“The average citizen remains confused as the health authorities flip flop directions concerning the wearing of masks.”
I have seen virus outbreaks my entire life, they are normal in any society. Usually the warnings given are, if sick stay at home. Then again, we have our health authorizes advice if things change, such as the WHO, CDC or Health Canada—these are the type of groups that only speak when they have gathered all the documentation, and once sure, they share their advice with the public. This suggests that they are reliable and trusted sources. Unfortunately, the past few months have showed, it is not that easy to trust and rely on any one group.
One of the problems is that information has been constantly changing, which makes it very hard for people to count on decision-making authorities and experts. One of the examples is the World Health Organization, whose recommendation has changed over time. “There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit. In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies program in March. Only two months later, at the beginning of June, the WHO changed its advice and claimed that facial masks should be worn in public where social distancing is not possible. The WHO is not alone in recommendation of face masks, in fact many medical and political leaders support wearing them.
Yet questions arise regarding the effectiveness of face masks, especially cloth and other homemade masks. According to the online report Effectiveness of Cloth Masks for Protection Against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, “the filtration effectiveness of cloth masks is generally lower than that of medical masks and respirators; however, cloth masks may provide some protection if well designed and used correctly.” Also the Government of Canada warns that “homemade masks are not medical devices and (…) may not be effective in blocking virus particles that may be transmitted by coughing, sneezing or certain medical procedures.” On their website they also claim that wearing a mask alone will not prevent the spread of COVID-19. This has been the concern of many public health groups as face masks could provide a false sense of security. Experts feared the masks could lead to more touching of the face or contamination in case the mask has been put down on an unclean surface. As experience shows, this fear has its grounds.
Up and down and all around, the average citizen remains confused as the health authorities flip flop directions concerning the wearing of masks, and most don’t have a clue to the kinds of masks worn, no matter their effectiveness.
Inconsistencies are not the biggest concerns, safety and health, on the other hand, are. A British medical study, based on a randomized trial compared the efficacy of cloth masks to medical masks in healthcare workers (HCWs). The hypothesis was that there is no difference between medical masks and cloth masks though the trial proved otherwise. Results showed that the rates of all infection outcomes were highest in the cloth masks. Penetration of cloth masks by particles was almost 97% and medical masks 44%. The results caution against the use of cloth masks and suggest further research. However, as a precautionary measure, cloth masks should not be recommended for HCWs, particularly in high-risk situations, and guidelines need to be updated.
Unfortunately, this is not where it all ends. Many medical experts claim that wearing face masks is harmful to the wearer. It means that not only do face masks not protect you, but they can limit your oxygen and even redirect harmful pathogens that you may be carrying back into your airway. According to a recent video of Dr. Margarite Griesz-Brisson MD, PhD (a Consultant Neurologist and Neurophysiologist with a PhD in Pharmacology, with special interest in neurotoxicology, environmental medicine, neuroregeneration and neuroplasticity), masks and their effects on our brains could be much more serious than we thought.
“The re-breathing of our exhaled air will without a doubt create oxygen deficiency and a flooding of carbon dioxide. We know that the human brain is very sensitive to oxygen deprivation. There are nerve cells for example in the hippocampus, that can’t be longer than 3 minutes without oxygen – they cannot survive.
The acute warning symptoms are headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, issues in concentration, slowing down of the reaction time – reactions of the cognitive system.
However, when you have chronic oxygen deprivation, all of those symptoms disappear, because you get used to it. But your efficiency will remain impaired, as the undersupply of oxygen in your brain continues to progress.”
Dr. Griesz-Brisson is definitely not the only one warning us, other medical experts—like virus expert Judy Mikovits—say as well that masks can cause harm to wearers. According to Weblyf.com, in social media posts she has written: “Do you not know how unhealthy it is to keep inhaling your carbon dioxide and restricting proper oxygen flow? … The body requires AMPLE amounts of oxygen for optimal immune health. Proper oxygenation of your cells and blood is ESSENTIAL for the body to function as it needs to in order to fight off any illness. Masks will hamper oxygen intake.”
Other experts have also warned the public against wearing facemasks as the virus can get trapped in the material and cause infection when the wearer breathes in. “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” says board-certified neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock.
One of our most important tasks is to be able to navigate among different types of contradictory information, question the questionable and remember what the long-known facts and logic tells us. We should also be aware of our actions and their long-term consequences because our health and future could be determined by them.
- Howard, Jacqueline. 2020. WHO stands by recommendation to not wear masks if you are not sick or not caring for someone who is sick. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/30/world/coronavirus-who-masks-recommendation-trnd/index.html
- BBC News. 2020. Coronavirus: WHO advises to wear masks in public areas. https://www.bbc.com/news/health-52945210
- Government of Canada. 2020. Non-medical masks and face coverings. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/about-non-medical-masks-face-coverings.html
- MacIntyre, C Raina; Seale, Holly; Dung, Tham Chi et al. 2020. A cluster randomised trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/4/e006577
- Griesz-Brisson, Margarite MD, PhD. 2020. https://tcttnews.com/2020/10/05/covid-19-masks-are-a-crime-against-humanity-and-child-abuse-the-wall-will-fall/