Covid-19
Mask Risk

Masks might be bad

There are situations where masks are good, advised by health authorities. But can they also be bad?

Air pollution is a known killer. We all want to be safe. Wearing a face mask seems to be 'safe', as it's a barrier. It's doing 'something' to reduce risk. But while there are good reasons and places to wear masks, there are also quite a number of reports, including medical studies, that highlight the dangers of wearing a mask.

Even the fact checking sites have switched from reporting it as a myth, to now 'mostly false'.

What the fact checking sites are not reporting however, is 'Is there benefit to mass wearing of masks'? Would you still wear a mask if not sick or around known sick people, if there was some reported risks associated, and no solid medical research showing there was benefit?

A good article with many references explains things more clearly here and part II here.

Society is knee jerking a reaction to Covid-19 when medical authorities are clear the C19 particles are so small they pass through all but high quality N95 masks, and there is no scientific study to back up claims of significant benefit from cloth or surgical masks.

What is known, is that reducing air pollution WILL save significant lives, and traffic congestion is a major cause of such pollution, as well as being a known Covid-19 transport medium.

To save lives we should STOP the panic, such as mass closures of economies and mass wearing of masks, and START to use data driven, scientific studies to look at saving the most in the most effective way - in the long term.

There are many claims reported widely of dangers of wearing masks. Air pollution kills millions, yet we don't see these deaths - similarly we may not see the statistical harm from mass wearing of masks. There are good reasons mass wearing of masks is NOT advised, and yet we have shops and cities enforcing them... and arguments over them. We may have lost much of our freedoms recently, but one is the stigma of being forced to wear a mask (a symbol? a mark, us vs them!) with no strong scientific evidence of benefit, but there IS evidence of harm.

Harm:

Covid-19 Patients (unusually) do not sense oxygen depletion like healthy people do. Masks are known to reduce oxygen to the body often by nearly 20%. This sounds like a bad combination.

Surgical masks, designed to protect patients from a surgeon’s respiratory droplets, aren’t effective at blocking particles smaller than 100 microns, according to the mask maker 3M. A Covid-19 particle is smaller than 0.1 micron, according to South Korean researchers, and easily pass through surgical masks.

In an article published by Technocracy News, Dr. Russell Blaylock wrote that the side effects from prolonged wearing of a face mask "can vary from headaches to increased airway resistance, carbon dioxide accumulation, to hypoxia, all the way to serious life-threatening complications."

Little is definitively known about how effective the use of masks is in controlling the spread of COVID-19 because no studies have yet been carried out specifically connecting the coronavirus to mask use.

From the outset of the pandemic, it has been assumed that the coronavirus behaves like other respiratory viruses in terms of spread as well as symptoms. However, Blaylock points to a 2012 study titled, "The use of masks and respirators to prevent transmission of influenza: A systematic review of the scientific evidence," which looked at 17 of the best studies in the field and concluded: "None of the studies established a conclusive relationship between mask/respirator use and protection against influenza infection.


World Health Organisation

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detail/q-a-on-covid-19-and-masks

World Health does NOT advise wearing masks to prevent Covid-19 transmission, and further outlines multiple significant risks associated with this:

There are potential risks and disadvantages that should be taken into account in any decision-making process on the use of masks:

  • Non-medical or cloth masks could increase potential for COVID-19 to infect a person if the mask is contaminated by dirty hands and touched often, or kept on other parts of the face or head and then placed back over the mouth and nose

  • Depending on the type of mask used, could cause difficulty in breathing

  • They can lead to facial skin breakdown

  • They can lead to difficulty with communicating clearly

  • They can be uncomfortable to wear

  • It is possible that mask use, with unclear benefits, could create a false sense of security in the wearer, leading to diminished practice of recognized beneficial preventive measures such as physical distancing and hand hygiene.

harm from Mass / Prolonged mask wearing

The links below cover multiple risks and some studies that show for otherwise healthy appearing people, there is no need to wear cloth or surgical masks unless around sick people. The links clearly show that unlike N95 such masks, they do not protect from Covid-19, but can cause harm. Use masks only where needed, else they may cause more harm and false security!

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/pdfs/UnderstandDifferenceInfographic-508.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/28/us-face-masks-n95-surgical-coronavirus-health-workers

https://www.smh.com.au/national/how-a-chinese-restaurant-explains-australia-s-mask-riddle-20200708-p55a1e.html

https://europepmc.org/article/med/16441251

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7118603/

https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00173017

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/7332926_Headaches_and_the_N95_face-mask_amongst_healthcare_providers

https://www.sfgate.com/california-wildfires/article/n95-masks-county-health-safe-advice-doctor-13399569.php

https://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/25713/20200518/wearing-face-masks-potentially-harmful-trap-exhaled-viruses-well-individuals.htm

https://www.jpost.com/health-science/could-wearing-a-mask-for-long-periods-be-detrimental-to-health-628400

https://www.technocracy.news/blaylock-face-masks-pose-serious-risks-to-the-healthy/

https://scroll.in/pulse/860276/no-good-choices-a-mask-may-block-out-some-pollution-but-have-other-ill-health-effects

https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/957730O/respirators-and-surgical-masks-contrast-technical-bulletin.pdf

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/04/why-don-t-some-coronavirus-patients-sense-their-alarmingly-low-oxygen-levels

https://www.livescience.com/are-face-masks-effective-reducing-coronavirus-spread.html

https://www.fastcompany.com/90509409/its-hard-to-breathe-in-an-n95-mask-this-stanford-scientist-has-a-clever-solution

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/05/28/masks-not-allowed-coronavirus/