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By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, May 5, 2021


   Wizard hats are, of course, completely ineffective at stopping or even slowing the spread of respiratory viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2 a/k/a ‘COVID-19’.  But, scientific studies abound that show the cloth and surgical masks now forced on the public, with an almost mystical infatuation by Maine’s Democrat governor, Janet “Big Sister” Mills, are just as ineffective at stopping or slowing the spread of respiratory viruses in general and even the COVID-19 coronavirus in particular.

   Big Sister is ignoring all of the data and scientific research on the ineffectiveness of face masks in order to prop up her own personal religious, cult-like faith in face masks as the solution to the spread of COVID-19. But, her mystical face mask mandate - in effect since early December with NO exceptions - has fallen flat on its face [pun intended] as it unwittingly corroborated the scientific studies.   The virus surged and declined twice in Maine with nearly everyone wearing masks in public, and surged in the nursing homes in December where they were wearing masks all the time.  It was as if there were no face masks in use to begin with.  Given the types of face masks used in public today, the masks are essentially useless because they were never designed to stop respiratory viruses from passing through them or around their unsealed edges. 

   But, Big Sister needed to make it appear that she was “doing something” to stop the media’s dreaded superstar coronavirus and the most immediately visible signage would be to force people to wear something everyone else can see and then make them believe those virtue signaling devices are actually effective at stopping or slowing the spread of COVID-19 which, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, is similar to a “severe seasonal influenza”.1

   With tens of thousands of new “positive” cases in Maine alone, during the governor’s Great Mask Mandate, even the most naïve observer would have to question if these devices are even having an effect on the virus at all or if it’s all just a smokescreen designed to placate what the governor believes to be a population of stupid, unsophisticated rubes who will believe any line of bull$h!t she and her CDC director shovel at them - even if their ridiculous face mask mandate narrative collapses under the crushing weight of scientific tests that refute their claims and beliefs.

   A recent paper published by Baruch Vainshelboim, a former Stanford post-doc visiting scholar, cites numerous scientific studies that indicate when it comes to stopping or slowing respiratory viral transmission, there’s not that much difference between pointed wizard hats and the cloth or surgical face masks the public has been compelled (or, duped) into wearing today.

   In a paper posted on the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine page,2 Vainshelboim noted that, “It is not clear, however, what the scientific and clinical basis for wearing facemasks as protective strategy, given the fact that facemasks restrict breathing, causing hypoxemia and hyercapnia and increase the risk for respiratory complications, self-contamination and exacerbation of existing chronic conditions.”  He further elaborates, “Although several countries  mandated wearing facemask[s] in health care settings and public areas, scientific evidences are lacking supporting their efficacy for reducing morbidity or mortality associated with infectious or viral diseases.  Therefore, it is hypothesized: 1) the practice of wearing facemasks has compromised safety and efficacy profile, 2) Both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to reduce human-to-human transmission and infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, 3) Wearing facemasks has adverse physiological and psychological effects, 4) Long-term consequences of wearing facemasks on health are detrimental.”

   He explained how the physical properties of medical and non-medical - i.e. cloth - face masks render them completely ineffective since they are not designed to filter viral particles.  He cited a research brief published in the journal Nature Medicine in May 20203  (a story on this also published in Fort Fairfield Journal, April 7, 2021, p. 3) which indicated how ineffective face masks were in reducing human to human transmission of coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2.  “The results of this study showed that among symptomatic individuals (those with fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, etc…) there was no difference between wearing and not wearing facemask for coronavirus droplets transmission of particles >5 um.”  He also further noted of asymptomatic individuals, “Among asymptomatic individuals, there was no droplets or aerosols coronavirus detected from any participant with or without the mask, suggesting that asymptomatic individuals do not transmit or infect other people.”

   After explaining the effects of oxygen deprivation in prolonged mask wearing, Vainshelboim concluded, “The existing scientific evidences challenge the safety and efficacy of wearing facemask[s] as preventative 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 as SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, supporting against the usage of facemasks.”

   In effect, a pointed wizard hat is as likely to stop respiratory virus transmission, such as SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19 as face masks.

   But, this information has been known for decades and reported in medical journals throughout the media-driven COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.  However, the left wing news media chose to ignore this data in favor of videos of reporters sneezing into Petri dishes and culturing bacteria in a vain effort to “prove” face masks stop respiratory viruses when viruses are not bacteria and do not spread the same way.

       For example, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control published a report in their May, 2020 publication, Emerging Infectious Diseases that showed there is little evidence for face mask use or even hand washing and surface cleaning in prevention of viral transmission of influenza or, by extension, the now infamous COVID-19 coronavirus.4  The report looked at all of the available studies from 1946 through 2018, focusing on peer reviewed Randomized Control Trials (RCTs).  After reviewing the studies, the report authors stated, “Disposable medical masks (also known as surgical masks) are loose-fitting devices that were designed to be worn by medical personnel to protect against accidental contamination of patient wounds, and to protect the wearer against splashes or sprays of bodily fluids.  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.”

   While the studies cited looked at influenza viruses, the COVID-19 coronavirus has been found to be much more infectious than influenza so face masks would even be less likely to stop its transmission.

   The CDC report summarized face mask effectiveness by stating, “In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks.”

   In an April, 2015 study - conducted five years before the political pressure to conform to face mask usage society-wide - researchers found similar results.

   The peer-reviewed report, entitled “A Cluster Randomized Trial of Cloth Masks Compared with Medical Masks in Healthcare Workers” was published in the medical journal, BMJ Open5.

   According to the authors of the report, “The rates of all infection outcomes were highest in the cloth mask arm, with the rate of Influenza Like Illnesses (ILI) statistically significantly higher in the cloth mask arm compared with the medical mask arm...An analysis by mask use showed ILI and laboratory confirmed virus were significantly higher in the cloth masks group compared with the medical masks group.  Penetration of cloth masks by particles was almost 97% and medical masks 44%.”

     While face mask wearing in public in the U.S. has been elevated to a charismatic religious faith, two doctors at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) came under fire last year for pointing out the scientific fact that disposable surgical face masks and cloth face masks do not stop the spread of viruses, nor were they ever intended or designed to do so.

   The commentary was published on the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) website.  It is entitled COMMENTARY:  Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data.6  The commentary was written by Dr. Lisa Brosseau ScD,  a national expert on respiratory protection and infectious diseases and professor (retired) at UIC and Dr. Margaret Sietsema, PhD, an expert on respiratory protection and an assistant professor at UIC.

      The doctors’ commentary notes that data is lacking to recommend broad mask use.  “We do not recommend requiring the general public who do not have symptoms of COVID-19-like illness to routinely wear cloth or surgical masks because there is no scientific evidence they are effective in reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.”

   “Sweeping mask recommendations - as many have proposed - will not reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission, as evidenced by the widespread practice of wearing masks in Hubei province, China before and during its mass COVID-19 transmission experience earlier this year.  Our review of relevant studies indicates that cloth masks will be ineffective at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, whether worn as source control or PPE.”

   A face mask study conducted by the U.S. CDC7 and published last Fall showed that 85 percent of Case-Patients with a positive PCR test for SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection, and showing symptoms, were in people who reported wearing a cloth face covering or mask either “often” or “always” 14 days before the illness onset.

      Researchers in Denmark published a new study8 on the use of surgical face masks in a community setting which found there was very little difference in infection rates of COVID-19 between the group that always wore masks in public and the group that never wore masks in public.  The authors concluded, “a recommendation to wear a surgical mask when outside the home among others did not reduce, at conventional levels of statistical significance, incident SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with no mask recommendation.”

   A report published in the New England Journal of Medicine stated, “We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any protection from infection.”9

   The Journal of the American Medical Association published a report which stated, “Face masks should not be worn by healthy individuals to protect themselves from acquiring respiratory infection because there is no evidence to suggest that face masks worn by healthy individuals are effective in preventing people from becoming ill.”10

   Even with this voluminous amount of evidence showing the ineffectiveness of face masks in a community, general public setting - coupled with the evidence from Maine and other states that corroborates the science by showing no reduction in viral transmission of COVID-19 during face mask mandates - the public has been steadfastly convinced by the governor and left wing media that face masks are effective at stopping respiratory viruses when in reality they are no better than wearing pointed wizard hats.

   Indeed, the new, pointed wizard hats of the 21st century are face masks and a gullible public would be just as likely to wear the pointed hats if the governor and left wing media told them to.