Why are We Going Back to Masks?


by Brian C. Joondeph, M.D., American Thinker:

Masks are making a return, now over 3 years since COVID upended life in most of the world. For those past three years, we were constantly told to “follow the science”.

What science were we following, medical science or political science? Which category did masks fall into? We had to wear masks everywhere in public. In private, too. These past mask recommendations laughingly passed for “science”.

CNN pushed its audience to wear a mask while having sex. How romantic. And impractical. Canada’s top doctor scolded, “Skip kissing and consider wearing a mask when having sex to protect yourself from catching the coronavirus.”

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As if a mask will stop two intertwined naked bodies from transmitting a highly contagious respiratory virus. That would be like using an umbrella to keep dry during a hurricane.

On Reddit, someone asked if one should swim with a mask. Dr Anthony Fauci, calling himself “the science”, took masks a step further, “Double-masking makes ‘common sense’ and is likely more effective.” Using his logic, why not wear 17 masks?

Dr Fauci must have memory troubles, forgetting what he said in the early days of the pandemic. Both Dr. Fauci and Surgeon General Jerome Adams said masking was unnecessary and potentially harmful. That was until COVID mutated from a respiratory virus into a political and electoral weapon.

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Are masks making a grand return? COVID cases are allegedly on the rise. But today’s COVID is not the same as the early 2020 Wuhan strain. Viruses typically mutate over time, becoming more contagious but less virulent.

COVID testing still relies on an overly sensitive PCR test, which even the NY Times acknowledged, “Up to 90 percent of people testing positive carried barely any virus.” Is the recent uptick in supposed COVID cases simply reflecting a seasonal increase in colds and flu? Will the CDC make this distinction or simply push endless vaccines and masks?

NBC News concurs, “Doctors say they’re finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish Covid from allergies or the common cold, even as hospitalizations tick up.”

Based on faulty and imprecise testing, mask mandates are coming back. How’s that for following the science?

As Forbes reported, “Officials in New York City this week reportedly urged residents to wear masks in public as a new strain of Covid-19 continues to spread throughout the country.” Morris Brown College in Atlanta requires masks for all students and faculty. Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa California reinstated a mask mandate. Lionsgate Studios in Santa Monica re-required masking, but then changed its mind.

The science is lacking in masking as it is for PCR testing. Let’s look at mask science.

A 2019 JAMA study comparing common medical masks with the “gold standard” N-95 masks and found, “There was no significant difference in the incidence of laboratory-confirmed influenza among health care personnel with the use of N95 respirators (8.2%) vs medical masks (7.2%).”

This randomized prospective clinical trial demonstrated that neither type of mask stopped a respiratory virus as 7-8 percent still became infected despite wearing a mask. The study also showed that the simple medical mask was equally beneficial (or non-beneficial in this case) compared to the N-95 respirator. In fact, there was a non clinically significant trend favoring the cheap masks.

This is no surprise based on the comparative sizes of viral particles and mask pores. From a viral particle size perspective, masks also do little. The COVID virus  is 50-140 nm while the pore size in standard surgical masks is 300 nm to 10,000 nm. This is using a chain-link fence to stop mosquitoes.

Are their downsides to masks? A German study looked at harm from masking which, “Increases the resistance and dead space volume leading to a re-breathing of CO2.” Ironically, we are told that CO2 is harmful and destroying the planet, yet we are also told that there is no problem with children and adults rebreathing this “toxic” gas.

The German study explained further,

There is a possible negative impact risk by imposing extended mask mandates especially for vulnerable subgroups. Circumstantial evidence exists that extended mask use may be related to current observations of stillbirths and to reduced verbal motor and overall cognitive performance in children born during the pandemic. A need exists to reconsider mask mandates.

What happened to the medical admonition of “first do no harm”?

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services warns of the dangers of CO2 exposure,

Exposure to CO2 can produce a variety of health effects. These may include headaches, dizziness, restlessness, a tingling or pins or needles feeling, difficulty breathing, sweating, tiredness, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, coma, asphyxia, and convulsions.

This same health department, in summer 2021, had no problem urging Wisconsinites to mask up. They are recommending a practice that not only has minimal, if any, benefit, but can also cause harm, as they noted. No wonder so many people distrust health authorities who prioritize politics over health.

Last on the science front is a Cochrane analysis. They review numerous high-quality studies and are considered the benchmark in healthcare effectiveness. They found,

The pooled results of RCTs did not show a clear reduction in respiratory viral infection with the use of medical/surgical masks. There were no clear differences between the use of medical/surgical masks compared with N95/P2 respirators in healthcare workers when used in routine care to reduce respiratory viral infection.

The lead author of the analysis confirmed,

There is just no evidence that they — masks — make any difference. Full stop.

What about N-95 masks, as opposed to lower-quality surgical or cloth masks? Makes no difference — none of it.

What about the studies that initially persuaded policymakers to impose mask mandates? They were convinced by nonrandomized studies, flawed observational studies.

Why aren’t health authorities following this science? It seems that based on scientific studies, masks offer little if any benefit and may cause harm. This is why mask mandates were never instituted during other viral respiratory illness outbreaks and that routine mask use was discouraged.

Under the doctrine of “my body my choice”, anyone should be able to wear or not wear a mask, depending on their beliefs and desires. Or does “choice” only apply to certain aspects of healthcare?

With COVID, we are  forced to follow a new science, the political science of fear, control, and subservience. According to the World Economic Forum, “COVID-19 has resulted in more than one in two people losing confidence in the healthcare system’s ability to handle major crises.”

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