Real science is never settled, and anyone who has certainty on such things is not qualified to discuss it
— Lloyd Chambers
When I see a clinical exercise physiologist write about face masks, I take note , since that area of study is highly relevant to masking vs physiology impacts. A regular doctor has no qualifications in such areas, IMO*.
Those supporting the narrative are going all-out to discredit this paper below, even as the CDC cannot show any credible evidence that masking as actually used by the public has any meaningful impact. Thus if there are negative effects of masking, then risk assessment comes to bear. Namely that if even a few harms of masking can be shown and we cannot prove benefits, it’s a no-brainer to cut out the COVID theatre (masking). Because negative plus zero is a negative.
Whose right? Dunno. But I’ve been trending to the “masks are COVID theatre” point of view as science has yet failed to prove masking has value. And there clearly are big negatives, since human interactions and pscyhology alone are biggies, setting aside the physiological aspects.
Ask yourself why both the CDC and WHO recommended against masks for the non-symptomatic before COVID. (Hint: it’s science based, unlike what we have now). Did science change the recommendations that existed forever, or politics?
Real science is based on a hypothesis followed by all-out attempts to disprove the hypothesis (and to prove it, both are needed). And that word is in the title below, which should say something about the intent.
Problem is, those issuing edicts despise a hypothesis that runs counter to the narrative. So we have seek-and-destroy, not inquire-and-assess.
Read all the parts about the negative aspects of face masks. I find those ideas far more credible than the totally unsubstantiated claims that masks do something about COVID transmission.
Still... face masks as badly-fitted and leaky as they as actually worn by the public leads me to posit that (1) they are unlikely to have any benefit for COVID, and (2) I doubt there are adverse physiological effects with most people, because of the massive leakiness.
* I have decades of self observation with extreme endurance exercise, hypoxia (high altitude), and years of masking for pollen/smoke—real-world perspective which few doctors have.
by Baruch Vainshelboim
Cardiology Division, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA
The existing scientific evidences challenge the safety and efficacy of wearing facemask as preventive intervention for COVID-19. The data suggest that both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to block human-to-human transmission of viral and infectious disease such SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, supporting against the usage of facemasks.
Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects. These include hypoxia, hypercapnia, shortness of breath, increased acidity and toxicity, activation of fear and stress response, rise in stress hormones, immunosuppression, fatigue, headaches, decline in cognitive performance, predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, chronic stress, anxiety and depression.
Long-term consequences of wearing facemask can cause health deterioration, developing and progression of chronic diseases and premature death. Governments, policy makers and health organizations should utilize prosper and scientific evidence-based approach with respect to wearing facemasks, when the latter is considered as preventive intervention for public health.