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A study out of the University of Waterloo, in Ontario, is the latest evidence that most face masks are about as useful in preventing COVID-19 as those plexiglass barriers. (See: “PLEXIGLASS DOESN’T PROTECT YOU FROM COVID-19.”
Serhiy Yarusevych, a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering at the school, said there is “no question” that there is a benefit from wearing masks but “there is a very serious difference in the effectiveness of different masks when it comes to controlling aerosols.”
The study found that most cloth and surgical masks only filter about 10 percent of the aerosols exhaled, StudyFinds.org reported. The report pointed out that N95 and KN95 masks can filter over 50 percent of the droplets, which is still clearly no panacea.
The study seemed to promote the effectiveness of simply having a well-ventilated space and found that “even modest ventilation rates provide about the same level of protection as the highest quality masks.”
Scientists are still trying to learn about the disease's transmission, and have said that the Delta variant is far more contagious than earlier versions.
A recent study from the National University of Singapore showed that COVID-19 particles “can be aerosolized by an infected person during talking and singing." Coughing and sneezing were originally seen as the major culprits. The Waterloo study showed that in some cases there could be a large buildup of aerosols while wearing a cloth mask indoors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states on its website that “in general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings,” but said that those fully vaccinated should wear masks indoors—"in order to maximize protection from the Delta variant, and perhaps spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.”
The findings in Waterloo were based on a simulation of a person breathing in a large room while wearing a face mask and found that even while wearing a cloth mask, there was still “large buildup of aerosol droplets suspended in the air,” according to StudyFinds.org.
TRENDPOST: On 3 November, in an article titled, “FACING THE TRUTH, PART II: MORE EVIDENCE MASKS ARE INEFFECTIVE,” we pointed out that in the early days of the outbreak, the New England Journal of Medicine wrote, “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 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 article also pointed to a 26 September report on the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons’ website called “Mask Facts.”
“COVID-19 is as politically-charged as it is infectious. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO, the CDC and NIH’s Dr. Anthony Fauci discouraged wearing masks as not useful for non-healthcare workers. Now they recommend wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are hard to do (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).
“F” The Facts
Indeed, we reported the facts that the mask wearing recommendation was published without a single scientific paper or other information provided to support that cloth masks actually provide any respiratory protection.
The article concluded: “Wearing masks (other than N95) will not be effective at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, whether worn as source control or as PPE.
- N95s protect health care workers, but are not recommended for source control transmission.
- Surgical masks are better than cloth but not very efficient at preventing emissions from infected patients. Cloth masks must be three layers, plus adding static electricity by rubbing with a rubber glove.
- The cloth that serves as the filtration for the mask is meant to trap particles being breathed in and out. But it also serves as a barrier to air movement because it forces the air to take the path of least resistance, resulting in the aerosols going in and out at the sides of the mask.”
TRENDPOST: As we have previously reported in the Trends Journal, when read carefully, the studies claiming to prove the efficacy of wearing masks cannot provide hard, scientific proof.
To cite three significant examples:
In a 21 June NPR article regarding the effectiveness of wearing masks, they quoted a Lancet “meta-analysis of 172 studies that looked at various interventions to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, SARS and MERS from an infected person to people close to them.”
They went on to note, “Now, most of the studies in the analysis looked at face mask use in health care, not community settings. And they were observational, not the gold standard of science, a randomized controlled trial, which would be ‘very unethical in a pandemic,’ says Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University.”
On 20 August, the International Journal of Nursing Studies reviewed 19 controlled trials and stated this in its conclusion:
“The study suggests that community masks used by well people could be beneficial, particularly for COVID-19, where transmission may be pre-symptomatic. The studies of masks as source control also suggest a benefit, and may be important during the COVID-19 pandemic in universal community face mask use as well as in health care settings.”
Note the words and phrases “could be beneficial,” “suggests a benefit,” and “may be important.” No conclusive proof. If these studies revealed substantial evidence, “could,” “suggests,” and “may be” would be replaced with “does,” “proves,” and “concludes.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top disease expert, said in an interview on 8 March 2020, during an interview with “60 Minutes,” that “there’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.”
TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal takes no joy in having to report on yet another example of science fiction being fed to the public because these missteps lead to more deaths and a false sense of security. If the coronavirus outbreak has done anything, it has proven the old Darwinian phrase “survival of the fittest.”
As we’ve been noting in this and numerous issues, one of the highest-risk groups dying from COVID-19 are the clinically obese. In July 2020, a study from Columbia University revealed that clinically obese people who had contracted COVID-19 were 60 percent more likely to die. (See: “THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM.”)
On 8 March, the CDC reported the vast majority of Americans who contracted the virus and were hospitalized, put on a ventilator, or died from COVID-19 were either obese or overweight. Their report stated that between March to December 2020, 27.8 percent of these victims were overweight, and 50.2 percent were obese.
Again, as we note, with some 70 percent of Americans overweight, of which 42 percent are obese, the U.S. is #1 in COVID deaths. (See our 26 January article on the link between obesity and COVID: “JUNK FOOD VS. COVID-19: THE WINNER IS?” and our 28 July article, “COVID VICTIMS: THE BIGGER THEY ARE, THE HARDER THEY FALL.”)
We have been suspicious about masks since early 2020. (See: “MASKS OR NO MASKS? THAT IS THE QUESTION,”) And we also reported, about a year later, that the CDC announced that wearing two masks would be somehow more effective than just one. Why not three, four, or five for the most possible protection?
TRENDPOST: In addition to just a few of the dozens of articles published in the Trends Journal since last spring showing lack of hard scientific data supporting the wearing of masks, we haven’t forgotten that just short of a year ago, the U.S. surgeon general tweeted: “Seriously people – STOP BUYING MASKS… They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus.”
As we reported in March 2020, at the onset of the COVID War, Dr. Anthony Fauci, designated by the media and politicians as America’s top infectious disease expert, declared on the TV show 60 Minutes:
“There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And, often, there are unintended consequences—people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.”
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