On my daily hike through a large regional park with my dog, I’ve noticed a strange phenomenon of late: more people are wearing masks while exercising outside in the fresh air.
As I hiked Saturday, I was heartened to see an informal soccer game played by 7-8 year old girls. But then I noticed their coach had a mask on. And when I looked more closely at the children playing, all of them were also wearing masks. Outside… Playing a vigorous game of soccer…
Teenagers playing volleyball were also masked-up.
Walkers, runners, bicyclists, and families out for a stroll were wearing masks.
So many of the daily mask wearers I witness appear fearful, usually walking past me in a wide arc afraid that I may be a walking contagion. Other mask wearers clearly believe wearing a mask is a symbol of social responsibility.
This reminded me of what I read recently in journalist Alex Berenson’s Unreported Truths About Covid-19 and Lockdowns: Death Counts, Lockdowns, and Masks…
Importantly, Berenson concludes “…the worst reason of all is that mask mandates appear to be an effort by governments to find out what restrictions on their civil liberties people will accept on the thinnest possible evidence.”
He lays out how masks became mandatory, despite a great deal of medical evidence showing they do not prevent wearers from catching respiratory infections.
“’Overnight, masks have become a symbol of social responsibility,’ The New York Times wrote on April 10,” Berenson reported in Part 3: Masks. “’If you still need convincing, here’s why you now should be wearing a mask in public spaces.’ Two months later, the Times cheerily offered ‘Tips for Making Your Mask Work.’”
Berenson wrote the three-part booklet series largely dispelling much of the disinformation foisted on the public by “public health experts” and control-driven politicians. “Unreported Truths Part 1 focused on the way we count deaths from COVID-19. Part 2 explained lockdowns. Part 3 covers a topic even more central to our lives every day – the evidence that masks do or do not work to reduce the spread of the coronavirus,”he explained.
Berenson says “for months, public health experts have proclaimed, ‘My mask protects you, while yours protects me.’ Governments all over the world now make people wear face coverings in public. But the proof that masks do any good is far weaker than almost anyone understands.”
Berenson digs into many studies and trials with interesting results.
…“even trained medical staff dislike wearing them for more than a few hours. As two doctors wrote in a commentary in August, “when worn properly, N95 masks are suffocating, uncomfortable, and difficult to tolerate for long durations.” (https:// jamanetwork.com/ journals/ jamainternalmedicine/ fullarticle/ 2769441) As a practical matter, if civilians are going to wear face coverings, they will be standard cloth or surgical masks.”
Berenson noted that in several studies, the health experts “didn’t explicitly say so in their conclusion, maybe because they were aware that any criticism of masks is off-limits in the coronavirus era. Instead, they pointed out that their work offered ‘quantitative results… [for] evidence-based decisions.’ In other words, we’re not going to tell you surgical masks don’t work–you can read. (https:// jamanetwork.com/ article.aspx? doi = 10.1001/ jamainternmed. 2020.4221)
“What’s true for surgical masks appears to be doubly true for homemade cloth masks, which generally filter even fewer small particles and are even less effective. The overall evidence is clear: Standard cloth and surgical masks offer next to no protection against virus-sized particles or small aerosols.”
“The theoretical evidence that cloth and surgical masks do not protect their wearers is overwhelming. But we have even stronger evidence. It comes from real-world clinical trials of people wearing masks. Medical proof comes in many different forms. The weakest evidence comes from anecdotes based on one person’s experience. Just because I didn’t have an accident after driving drunk doesn’t mean doing so is safe. On the other hand, the gold standard of evidence comes from what scientists and physicians call randomized controlled trials.”
“Clinical trials consistently find that masks don’t protect people from respiratory viruses.”
Berenson found a recent trial:
“If only we had a large randomized controlled trial that specifically examined whether masks protected their wearers from the coronavirus. Now we do. In a paper published on Nov. 18, Danish researchers reported on a trial that covered almost 5,000 people in Denmark in the spring. The trial was carefully designed and executed, with half the participants told to wear high-quality surgical masks and provided 50 for free. The other half were not asked to wear masks. Participants were followed for a month to see if they had been infected with Sars-Cov-2. Within the month, 53 people in the maskless group had been infected, compared to 42 who wore masks. The difference was indistinguishable from chance, and suggested masks might really cause anywhere from a 46 percent decrease to a 23 percent increase in infections among their wearers. The reason for the failure was not that people in the masked group didn’t follow the rules, either. When they looked at only at participants who always wore masks, the researchers found an even smaller difference. Mask wearing “did not reduce, at conventional levels of statistical significance, the incidence of Sars-Cov-2 infection,” the authors wrote in their discussion.”
There is little asymptomatic spread:
“Forcing everyone to wear masks will matter very little unless asymptomatic people spread the coronavirus in large numbers. Everyone agrees people who are symptomatic with a fever or cough should stay home or wear a mask if they must go out. If only sick people are wearing masks, face coverings may function as a public signal: I don’t feel well, stay away. But the point of universal mask mandates is to force people who do not feel sick to wear masks anyway, on the theory that people without symptoms can also spread the virus. Like practically every other part of the “my mask protects you” theory, this aspect is unproven. Worse–like the advice around general lockdowns, which were never recommended before March–it has become highly politicized.”
Even Dr. Anthony Fauci explained that asymptomatic transmission was not a threat.
Maria Van Kerkhove, a World Health Organization scientist said at a press conference last June that asymptomatic people almost never transmit the coronavirus. Berenson addressed the fallout of her statement:
But the media and other public health experts immediately pushed back on Van Kerkhove’s accidental honesty in the June 8 press conference. Why? Because the threat of asymptomatic transmission is critical to the argument for universal mask mandates. If people without symptoms are very unlikely to transmit Sars-Cov-2 to others, why make them wear masks at all?”
The evidence is overwhelming that surgical or cloth masks don’t protect their wearers, so whom exactly are the masks protecting?”experts the hospitals had offered agreed that “there is limited evidence on the significant point of the utility of masks in reducing transmission risk.” In addition, wearing masks for long periods came with downsides, the nurses’ experts told Hayes. Masks were uncomfortable, became moist, and could cause skin irritation. (One referred to a “grunge factor.”)
The Globe reported months ago on “mask mouth,” a new syndrome Dentists report seeing caused by the moisture trapped in face masks, which creates a petri dish of breeding ground for bacteria, as it is in place directly over your mouth. Constant mask-wearing is leading to all kinds of dental disasters like decaying teeth, receding gum lines and seriously sour breath. Long-term mask wearing also is causing persistent coughing, as well as dermatitis on the skin around the mouth.
“Of course, encouraging people to take actions that are (supposedly) symbolically valuable is different than forcing them,” Berenson said. “I may want to wear a pink pin to show I care about beating breast cancer, but Governor Cuomo can’t make me. At least I don’t think he can, though I’m not so sure anymore.”
“The not-so-good reason is that making people wear masks frightens them. Frightens us. Masks are warnings none of us can escape. This virus is different. This virus is dangerous. This virus is not the flu. We had better hunker down until a vaccine is ready to save us all. But the worst reason of all is that mask mandates appear to be an effort by governments to find out what restrictions on their civil liberties people will accept on the thinnest possible evidence. They are the not-so-thin edge of the wedge. Today, we must wear masks. Tomorrow we’ll need negative Covid tests to travel between countries. Or vaccines to go to work. I wish masks worked. I wish we didn’t have to fight about them. But they don’t. And we do.”
— Unreported Truths About Covid-19 and Lockdowns: Part 3: Masks by Alex Berenson
I highly recommend reading Alex Berenson’s three part booklet series – they are short, well-written and full of very important information, facts, studies and research readers can use immediately to put the fear to rest.