmission:
“We have a number of reports from countries who are doing very detailed contact tracing," she [Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit], said. "They’re following asymptomatic cases. They’re following contacts. And they’re not finding secondary transmission onward. It’s very rare.”
More from the article:
Coronavirus patients without symptoms aren’t driving the spread of the virus, World Health Organization officials said Monday, casting doubt on concerns by some researchers that the disease could be difficult to contain due to asymptomatic infections.
Some people, particularly young and otherwise healthy individuals, who are infected by the coronavirus never develop symptoms or only develop mild symptoms. Others might not develop symptoms until days after they were actually infected.
Preliminary evidence from the earliest outbreaks indicated that the virus could spread from person-to-person contact, even if the carrier didn’t have symptoms. But WHO officials now say that while asymptomatic spread can occur, it is not the main way it’s being transmitted.
"From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual,” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said at a news briefing from the United Nations agency’s Geneva headquarters. "It’s very rare."
The fact that asymptomatic carriers are not a major driver of the disease tells us that masks are unnecessary.
The Evidence for Aerosol Transmission is Weak
The likelihood of airborne transmission—especially compared with other routes, such as droplets or surfaces—remains unclear. Most researchers still think the new coronavirus is primarily spread via droplets and touching infected people or surfaces. So diligent hand washing and social distancing are still the most important measures people can take to avoid infection.”[Scientific American, 5/12/2020]
Wearing a face mask may give a false sense of security
Wearing a face mask may give a false sense of security.
People adopt a reduction in compliance with other infection control measures, including social distancing and hands washing.[R]
Inappropriate use of face masks:
People must not touch their masks, must change their single-use masks frequently or wash them regularly, dispose them correctly and adopt other management measures, otherwise their risks and those of others may increase.[R][R]
Wearing a face mask makes the exhaled air go into the eyes.
This generates an uncomfortable feeling and an impulse to touch your eyes. If your hands are contaminated and you touch or rub your eyes, you are infecting yourself.[R]
Masks compromise communications and reduce social distancing
The quality and volume of speech between two people wearing masks is considerably compromised, so they may unconsciously move closer to improve communications.
This increases the likelihood of becoming exposed to respiratory droplets containing infectious viral particles.
Contact tracing studies show that asymptomatic carrier transmission is very rare.
Asymptomatic carriers are not a major driver of the disease.[R]
Therefore, masks are unnecessary.
Furthermore, social distancing is unnecessary.
Face masks and stay at home orders prevent the development of herd immunity.
Only herd immunity can prevent pandemics.
Only herd immunity will protect the vulnerable members of society.
Lack of Scientific Evidence for Community Wearing of Face Masks
There is no reasonable scientific evidence to support healthy people wearing masks. Russell Blaylock, MD had this to say about the science of masks:
As for the scientific support for the use of face mask, a recent careful examination of the literature, in which 17 of the best studies were analyzed, concluded that,“None of the studies established a conclusive relationship between mask/respirator use and protection against influenza infection.”[R] Keep in mind, no studies have been done to demonstrate that either a cloth mask or the N95 mask has any effect on transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Any recommendations, therefore, have to be based on studies of influenza virus transmission. The fact is, there is no conclusive evidence of their efficiency in controlling flu virus transmission.[R]
Here's what a group of physicians wrote regarding Universal Masking in Hospitals in the CoVID-19 Era in the New England Journal of Medicine:
We know that wearing a mask outside healthcare 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 clinical research on this topic is clear: even when handled and worn properly, which is definitely NOT happening in the public spaces, wearing a mask in public offers little or no protection from infection. However, when masks are handled and worn improperly, they are a personal and public health disaster.
The "Hamster Study" is an example of weak science used to support bad recommendations
Here’s an example of one of the experimental studies used by some public health authorities to support wearing masks in the community:
Does this study of “masking” hamster cages sound like the kind of solid scientific evidence that supports recommendations or mandates for everyone to wear masks during the CoVID-19 pandemic? No. The hamsters were not forced to wear tiny hamster surgical masks, their cages were covered with a barrier made of mask-like material. The experiment was more about walls or barriers than it was masks.
The experiment did not create the same conditions experienced by masked humans. Placing a cloth barrier on hamster cages is nothing like masking the mouth and nose of humans. The way this experiment was set up, inhalations were unimpeded, therefore, arterial oxygen levels would not be expected to lower. Likewise, exhalations were not trapped in a way that would force the hamsters to suffer re-breathing their own carbon-dioxide or subject them to the dangers of re-inhaling the infectious viral particles released with each exhalation.
This study does not provide support for the recommendation for masking all members of the public to reduce transmission of SARS CoV-2. Those citing this study to support wearing masks in the community are inappropriately extrapolating and conflating the experiment's findings to contrive a conclusion the experimental methodology does not allow.
Some studies even question the efficacy of surgical masks in the operating room
Following the commissioning of a new suite of operating rooms, air movement studies showed a flow of air away from the operating table towards the periphery of the room. Oral microbial flora dispersed by unmasked male and female volunteers standing one meter from the table failed to contaminate exposed settle plates placed on the table. The wearing of face masks by non-scrubbed staff working in an operating room with forced ventilation seems to be unnecessary.
Experts Speak Out
If you don't believe me, listen to what these experts have to say:
Dr. Brosseau, a national expert on respiratory protection and infectious diseases
In April, Dr. Brosseau, a national expert on respiratory protection and infectious diseases at the University of Illinois at Chicago published an article titled “Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data”. She wrote:
“Sweeping mask recommendations—as many have proposed—will not reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission, as evidenced by the widespread practice of wearing such masks in Hubei province, China, before and during its mass COVID-19 transmission experience earlier this year. Our review of relevant studies indicates that cloth masks will be ineffective at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, whether worn as source control or as PPE.
Surgical masks likely have some utility as source control (meaning the wearer limits virus dispersal to another person) from a symptomatic patient in a healthcare setting to stop the spread of large cough particles and limit the lateral dispersion of cough particles. They may also have very limited utility as source control or PPE in households.
If masks had been the solution in Asia, shouldn’t they have stopped the pandemic before it spread elsewhere?”
Top immunologist, Prof. Dolores Cahill
Top immunologist, Prof. Dolores Cahill, who has studied coronaviruses for years explains: once you’ve had the novel Coronavirus, you are immune; masks & social distancing do not affect coronavirus transmission; and how this lockdown was a mistake. Watch the full Dr. Dolores Cahill interview on the Highwire with Del Bigtree
Covid-19: important potential side effects of wearing face masks that we should bear in mind
This is the letter Dr. Cahill wrote to the British Medical Journal:
In their editorial to the BMJ, Greenhalgh et al. advise that surgical masks should be worn in public to prevent some transmission of covid-19, adding that we should sometimes act without definitive evidence, just in case, according to the precautionary principle. The authors quote a definition of the precautionary principle found on Wikipedia, “a strategy for approaching issues of potential harm when extensive scientific knowledge on the matter is lacking.”
However, while no single formulation of that principle has been universally adopted, the precautionary principle aims at preventing researchers and policy makers from neglecting potentially-harmful side effects of interventions. Before implementing clinical and public health interventions, one must actively hypothesize and describe potential side effects and only then decide whether they are worth being quantified or not.
Most scientific articles and guidelines in the context of the covid-19 pandemic highlight two potential side effects of wearing surgical face masks in the public, but we believe that there are other ones that are worth considering before any global public health policy is implemented involving billions of people.
The two potential side effects that have already been acknowledged are:
Wearing a face mask may give a false sense of security and make people adopt a reduction in compliance with other infection control measures, including social distancing and hands washing.
Inappropriate use of face mask: people must not touch their masks, must change their single-use masks frequently or wash them regularly, dispose them correctly, and adopt other management measures, otherwise their risks and those of others may increase.[3,4]
Other potential side effects that we must consider are:
The quality and volume of speech between two people wearing masks is considerably compromised, so they may unconsciously move closer. While one may be trained to counteract side effect n.1, this side effect may be more difficult to tackle.
Wearing a face mask makes the exhaled air go into the eyes. This generates an uncomfortable feeling and an impulse to touch your eyes. If your hands are contaminated, you are infecting yourself.
Face masks make breathing more difficult. For people with COPD, face masks are in fact intolerable to wear as they worsen their breathlessness. Moreover, a fraction of carbon dioxide previously exhaled is inhaled at each respiratory cycle. Those two phenomena increase breathing frequency and deepness, and hence they increase the amount of inhaled and exhaled air. This may worsen the burden of covid-19 if infected people wearing masks spread more contaminated air. This may also worsen the clinical condition of infected people if the enhanced breathing pushes the viral load down into their lungs.
The effects described at point 5 are amplified if face masks are heavily contaminated (see point 2)
While impeding person-to-person transmission is key to limiting the outbreak, so far little importance has been given to the events taking place after a transmission has happened, when innate immunity plays a crucial role. The main purpose of the innate immune response is to immediately prevent the spread and movement of foreign pathogens throughout the body. The innate immunity’s efficacy is highly dependent on the viral load. If face masks determine a humid habitat where the SARS-CoV-2 can remain active due to the water vapour continuously provided by breathing and captured by the mask fabric, they determine an increase in viral load and therefore they can cause a defeat of the innate immunity and an increase in infections. This phenomenon may also interact with and enhance previous points.
In conclusion, as opposed to Greenhalgh et al., we believe that the context of the current covid-19 pandemic is very different from that of the “parachutes for jumping out of aeroplanes”, in which the dynamics of harm and prevention are easy to define and even to quantify without the need of research studies. It is necessary to quantify the complex interactions that may well be operating between positive and negative effects of wearing surgical masks at population level. It is not time to act without evidence.
Dr. Russell Blaylock warns that not only do face masks fail to protect the healthy from getting sick, but they also create serious health risks to the wearer. The bottom line is that if you are not sick, you should not wear a face mask.
As businesses reopen, many are requiring shoppers and employees to wear a face mask. Costco, for instance, will not allow shoppers into the store without wearing a face mask. Many employers are requiring all employees to wear a face mask while at work. In some jurisdictions, all citizens must wear a face mask if they are outside of their own home. ⁃ TN Editor
With the advent of the so-called COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a number of medical practices that have little or no scientific support being promoted to reduce the spread of this infection. One of these measures is the wearing of facial masks, either a surgical-type mask, bandanna or N95 respirator mask. When this pandemic began and we knew little about the virus itself or its epidemiologic behavior, it was assumed that it would behave, in terms of spread among communities, like other respiratory viruses. Little has presented itself after intense study of this virus and its behavior to change this perception.
This is somewhat of an unusual virus in that for the vast majority of people infected by the virus, one experiences either no illness (asymptomatic) or very little sickness. Only a very small number of people are at risk of a potentially serious outcome from the infection—mainly those with underlying serious medical conditions in conjunction with advanced age and frailty, those with immune compromising conditions and nursing home patients near the end of their lives. There is growing evidence that the treatment protocol issued to treating doctors by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mainly intubation and use of a ventilator (respirator), may have contributed significantly to the high death rate in these select individuals.
By wearing a mask, the exhaled viruses will not be able to escape and will concentrate in the nasal passages, enter the olfactory nerves and travel into the brain.
Russell Blaylock, MD
As for the scientific support for the use of face masks, a recent careful examination of the literature, in which 17 of the best studies were analyzed, concluded that, “None of the studies established a conclusive relationship between mask/respirator use and protection against influenza infection.”1 Keep in mind, no studies have been done to demonstrate that either a cloth mask or the N95 mask has any effect on transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Any recommendations, therefore, have to be based on studies of influenza virus transmission. And, as you have seen, there is no conclusive evidence of their efficiency in controlling flu virus transmission.
It is also instructive to know that until recently, the CDC did not recommend wearing a face mask or covering of any kind, unless a person was known to be infected, that is, until recently. Non-infected people need not wear a mask. When a person has TB we have them wear a mask, not the entire community of non-infected. The recommendations by the CDC and the WHO are not based on any studies of this virus and have never been used to contain any other virus pandemic or epidemic in history.
Now that we have established that there is no scientific evidence necessitating the wearing of a face mask for prevention, are there dangers to wearing a face mask, especially for long periods? Several studies have indeed found significant problems with wearing such a mask. This can vary from headaches, to increased airway resistance, carbon dioxide accumulation, to hypoxia, all the way to serious life-threatening complications.
There is a difference between the N95 respirator mask and the surgical mask (cloth or paper mask) in terms of side effects. The N95 mask, which filters out 95% of particles with a median diameter >0.3 µm2, because it impairs respiratory exchange (breathing) to a greater degree than a soft mask, and is more often associated with headaches. In one such study, researchers surveyed 212 healthcare workers (47 males and 165 females) asking about presence of headaches with N95 mask use, duration of the headaches, type of headaches and if the person had preexisting headaches.2
They found that about a third of the workers developed headaches with use of the mask, most had preexisting headaches that were worsened by the mask wearing, and 60% required pain medications for relief. As to the cause of the headaches, while straps and pressure from the mask could be causative, the bulk of the evidence points toward hypoxia and/or hypercapnia as the cause. That is, a reduction in blood oxygenation (hypoxia) or an elevation in blood C02 (hypercapnia). It is known that the N95 mask, if worn for hours, can reduce blood oxygenation as much as 20%, which can lead to a loss of consciousness, as happened to the hapless fellow driving around alone in his car wearing an N95 mask, causing him to pass out, and to crash his car and sustain injuries. I am sure that we have several cases of elderly individuals or any person with poor lung function passing out, hitting their head. This, of course, can lead to death.
A more recent study involving 159 healthcare workers aged 21 to 35 years of age found that 81% developed headaches from wearing a face mask.3 Some had pre-existing headaches that were precipitated by the masks. All participants felt like the headaches affected their work performance.
Unfortunately, no one is telling the frail elderly and those with lung diseases, such as COPD, emphysema or pulmonary fibrosis, of these dangers when wearing a facial mask of any kind—which can cause a severe worsening of lung function. This also includes lung cancer patients and people having had lung surgery, especially with partial resection or even the removal of a whole lung.
While most agree that the N95 mask can cause significant hypoxia and hypercapnia, another study of surgical masks found significant reductions in blood oxygen as well. In this study, researchers examined the blood oxygen levels in 53 surgeons using an oximeter. They measured blood oxygenation before surgery as well as at the end of surgeries.4 The researchers found that the mask reduced the blood oxygen levels (pa02) significantly. The longer the duration of wearing the mask, the greater the fall in blood oxygen levels.
The importance of these findings is that a drop in oxygen levels (hypoxia) is associated with an impairment in immunity. Studies have shown that hypoxia can inhibit the type of main immune cells used to fight viral infections called the CD4+ T-lymphocyte. This occurs because the hypoxia increases the level of a compound called hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), which inhibits T-lymphocytes and stimulates a powerful immune inhibitor cell called the Tregs. This sets the stage for contracting any infection, including COVID-19 and making the consequences of that infection much graver. In essence, your mask may very well put you at an increased risk of infections and if so, having a much worse outcome.5,6,7
People with cancer, especially if the cancer has spread, will be at a further risk from prolonged hypoxia as the cancer grows best in a microenvironment that is low in oxygen. Low oxygen also promotes inflammation which can promote the growth, invasion and spread of cancers.8,9 Repeated episodes of hypoxia have been proposed as a significant factor in atherosclerosis and hence increases all cardiovascular (heart attacks) and cerebrovascular (strokes) diseases.10
There is another danger to wearing these masks on a daily basis, especially if worn for several hours. When a person is infected with a respiratory virus, they will expel some of the virus with each breath. If they are wearing a mask, especially an N95 mask or other tightly fitting mask, they will be constantly rebreathing the viruses, raising the concentration of the virus in the lungs and the nasal passages. We know that people who have the worst reactions to the coronavirus have the highest concentrations of the virus early on. And this leads to the deadly cytokine storm in a selected number.
It gets even more frightening. Newer evidence suggests that in some cases the virus can enter the brain.11,12 In most instances it enters the brain by way of the olfactory nerves (smell nerves), which connect directly with the area of the brain dealing with recent memory and memory consolidation. By wearing a mask, the exhaled viruses will not be able to escape and will concentrate in the nasal passages, enter the olfactory nerves and travel into the brain.13
It is evident from this review that there is insufficient evidence that wearing a mask of any kind can have a significant impact in preventing the spread of this virus. The fact that this virus is a relatively benign infection for the vast majority of the population and that most of the at-risk group also survive, from an infectious disease and epidemiological standpoint, by letting the virus spread through the healthier population we will reach a herd immunity level rather quickly that will end this pandemic quickly and prevent a return next winter. During this time, we need to protect the at-risk population by avoiding close contact, boosting their immunity with compounds that boost cellular immunity and in general, care for them.
One should not attack and insult those who have chosen not to wear a mask, as these studies suggest that is the wise choice to make.
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.
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.
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.
Bader A et al. Preliminary report on surgical mask induced deoxygenation during major surgery. Neurocirugia 2008;19:12-126.
Shehade H et al. Cutting edge: Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 negatively regulates Th1 function. J Immunol 2015;195:1372-1376.
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.
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Dr. Pamela Popper
Here’s what Dr. Pamela Popper said on her YouTube discussion of “What the Research Shows About Masks”
Updated : Octobre 27, 2020
A CDC report of people who became ill with COVID-19 showed that 70.6% always wore a mask in the 14 days before they got sick, further calling into question the effectiveness of masks for preventing COVID-19, a controversial practice that's been mandated in many parts of the world.
May 2020 in Emerging Infectious Diseases reviewed the Evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials of measures like Hand washing, Enviromental Hygiene, or use of Facemasks. What did they found?
"There have been extensive randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies, and meta-analysis reviews of RCT studies, which all show that masks and respirators do not work to prevent respiratory influenza-like illnesses, or respiratory illnesses believed to be transmitted by droplets and aerosol particles." Source : https://www.rcreader.com/commentary/masks-dont-work-covid-a-review-of-science-relevant-to-covide-19-social-policy
5 NIH studies from 2004-2020 all finding verifiable health effects from wearing a face mask, including scientifically verified reduction is blood oxygen level:
Cloth Mask Study
Other Mask Studies: