Masks work but why are we only getting half the story?
Specifically how they work when wore correctly and what risk they pose when they cease working due to misuse and become a vehicle for cross contamination instead.
Before I get started lets make it SUPER CLEAR clear I am not saying ‘don’t wear a mask’. I m saying wear them properly and wear the correct type. The conventional thinking is masks prevent disease. This is (so I think at less) correct data. What the news however leaves out is the risk masks pose as a transmitter for disease. The risk of cross contamination and the not insignificant fact that not all masks are created equal.
Mask are not fashion accessories or were created for use anywhere but in a sanitized hospitals environment where staff know the golden rule ‘you touch it you change it’. As adults we kind of get this and probably during our busy day try at less consciously not to touch our masks (subconsciously well??).
The problem is in children – the idea of kid wearing a mask for prolonged periods and not doing something gross that enhance the risk of cross contamination is almost a given (in fact conventional thinking is mask for under two is not recommended).
So thus the mask goes from being a good thing to being a thing which is seen to do good.
Have you got your hanky Johnny?
Never mind you have shoved it in your pocket and have being sucking on it. The key thing is you have hanky who cares if its filthy and covered in germs? The main thing is you have a hanky and people wont think badly of you – who cares if it has just become social prop not an aid against disease.
And it is here the idea of masks goes all pear shaped as it becomes tool for politicians and those pushing their brand of big pharma can do not wrong.
Cross contamination is the single biggest risk.
Be it masks or vaccines (and by the way I am pro vaccines if its done right) and that is the conversation we not having and need to be having.
Surgical mask when all said and done work others don’t. But they are not hats that can be worn all day long. They need to be changed regularly and once taken off disposed of promptly.
Google algorithms are funny things put up search mask infection its dominated by the dogma ‘mask can do no harm’.
However a second search adding the word “secondary infection” delivers a different result. This quickly confirms (using peer reviewed material or papers written by reputable doctors) that cloth masks are a No No.
And Yes Yes masks are better suited for surgical wards and in the general environment of joe public they can actually serve as diseases transmitters due to cross contamination.
Wanna wear mask and make it work?
Don only surgical mask P95’s* only and soon as you touch your mask dispose of it. Otherwise your just kidding yourself and putting your self at risk. We are being kidded big time. Because were only getting half the story.
What Masks Work??
Everyone seems to agree the expensive N95 respirators are significantly protective against bacterial colonisation, co-colonization and viral-bacterial co-infection. An in-depth study showed that dual respiratory virus or bacterial-viral co-infections can be reduced by the use of N95 respirators. This study has occupational health and safety implications for health workers.
Non surgical cloth mask are called ‘barrier’ masks.
Barrier mask is a new non medical term which alleges these cheap machine washable mask can be worn twenty time by “healthy” person before they should be thrown out (and we all knows that happens right?). Their is no source or peer reviewed papers for this claim and like the science behind social distancing it has in fact being shaped largely more by policy and lobbyist than actual solid science. It is essentially compliance propaganda not actual science and is an insult to people’s intelligence.
You wont find much of it on line (with out some careful searching) but the idea all the medical world is behind mask is not correct.
In the USA land of the litigator legal action brews – US A group is suing Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum and Tulsa Health Department Executive Director Bruce Dart, stating “the City’s mask mandate is harmful to healthy people.” The group includes business owners and 2 doctors who “are asking the City Council to immediately repeal their imposed mask mandate”. At a press conference, optometrist Robert Zoellner said: “…the fear factor has got to step back. This idea that I don’t want to give you something that I don’t even know that I have is almost at the point of ridiculous. Let’s use some common sense. Dr Jim Meehan concluded “In February and March we were told NOT to wear masks. What changed? The science didn’t change. The politics did. This is about compliance. It’s not about science…”
Further new research is showing “that cloth masks may be increasing the aerosolisation of the SARS-COV-2 virus into the environment causing an increased transmission of the disease”. This study was the first Randomised Control Trial of cloth masks, and the results caution against the use of cloth masks. Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of cloth masks to medical masks in hospital healthcare workers. Guess who did not got the tick of approval.
In the UK a separate study warns bacterial pneumonia is on the rise from mask wearing. This get checked a lot by Fact checker who correctly assert wearing mask does not cause such infection. It of course misses the point – the masks wearing itself is not the issue. Its the germ which end up on mask and then can then infect the wearer after they touch themselves and become exposed. Respiratory infection has at the very less being shown to be much higher among healthcare workers wearing cloth masks compared to medical masks, research shows. “Cloth masks should not be used by workers in any healthcare setting”, authors of the study said.
The their is my favourite mask bug bear the role played by cross contamination. This is abstract from a study done in Thailand
“To assess the relationship of bacterial and fungal contamination on used surgical masks worn by the hospital personnel and microbial air quality in their working wards. Methods This is a cross-sectional study of 230 used surgical masks collected from 214 hospital personnel, and 215 indoor air samples collected from their working wards to culture for bacterial and fungal counts. This study was carried out at the hospital in Bangkok. Group or genus of isolated bacteria and fungi were preliminary identified by Gram’s stain and lacto-phenol cotton blue. Results The bacterial and fungal contamination on used masks from hospital personnel working in the male and female medical wards and out-patient department, as well as the bacterial and fungal counts of the indoor air sample collected from the same area were relatively higher than the other wards. The predominant isolated bacteria and fungi contaminated on inside and outside areas of the used masks and air samples were similar (Staphylococcus spp. and Aspergillus spp.; respectively). For its relationship, results found that bacterial and fungal counts in air samples showed significantly positive correlation with the bacterial contamination load on outside area of the used masks, Conclusion High bacterial contamination on outside area of the used masks was demonstrated, and it showed a significant correlation with microbial air quality of working wards“
My last link is by Jim Meehan, MD (one of the doctors behind the Tusla law suit) an ophthalmologist and preventive medicine specialist with over 20 years of experience and advanced training in immunology, inflammation, and infectious disease. I neither agree with or disagree as to be blunt I am not qualified as a journalist to assess.
Yet I can say as a journalist with thirty years experience in my craft and a back ground in writing on pathogens and biowarfare for over two decades that Meehan offers the kind counter point that raises interesting points.
In an open transparent democracy these are the points and voices that should be given a platform and allowed to offer counter debate upon which people can then then be allowed to make informed decisions. However that is not happening and with clear algorithm controls in place filtering news searches, censoring online content, media commentators (who are not medical experts) peer pressure, the message on masks at best seems like were only being given half the story.