Masks Are Neither Effective Nor Safe: A Summary Of The Science

Masks Are Neither Effective Nor Safe: A Summary Of The Science

At this writing, there is a recent surge in widespread use by the public of facemasks when in public places, including for extended periods of time, in the United States as well as in other countries.   The public has been instructed by media and their governments that one’s use of masks, even if not sick, may prevent others from being infected with SARS-CoV-2, the infectious agent of COVID-19.

A review of the peer-reviewed medical literature examines impacts on human health, both immunological, as well as physiological.  The purpose of this paper is to examine data regarding the effectiveness of facemasks, as well as safety data.  The reason that both are examined in one paper is that for the general public as a whole, as well as for every individual, a risk-benefit analysis is necessary to guide decisions on if and when to wear a mask.

Are masks effective at preventing transmission of respiratory pathogens?

In this meta-analysis, face masks were found to have no detectable effect against transmission of viral infections. (1)  It found: “Compared to no masks, there was no reduction of influenza-like illness cases or influenza for masks in the general population, nor in healthcare workers.”

This 2020 meta-analysis found that evidence from randomized controlled trials of face masks did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza, either when worn by infected persons (source control) or by persons in the general community to reduce their susceptibility. (2)

Another recent review found that masks had no effect specifically against Covid-19, although facemask use seemed linked to, in 3 of 31 studies, “very slightly reduced” odds of developing influenza-like illness. (3)

This 2019 study of 2862 participants showed that both N95 respirators and surgical masks “resulted in no significant difference in the incidence of laboratory confirmed influenza." (4)

This 2016 meta-analysis found that both randomized controlled trials and observational studies of N95 respirators and surgical masks used by healthcare workers did not show benefit against transmission of acute respiratory infections.  It was also found that acute respiratory infection transmission “may have occurred via contamination of provided respiratory protective equipment during storage and reuse of masks and respirators throughout the workday.” (5)

A 2011 meta-analysis of 17 studies regarding masks and effect on transmission of influenza found that “none of the studies established a conclusive relationship between mask/respirator use and protection against influenza infection.” (6)  However, authors speculated that effectiveness of masks may be linked to early, consistent and correct usage.

Face mask use was likewise found to be not protective against the common cold, compared to controls without face masks among healthcare workers. (7)

Airflow around masks

Masks have been assumed to be effective in obstructing forward travel of viral particles.  Considering those positioned next to or behind a mask wearer, there have been farther transmission of virus-laden fluid particles from masked individuals than from unmasked individuals, by means of “several leakage jets, including intense backward and downwards jets that may present major hazards,” and a “potentially dangerous leakage jet of up to several meters.”  (8) All masks were thought to reduce forward airflow by 90% or more over wearing no mask.  However, Schlieren imaging showed that both surgical masks and cloth masks had farther brow jets (unfiltered upward airflow past eyebrows) than not wearing any mask at all, 182 mm and 203 mm respectively, vs none discernible with no mask.  Backward unfiltered airflow was found to be strong with all masks compared to not masking.

For both N95 and surgical masks, it was found that expelled particles from 0.03 to 1 micron were deflected around the edges of each mask, and that there was measurable penetration of particles through the filter of each mask. (9)

Penetration through masks

A study of 44 mask brands found mean 35.6% penetration (+ 34.7%).  Most medical masks had over 20% penetration, while “general masks and handkerchiefs had no protective function in terms of the aerosol filtration efficiency.”  The study found that “Medical masks, general masks, and handkerchiefs were found to provide little protection against respiratory aerosols.” (10)

It may be helpful to remember that an aerosol is a colloidal suspension of liquid or solid particles in a gas.  In respiration, the relevant aerosol is the suspension of bacterial or viral particles in inhaled or exhaled breath.

In another study, penetration of cloth masks by particles was almost 97% and medical masks 44%. (11)

N95 respirators

Honeywell is a manufacturer of N95 respirators.  These are made with a 0.3 micron filter. (12)  N95 respirators are so named, because 95% of particles having a diameter of 0.3 microns are filtered by the mask forward of the wearer, by use of an electrostatic mechanism. Coronaviruses are approximately 0.125 microns in diameter.

This meta-analysis found that N95 respirators did not provide superior protection to facemasks against viral infections or influenza-like infections. (13)  This study did find superior protection by N95 respirators when they were fit-tested compared to surgical masks. (14)

This study found that 624 out of 714 people wearing N95 masks left visible gaps when putting on their own masks. (15)

Surgical masks

This study found that surgical masks offered no protection at all against influenza. (16) Another study found that surgical masks had about 85% penetration ratio of aerosolized inactivated influenza particles and about 90% of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, although S aureus particles were about 6x the diameter of influenza particles. (17)

Use of masks in surgery were found to slightly increase incidence of infection over not masking in a study of 3,088 surgeries. (18)  The surgeons’ masks were found to give no protective effect to the patients.

Other studies found no difference in wound infection rates with and without surgical masks. (19) (20)

This study found that “there is a lack of substantial evidence to support claims that facemasks protect either patient or surgeon from infectious contamination.” (21)

This study found that medical masks have a wide range of filtration efficiency, with most showing a 30% to 50% efficiency. (22)

Specifically, are surgical masks effective in stopping human transmission of coronaviruses?  Both experimental and control groups, masked and unmasked respectively, were found to “not shed detectable virus in respiratory droplets or aerosols.” (23) In that study, they “did not confirm the infectivity of coronavirus” as found in exhaled breath.

A study of aerosol penetration showed that two of the five surgical masks studied had 51% to 89% penetration of polydisperse aerosols.  (24)

In another study, that observed subjects while coughing, “neither surgical nor cotton masks effectively filtered SARS-CoV-2 during coughs by infected patients.”  And more viral particles were found on the outside than on the inside of masks tested. (25)

Cloth masks

Cloth masks were found to have low efficiency for blocking particles of 0.3 microns and smaller.  Aerosol penetration through the various cloth masks examined in this study were between 74 and 90%.  Likewise, the filtration efficiency of fabric materials was 3% to 33% (26)

Healthcare workers wearing cloth masks were found to have 13 times the risk of influenza-like illness than those wearing medical masks. (27)

This 1920 analysis of cloth mask use during the 1918 pandemic examines the failure of masks to impede or stop flu transmission at that time, and concluded that the number of layers of fabric required to prevent pathogen penetration would have required a suffocating number of layers, and could not be used for that reason, as well as the problem of leakage vents around the edges of cloth masks. (28)

Masks against Covid-19

The New England Journal of Medicine editorial on the topic of mask use versus Covid-19 assesses the matter as follows:

“We know that wearing a mask outside health care 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 20 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.” (29)

Are masks safe?

During walking or other exercise

Surgical mask wearers had significantly increased dyspnea after a 6-minute walk than non-mask wearers. (30)

Researchers are concerned about possible burden of facemasks during physical activity on pulmonary, circulatory and immune systems, due to oxygen reduction and air trapping reducing substantial carbon dioxide exchange.  As a result of hypercapnia, there may be cardiac overload, renal overload, and a shift to metabolic acidosis. (31)

Risks of N95 respirators

Pregnant healthcare workers were found to have a loss in volume of oxygen consumption by 13.8% compared to controls when wearing N95 respirators.  17.7% less carbon dioxide was exhaled. (32)  Patients with end-stage renal disease were studied during use of N95 respirators.  Their partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2) decreased significantly compared to controls and increased respiratory adverse effects. (33)   19% of the patients developed various degrees of hypoxemia while wearing the masks.

Healthcare workers’ N95 respirators were measured by personal bioaerosol samplers to harbor influenza virus. (34)  And 25% of healthcare workers’ facepiece respirators were found to contain influenza in an emergency department during the 2015 flu season. (35)

Risks of surgical masks

Healthcare workers’ surgical masks also were measured by personal bioaerosol samplers to harbor for influenza virus. (36)

Various respiratory pathogens were found on the outer surface of used medical masks, which could result in self-contamination.  The risk was found to be higher with longer duration of mask use. (37)

Surgical masks were also found to be a repository of bacterial contamination.  The source of the bacteria was determined to be the body surface of the surgeons, rather than the operating room environment. (38)  Given that surgeons are gowned from head to foot for surgery, this finding should be especially concerning for laypeople who wear masks.  Without the protective garb of surgeons, laypeople generally have even more exposed body surface to serve as a source for bacteria to collect on their masks.

Risks of cloth masks

Healthcare workers wearing cloth masks had significantly higher rates of influenza-like illness after four weeks of continuous on-the-job use, when compared to controls. (39)

The increased rate of infection in mask-wearers may be due to a weakening of immune function during mask use.  Surgeons have been found to have lower oxygen saturation after surgeries even as short as 30 minutes. (40)  Low oxygen induces hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1). (41)  This in turn down-regulates CD4+ T-cells.  CD4+ T-cells, in turn, are necessary for viral immunity. (42)

Weighing risks versus benefits of mask use

In the summer of 2020 the United States is experiencing a surge of popular mask use, which is frequently promoted by the media, political leaders and celebrities.  Homemade and store-bought cloth masks and surgical masks or N95 masks are being used by the public especially when entering stores and other publicly accessible buildings.  Sometimes bandanas or scarves are used.  The use of face masks, whether cloth, surgical or N95, creates a poor obstacle to aerosolized pathogens as we can see from the meta-analyses and other studies in this paper, allowing both transmission of aerosolized pathogens to others in various directions, as well as self-contamination.

It must also be considered that masks impede the necessary volume of air intake required for adequate oxygen exchange, which results in observed physiological effects that may be undesirable.  Even 6- minute walks, let alone more strenuous activity, resulted in dyspnea.  The volume of unobstructed oxygen in a typical breath is about 100 ml, used for normal physiological processes.  100 ml O2 greatly exceeds the volume of a pathogen required for transmission.

The foregoing data show that masks serve more as instruments of obstruction of normal breathing, rather than as effective barriers to pathogens. Therefore, masks should not be used by the general public, either by adults or children, and their limitations as prophylaxis against pathogens should also be considered in medical settings.

Endnotes

1  T Jefferson, M Jones, et al. Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses. MedRxiv. 2020 Apr 7.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.30.20047217v2

2  J Xiao, E Shiu, et al. Nonpharmaceutical measures for pandemic influenza in non-healthcare settings – personal protective and environmental measures.  Centers for Disease Control. 26(5); 2020 May.

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article

3  J Brainard, N Jones, et al. Facemasks and similar barriers to prevent respiratory illness such as COVID19: A rapid systematic review.  MedRxiv. 2020 Apr 1.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.01.20049528v1.full.pdf

4  L Radonovich M Simberkoff, et al. N95 respirators vs medical masks for preventing influenza among health care personnel: a randomized clinic trial.  JAMA. 2019 Sep 3. 322(9): 824-833.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2749214

5  J Smith, C MacDougall. CMAJ. 2016 May 17. 188(8); 567-574.

https://www.cmaj.ca/content/188/8/567

6  F bin-Reza, V Lopez, et al. The use of masks and respirators to prevent transmission of influenza: a systematic review of the scientific evidence. 2012 Jul; 6(4): 257-267.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5779801/

7  J Jacobs, S Ohde, et al.  Use of surgical face masks to reduce the incidence of the common cold among health care workers in Japan: a randomized controlled trial.  Am J Infect Control. 2009 Jun; 37(5): 417-419.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19216002/

8  M Viola, B Peterson, et al. Face coverings, aerosol dispersion and mitigation of virus transmission risk.

https://arxiv.org/abs/2005.10720https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/2005/2005.10720.pdf

9  S Grinshpun, H Haruta, et al. Performance of an N95 filtering facepiece particular respirator and a surgical mask during human breathing: two pathways for particle penetration. J Occup Env Hygiene. 2009; 6(10):593-603.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/15459620903120086

10 H Jung, J Kim, et al. Comparison of filtration efficiency and pressure drop in anti-yellow sand masks, quarantine masks, medical masks, general masks, and handkerchiefs. Aerosol Air Qual Res. 2013 Jun. 14:991-1002.

https://aaqr.org/articles/aaqr-13-06-oa-0201.pdf

11  C MacIntyre, H Seale, et al. A cluster randomized trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers.  BMJ Open. 2015; 5(4)

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/4/e006577.long

12  N95 masks explained. https://www.honeywell.com/en-us/newsroom/news/2020/03/n95-masks-explained

13  V Offeddu, C Yung, et al. Effectiveness of masks and respirators against infections in healthcare workers: A systematic review and meta-analysis.  Clin Inf Dis. 65(11), 2017 Dec 1; 1934-1942.

https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/65/11/1934/4068747

14  C MacIntyre, Q Wang, et al. A cluster randomized clinical trial comparing fit-tested and non-fit-tested N95 respirators to medical masks to prevent respiratory virus infection in health care workers. Influenza J. 2010 Dec 3.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1750-2659.2011.00198.x?fbclid=IwAR3kRYVYDKb0aR-su9_me9_vY6a8KVR4HZ17J2A_80f_fXUABRQdhQlc8Wo

15  M Walker. Study casts doubt on N95 masks for the public. MedPage Today. 2020 May 20.

https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/publichealth/86601

16  C MacIntyre, Q Wang, et al. A cluster randomized clinical trial comparing fit-tested and non-fit-tested N95 respirators to medical masks to prevent respiratory virus infection in health care workers. Influenza J. 2010 Dec 3.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1750-2659.2011.00198.x?fbclid=IwAR3kRYVYDKb0aR-su9_me9_vY6a8KVR4HZ17J2A_80f_fXUABRQdhQlc8Wo

17  N Shimasaki, A Okaue, et al. Comparison of the filter efficiency of medical nonwoven fabrics against three different microbe aerosols. Biocontrol Sci.  2018; 23(2). 61-69.

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bio/23/2/23_61/_pdf/-char/en

18  T Tunevall. Postoperative wound infections and surgical face masks: A controlled study. World J Surg. 1991 May; 15: 383-387.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF01658736

19  N Orr. Is a mask necessary in the operating theatre? Ann Royal Coll Surg Eng 1981: 63: 390-392.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2493952/pdf/annrcse01509-0009.pdf

20  N Mitchell, S Hunt. Surgical face masks in modern operating rooms – a costly and unnecessary ritual?  J Hosp Infection. 18(3); 1991 Jul 1. 239-242.

https://www.journalofhospitalinfection.com/article/0195-6701(91)90148-2/pdf

21  C DaZhou, P Sivathondan, et al. Unmasking the surgeons: the evidence base behind the use of facemasks in surgery.  JR Soc Med. 2015 Jun; 108(6): 223-228.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4480558/

22  L Brosseau, M Sietsema. Commentary: Masks for all for Covid-19 not based on sound data. U Minn Ctr Inf Dis Res Pol. 2020 Apr 1.

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/04/commentary-masks-all-covid-19-not-based-sound-data

23  N Leung, D Chu, et al. Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks Nature Research.  2020 Mar 7. 26,676-680 (2020).

https://www.researchsquare.com/article/rs-16836/v1

24  S Rengasamy, B Eimer, et al. Simple respiratory protection – evaluation of the filtration performance of cloth masks and common fabric materials against 20-1000 nm size particles. Ann Occup Hyg. 2010 Oct; 54(7): 789-798.

https://academic.oup.com/annweh/article/54/7/789/202744

25  S Bae, M Kim, et al. Effectiveness of surgical and cotton masks in blocking SARS-CoV-2: A controlled comparison in 4 patients.  Ann Int Med. 2020 Apr 6.

https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-1342

26  S Rengasamy, B Eimer, et al. Simple respiratory protection – evaluation of the filtration performance of cloth masks and common fabric materials against 20-1000 nm size particles. Ann Occup Hyg. 2010 Oct; 54(7): 789-798.

https://academic.oup.com/annweh/article/54/7/789/202744

27  C MacIntyre, H Seale, et al. A cluster randomized trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers.  BMJ Open. 2015; 5(4)

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/4/e006577.long

28  W Kellogg. An experimental study of the efficacy of gauze face masks. Am J Pub Health. 1920.  34-42.

https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.10.1.34

29  M Klompas, C Morris, et al. Universal masking in hospitals in the Covid-19 era. N Eng J Med. 2020; 382 e63.

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2006372

30  E Person, C Lemercier et al.  Effect of a surgical mask on six minute walking distance.  Rev Mal Respir. 2018 Mar; 35(3):264-268.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29395560/

31  B Chandrasekaran, S Fernandes.  Exercise with facemask; are we handling a devil’s sword – a physiological hypothesis. Med Hypothese. 2020 Jun 22. 144:110002.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32590322/

32  P Shuang Ye Tong, A Sugam Kale, et al.  Respiratory consequences of N95-type mask usage in pregnant healthcare workers – A controlled clinical study.  Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2015 Nov 16; 4:48.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26579222/

33  T Kao, K Huang, et al. The physiological impact of wearing an N95 mask during hemodialysis as a precaution against SARS in patients with end-stage renal disease.  J Formos Med Assoc. 2004 Aug; 103(8):624-628.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15340662/

34  F Blachere, W Lindsley et al. Assessment of influenza virus exposure and recovery from contaminated surgical masks and N95 respirators. J Viro Methods.  2018 Oct; 260:98-106.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30029810/

35  A Rule, O Apau, et al. Healthcare personnel exposure in an emergency department during influenza season.  PLoS One. 2018 Aug 31; 13(8): e0203223.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30169507/

36  F Blachere, W Lindsley et al. Assessment of influenza virus exposure and recovery from contaminated surgical masks and N95 respirators. J Viro Methods.  2018 Oct; 260:98-106.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30029810/

37  A Chughtai, S Stelzer-Braid, et al.  Contamination by respiratory viruses on our surface of medical masks used by hospital healthcare workers.  BMC Infect Dis. 2019 Jun 3; 19(1): 491.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31159777/

38  L Zhiqing, C Yongyun, et al. J Orthop Translat. 2018 Jun 27; 14:57-62.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30035033/

39  C MacIntyre, H Seale, et al. A cluster randomized trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers.  BMJ Open. 2015; 5(4)

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/4/e006577

40  A Beder, U Buyukkocak, et al. Preliminary report on surgical mask induced deoxygenation during major surgery. Neurocirugia. 2008; 19: 121-126.

http://scielo.isciii.es/pdf/neuro/v19n2/3.pdf

41  D Lukashev, B Klebanov, et al. Cutting edge: Hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha and its activation-inducible short isoform negatively regulate functions of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes. J Immunol. 2006 Oct 15; 177(8) 4962-4965.

https://www.jimmunol.org/content/177/8/4962

42  A Sant, A McMichael. Revealing the role of CD4+ T-cells in viral immunity.  J Exper Med. 2012 Jun 30; 209(8):1391-1395.

https://europepmc.org/article/PMC/3420330

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  • Tim McMurphy
    commented 2020-09-18 18:58:34 -0700
    To Brian Farmer and Thomas Frank: IT’S OVER FOLKS. O-V-E-R, OVER. DONE.

    Nobel-laureate Dr. Michael Levitt (Chemistry and structural biology at Stanford)

    July 25, 2020: “US COVID19 will be done in 4 weeks [Aug 25] with total reported deaths below 170,000. How will we know it is over? Like for Europe, when all cause excess deaths are at normal level for week. Reported COVID19 deaths may continue after 25 Aug. & reported cases will, but it will be over.”

    The CDC has a “total/excess” deaths page so we can all track it here. Scroll down to the chart:

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm

    And even though only 60% of deaths are reported this early I don’t see it climbing above the 5 year average. IT"S OVER FOLKS.

    Maybe we should FIRE Tam, Fauci and all the WHO flunkies who got every prediction WRONG and hire Dr Levitt.

    Please read the “Early vs Late” adoption link to an actual study (not just an opinion piece in some newspaper). Pay close attention to pages 18 & 19 where the graph is. IF masks work it is the first 2 weeks that make the biggest difference. Weeks 3 & 4 of the first month have some benefit but nowhere near what the first 2 have. After 2 months there is no difference between mandatory mask laws and no masks.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342198360_Association_of_country-wide_coronavirus_mortality_with_demographics_testing_lockdowns_and_public_wearing_of_masks_Update_June_15_2020
  • Thomas Frank
    commented 2020-09-18 18:44:25 -0700
    If you don’t think masks are effective don’t look at Japan’s influenza and Covid -19 cases and deaths. You will likely change your mind.
  • Brian Farmer
    commented 2020-09-18 18:36:57 -0700
  • Brian Farmer
    commented 2020-09-03 13:15:49 -0700
    AC: Nowhere did I mention Cincinnati, or any other “extreme case,” as you put it. I made a general statement about a general situation.
  • Alan Coler
    commented 2020-09-03 11:36:21 -0700
    Brain Farmer – maybe you would like to reach out to the Cincinnati Police chief, the Mayor, and the news stations reporting it that you know more about crime than them! If they only had your expertise..{smh} By the way , what do you do for a living? I assume you write the crime statistics for the FBI or something like that?
  • Brian Farmer
    commented 2020-09-03 10:18:41 -0700
    AC wrote, “The whole thing is overblown and extreme restrictions are sending the economy and society into a tail spin.” The stock market is taking off like a rocket, and riots, looting, and arson are not being caused by masks and curfews.
  • Alan Coler
    commented 2020-09-03 09:03:25 -0700
    Brian Farmer – regarding “triggers” and “bullets”, we have already seen the reports that people dying from an underlying condition WITH COVID19 were counted as dying FROM COVID19. The trigger was pulled for them before COVID19 got near the gun.
    And again, these people are .06% of the population. There is no reason to force the restrictions on the the rest of the 99.94%. Focus prevention on them only and not everyone else.

    A good example of another extreme case is its being reported in Cincinnati that shooting incidents have gone up 50% since Dewine enforced a 10pm curfew of bars. People are now congregating in unregulated AIRBnBs for their alchohol fun and things are going down hill. The last report from Dewine was that he would “check with his lawyers about excluding Cincinnati”.

    The whole thing is overblown and extreme restrictions are sending the economy and society into a tail spin.
  • Brian Farmer
    commented 2020-09-02 21:20:03 -0700
    Dr. JM: COVID-19 may not have been the bullet that killed the person, but it was the trigger that fired the bullet.
  • Thomas Frank
    commented 2020-09-02 19:39:00 -0700
    The Covid -19 is so contagious that if we would have done nothing last march and gone or participated in large close in gatherings with many people the estimate total deaths would be over million.Here is an example of what many people in close quarters with one having virus symptoms did . This was dealt with by the Japanese ministry of health(not Fauci or CDC) https://www.foxnews.com/travel/coronavirus-cruise-ship-diamond-princess-leaves-japan-repatriate-crew
  • Dr. Jeanette McKee
    commented 2020-09-02 18:53:32 -0700
    Thomas Frank have you seen the new data the CDC posted on their website last week? The actual number of deaths from COVID is 9100 total. You have nothing to worry about. Covid is a “nothing burger”.
  • Thomas Frank
    commented 2020-09-02 14:18:52 -0700
    I would rather recycle my CO2 than Covid19
  • Sara Chudleigh
    commented 2020-09-02 12:12:06 -0700
    People get in trouble by recycling their carbon dioxide with a face mask. It is especially dangerous to deprive yourself of oxygen while driving. It will cause drowsiness and accidents. This has already happened.
  • Alan Coler
    commented 2020-08-30 13:01:10 -0700
    Brian Farmer, regarding your comment:
    “even if masks are only one percent effective, that is still significant, when one is talking about a life and death situation for millions of people. At some point, we have to admit that we are at war, and anything that gives us any kind of an edge over the enemy is worth doing.”

    This is faulty logic if masks are , in fact , spreading the virus in the general public.
    The whole premise is based on healthcare workers do if so if its good for them it must be good for the general public.

    The underlying facts are that healthcare workers dispose of their masks after EVERY use and they do NOT wear them to prevent “transmission” they wear them to avoid sprays and droplets.
    This action by professional healthcare workers does not translate to a germ ridden general public who touch their purses, touch the mask, touch their steering wheels , touch the mask, touch the shopping carts, touch the mask, touch public bathroom door handles and touch the mask and then… PUT THE MASK UP AGAINST THEIR MOUTH.

    It is entirely possible that we will eventually find out that the masks are spreading the infection, in which case your conservative 1% will be a 100% dangerous lie.
  • Tim McMurphy
    commented 2020-08-30 08:04:07 -0700
    One potential cure/treatment I forgot in the previous post was the “Peroxide Protocol”. A 0.1% solution of hydrogen-peroxide and saline solution inhaled with a nebulizer.

    1) Make saline solution: 1/2 tsp salt + 1 cup distilled water

    2) Add in the hydrogen peroxide
    1/4 tsp H2O2
    7 1/4 tsp saline solution

    3) Put 1 tsp (~ 6 ml) in a nebulizer and inhale through mouth and nose.

    4) 10-15 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day when sick

    “As it is a completely non-toxic therapy, nebulization can be administered as often as desired. If done on a daily basis at least once, a very positive impact on bowel and gut function will often be realized as killing the chronic pathogen colonization present in most noses and throats stops the 24/7 swallowing of these pathogens and their associated toxins.

    If daily prevention is not a practical option, the effectiveness of this treatment is optimized when somebody sneezes in your face or you finally get off of the plane after a trans-Atlantic flight. Don’t wait for initial symptoms. Just nebulize at your first opportunity."

    - Dr Thomas E. Levey, MD, JD
    https://vitalitymagazine.com/article/covid-19-how-can-i-cure-thee-let-me-count-the-ways/

    - David Brownstein, M.D., Richard Ng, M.D., Robert Rowen, M.D., Jennie-Dare Drummond, PA, Taylor Eason, NP, Hailey Brownstein, D.O.
    https://www.publichealthpolicyjournal.com/clinical-and-translational-research

    This is a very handy one as it doesn’t require a prescription. Dr Brownstein uses injected H2O2 but Dr Levy says inhaling with a nebulizer for 10-15 minutes is just as effective. Works on regular influenza as well.

    The “Basic Nutrient Prevention (daily)” protocol is worth mentioning as well. Quercetin (onions and apples) and EGCG (green tea) act in a similar way to HCQ in that they enable zinc to get into a cell where it inhibits viral replication.

    Quercetin 15 mg
    EGCG 325 mg
    Zinc 35 mg
    Vitamin D3 50 mcg (2000 IU)
    Vitamin C 970 mg

    Interestingly Japan and Mexico have the same level of zinc deficiency in their populations (about 16%) but Japan drinks a lot more green tea. That is another possible explanation for Japan doing much better.

    - Swiss Policy Research HCQ+ Treatment Protocol (5 to 7 day regimen)
    https://swprs.org/on-the-treatment-of-covid-19/

    Zinc — 50 milligrams [mg] to 100 mg per day
    Hydroxychloroquine — 400 mg per day
    Quercetin — 500 mg to 1,000 mg per day
    Bromhexine — 50 mg to 100 mg per day
    Azithromycin — up to 500 mg per day
    Heparin — usual dosage

    Even without the prescription drugs (if your doctor won’t prescribe them) the increased dose of nutrients may help. No research on that yet.
  • Tim McMurphy
    commented 2020-08-30 07:43:49 -0700
    “Dr. Jeanette McKee: There have been many studies done (provided throughout this blog) showing that masks do NOTHING to stop Influenza like illnesses. "

    I don’t wear a mask unless I’m visiting someone in a nursing home or hospital. I refuse to live in fear.

    The CDC itself has said masks don’t work for similar sized viruses like influenza:

    The https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article

    “There is limited evidence for their effectiveness in preventing influenza virus transmission either when worn by the infected person for source control or when worn by uninfected persons to reduce exposure. Our systematic review found no significant effect of face masks on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.”

    PS. Good points but break it up into more paragraphs for easier reading.
  • Tim McMurphy
    commented 2020-08-30 07:19:51 -0700
    “Brian Farmer: So, okay, you don’t believe that masks don’t work. Thank you.”

    I am open to the possibility that it may work in certain situations and at certain times. I hope the researchers who figured out the “Early vs Late Adoption” get more funding and redo the study with good data. Current data is bad. Mortality numbers are not arrived at and accounted for consistently from country to country. It is an apples to Frisbee comparison.

    “Brian Farmer: Even if masks are only one percent effective, that is still significant, when one is talking about a life and death situation for millions of people. "

    This isn’t a life or death for millions. At its worst this will be comparable to the Asian flu of the late 50’s or Hong Kong flu of the late 60’s. Robert Kennedy Jr has been doing a lot of work with his “Children’s Health Defence Organisation”. The CDC is over counting covid-19 deaths by 90%

    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/if-covid-fatalities-were-90-2-lower-how-would-you-feel-about-schools-reopening/

    They used a definition of “infectious death” for 17 years (2003-2020) and then early in 2020 they changed it without scientific review or public comment. Going by the old definition 9/10 would NOT be classified as an infectious disease death.

    “Brian Farmer: At some point, we have to admit that we are at war, and anything that gives us any kind of an edge over the enemy is worth doing.”

    We are at war all right but it is with our own governments and medical establishments who are blocking information about CURES because they can can’t force a vaccine when cures are available. Yes multiple cures are available. All double to triple the effectiveness of their proposed vaccines.

    HCQ+Azithromyacin+Zinc: Dr. Harvey Risch, Dr Didier Raout and lots of others
    Ivermectin+Doxycycline+Zinc: Professor Thomas Borody
    Inhaled steroids like Budesonide: Dr Richard Bartlett

    FDA Lowering Effectiveness Requirements

    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/child-health-topics/exposing-truth/fda-director-peter-marks-and-the-ever-shifting-covid-vaccine-narrative/

    “In its guidance, FDA said it expected sponsors to demonstrate a vaccine is at least 50% effective in a placebo-controlled trial, with an adjusted lower bound of >30%.
    Fauci conceded that vaccine immunity may only last a few months and both he and Bill Gates are suggesting that the vaccine may not even prevent transmission!”

    So why the hard sell on vaccines? Why disparage and block information to and from doctors, researchers and patients about cures? Why do youtube, facebook & twitter censor accurate information?

    Yes we are at war but it isn’t with a virus. Withholding medical treatment causing death is murder in most states and people will be held accountable, especially those in the medical boards threatening to revoke doctors licenses if they use cures.

    If you truly are concerned about deaths then please start demanding answers from your state medical boards, media and internet companies as to why they are blocking cures.
  • Dr. Jeanette McKee
    commented 2020-08-29 21:21:00 -0700
    Tim McMurphy and Brian Farmer masks are dangerous! You stand a much greater chance of developing health issues from constantly wearing a mask than you do from catching COVID without a mask. OSHA has made it very clear regarding workers and mask wearing. Are you changing your mask every hour? Surgical and N95 masks are not reusable you know. We treat patients suffering from the bad effects of wearing masks improperly every day. These injuries are lifelong and the lung damage doesn’t repair. Dentists are already seeing the bad side effects in the mouths of Americans who are wearing masks improperly. If you are obese, over 75 years of age, suffer one or more co-morbidities, live in an area with bad air quality, and are truly afraid of catching “something” then STAY HOME. You stand a much greater chance of catching “anything” more than you stand a chance of catching COVID and dying from it. Remember 99.98% of everyone who develops COVIDLIVES” and the ones who are dying “with” COVID are actually dying from their co-morbidities. Have you been worried like this every fall during Flu Season? Do you wear a mask every year during Flu Season? Well why not! You should be much more concerned about those statistics.

    There have been many studies done (provided throughout this blog) showing that masks do NOTHING to stop Influenza like illnesses. These studies have been available for a very long time. Why are you so worried about this particular illness. When all is said and done you will see that COVID is a “nothing burger.” More people die of the flu every year, even after being vaccinated against it, then are dying or going to die from COVID. We haven’t ever “locked down” for even the worst Flu season. This lockdown and all the mandates are not about a virus at all Tim, it’s about Social Reform. This is all happening to usher in the Socialist Agenda that has been a priority of the Democratic Party for a very long time. This is about destroying our economy and moving to a digital monetary system. This is about a digital Identification system where everybody can be tracked and made to obey. This is about Mandatory Vaccination and not just for the COVID vaccine, but for every vaccine already developed and the 270 vaccines that are in production right now. Drug companies have “NO LIABILITY” for any damage you might experience from a vaccine, so that is what they will be making and forcing on you. They will have a vaccine for everything. Vaccines are money makers. Vaccines are DANGEROUS. They are NOT tested for safety.

    It truly hurts me to see the “FEAR” this is causing people like you, because you should be so much more worried about the “freedoms” you have already lost and the freedoms you have yet to lose, than worrying about people not wearing masks. Fear over a “virus” when you have been exposed to hundreds of virus’ on a daily basis for your entire life. Did you know that it may turn out that this virus might actually be helpful to your immune system?

    “Don’t Worry Be Happy” while you still can and please remove your masks.
  • Brian Farmer
    commented 2020-08-29 19:58:03 -0700
    TM: So, okay, you don’t believe that masks don’t work. Thank you. One can cherry pick “proof” to support just about any argument. Even if masks are only one percent effective, that is still significant, when one is talking about a life and death situation for millions of people. At some point, we have to admit that we are at war, and anything that gives us any kind of an edge over the enemy is worth doing.
  • Tim McMurphy
    commented 2020-08-29 19:33:27 -0700
    “Brian Farmer: And you are welcome to your belief that masks don’t work.”

    I NEVER said that. If you could bother to look at the graph on pages 18/19 you can clearly see that if masks do work they, like all medical interventions, work when done early. In the case of masks that is the first month of outbreak.

    “Brian Farmer: Again I ask, is it logical to assume that a barrier over the orifice that transmits the virus has zero effect on transmission? If you think so, then explain your logic.”

    Glad to. First in the aerosol vs droplet (size) of the exhalations. The masks in use by the public can only stop droplets. Pre-symptomatic spreaders are not exhaling droplets. They are exhaling aerosols which will not be stopped either direction by the masks.

    1) Aerosols vs Droplets. The basics of what comes out of your mouth/nose. This is a very readable yet thorough view of aerosols vs droplets.

    https://first10em.com/aerosols-droplets-and-airborne-spread/

    These are approximations as the numbers vary quite a bit but good to know.

    Talking: Droplets go about 1 meter
    Coughing: Droplets go about 2 meters
    Sneezing: Droplets go about 6 meters

    Cover your mouth & nose when you cough or sneeze. Carry a napkin in your hand if they tend to sneak up on you. A napkin will have double to triple the layers of a mask and the seal around your nose & mouth from your hand is vastly superior to a mask.

    Do you think it is reasonable to require people to cover their faces for that 0.0000001% of the time that they might sneeze or cough?

    2) Cloth masks are accepted by governments but very poor at best and potentially infectious.

    https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/4/e006577

    “This study is the first RCT (Randomized Control Trial) of cloth masks, and the results caution against the use of cloth masks. This is an important finding to inform occupational health and safety. Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection.” and “Penetration of cloth masks by particles was almost 97% and medical masks 44%.”
  • Brian Farmer
    commented 2020-08-29 18:57:19 -0700
    TM: And you are welcome to your belief that masks don’t work. I am not imposing my belief but, rather, serving as a devil’s advocate. Again I ask, is it logical to assume that a barrier over the orifice that transmits the virus has zero effect on transmission? If you think so, then explain your logic.
  • Tim McMurphy
    commented 2020-08-29 18:42:25 -0700
    “Brian Farmer: Some effect is better than nothing, especially when lives are at stake.”

    Your BELIEF in masks you are welcome to. You have NO RIGHT to impose your belief on others. Between belief and fact there is something called PROOF. I and others are looking for workable interventions not you belief in something.

    “Brian Farmer: My Japanese wife, who daily scours the Japanese media, is constantly lecturing me about the importance of wearing a mask.”

    Tell you wife to read the study I posted the link to and discuss pages 18/19 with her and us.
  • Brian Farmer
    commented 2020-08-29 18:17:45 -0700
    TM: Some effect is better than nothing, especially when lives are at stake.
  • Brian Farmer
    commented 2020-08-29 18:14:15 -0700
    TF: My Japanese wife, who daily scours the Japanese media, is constantly lecturing me about the importance of wearing a mask.
  • Tim McMurphy
    commented 2020-08-29 17:16:48 -0700
    “Brian Farmer: The German city of Jena in early April ordered residents to wear masks”.

    Another possible explanation is from the quote “early April”, right at the outbreak.
    “Masks Early vs Late Adoption”
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342198360_Association_of_country-wide_coronavirus_mortality_with_demographics_testing_lockdowns_and_public_wearing_of_masks_Update_June_15_2020

    Do check out “Figure 1” on page 18/19.

    A recommendation (not an order) to wear masks by day 15 make a huge difference. Masks by day 16-30 have some effect. No masks or masks after day 60 (where we are) forget about it.
  • Thomas Frank
    commented 2020-08-29 15:20:56 -0700
    Go to Japan or contact the Japanese ministry of Health and look at their statistics regarding Covid19 if you want to see the mask effects.
  • Brian Farmer
    commented 2020-08-29 14:18:10 -0700
    Is it logical to assume that a barrier over the orifice that transmits the virus has zero effect on transmission? If you think so, then explain your logic.
  • Alan Coler
    commented 2020-08-29 14:12:57 -0700
    The Jena Germany delusion:
    The facts are buried beneath the hype , or in other words, a lie goes half way around the world before truth can get its boots on.

    https://www.thelocal.de/20200709/how-face-masks-have-helped-slow-down-the-spread-of-coronavirus-in-germany

    The authors instead used a synthetic control method to compare Jena to similar regions in Germany (such as Rostock, Darmstadt, and Trier) that did not introduce the mask obligation until later.
    According to their calculations, “there is a significant gap between the number of cases in Jena and the comparison group without compulsory masks”.
  • Alan Coler
    commented 2020-08-29 14:01:00 -0700
    “The German city of Jena" -> correlation does not equal causation. Consider LA and Miami, masked the same time, different results. And of course Jena was a town of only 110,000 with 150 cases. 23% drop over weeks takes it down to 110. I’m sure there is a maskless small town in Sweden that got the same results over a 3 week period.
    When ever you see the words “experts”, “estimates”, “could”, “may”, “might” notice there is no data or randomized controlled trials going along with those words.
    Rates in Germany were drastically dropping during the same time period.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_in_Germany
  • Brian Farmer
    commented 2020-08-29 13:22:26 -0700
    From the August 25 Wall Street Journal, page A10:
    “The German city of Jena in early April ordered residents to wear masks in public and at work. Soon, infections came to a halt. Comparing it to similar cities, a study for the IZA Institute of Labor Economics estimated masks cut the growth of infections by 40% to 60%.”
  • David Franecki
    commented 2020-08-21 10:40:57 -0700
    All, a breath of fresh air. Went to the dentist today in Tempe AZ. Masks in the office. No comment on me not wearing a mask. Looking for a Phx AZ dentist who does not hassle you? Acacia Dental in Tempe. It was a peaceful visit…..