One of the main arguments used by advocates of mandatory mask-wearing is even if the masks only give “some” protection, it’s worth controlling the spread of the virus as much as possible. What the argument leaves out is that a number of physicians and scientific researchers have pointed to serious health problems caused by the prolonged wearing of masks.
We have reported on the health problems experienced by mask-wearers numerous times in the Trends Journal.
In our 4 August issue:
On 29 July, a CBS affiliate in McKinney, TX, reported that a number of employees required to wear face masks during their entire work shift were suffering from headaches, shortness of breath, and increased anxiety.
Forty-three complaints ran the gamut from nagging discomfort due to tight elastic to difficulty breathing. Courtney Warnell, a worker quoted in the story, said, “When I have long days, it’s a 12-hour day, I’m sick when I get home. Sick to my stomach. As soon as I get in the car, I’m pulling it off and I don’t want to do anything else. I just want to go home and be mask-free.”
No Child Left Behind?
In our 22 September issue:
Kang Lee, Professor of Applied Psychology at the University of Toronto, told The New York Times last week there are three issues regarding mask-wearing that could become an issue for students under the age of 12. The three issues include: the student could have a difficult time recognizing people, he/she may miss social cues from those they’re interacting with, and the child may develop issues with speech recognition. “Masks are not a great thing for communication in young kids,” Dr. David Lewkowicz, a senior scientist at the Haskins Laboratories and the Yale Child Study Center, told The Times.
These children reportedly have mentioned an increase in anxiety, sleeping issues, and “germaphobia,” where they have a fear of germs and a compulsion to keep washing their hands.
In our 6 October issue:
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health report last June stated, “The undesirable effects of facemasks include the risks of incorrect use, a false sense of security (leading to relaxation of other interventions), and contamination of masks. In addition, some people experience problems breathing, discomfort, and problems with communication.” The Norwegian Institute report concluded, “There is no reliable evidence of the effectiveness of non-medical facemasks in community settings.”
An eye-opening study out of Singapore concluded that out of 714 participants, only 90 wore their masks properly (about 12 percent). Some do not want to wear a mask because of the additional health problems associated with prolonged mask usage. Many masks wearers report suffering an increased frequency of headaches, while others reported a new affliction known as “face-mask-associated-headaches.”
Note: The mask/headache correlation was noted in a Scandinavian study in 2005 as well as a 2009 study from Japan. It is believed headaches could result from the mask’s elastic straps or from the decrease in oxygen intake one suffers when wearing a mask. Another aversion to prolonged mask wearing is the new phenomenon known as “mouth mask.” Wearing a mask decreases saliva production. Saliva fights bacteria, and without saliva, teeth will decay, gum lines will recede, and sour breath can occur.
In our 20 October issue:
Recently, a group of Tulsa, Oklahoma businessman and two of the area’s physicians sued both Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum and Tulsa Health Department Executive Director Bruce Dart over the mandatory mask edict. The businessmen joining the lawsuit against mandatory mask-wearing claim the mayor’s edict puts the onus on business owners to force their employees to wear them for prolonged periods of time, which makes some people sick. Dr. James Meehan, one of the doctors leading the lawsuit, is a preventive medicine specialist who has peer-reviewed thousands of medical studies.
Dr. Meehan said, “I’m seeing patients that have facial rashes, fungal infections, bacterial infections. Reports coming from my colleagues, all over the world, are suggesting that the bacterial pneumonias are on the rise.” Dr. Meehan cited the reason for the health problems is because “untrained members of the public are wearing medical masks, repeatedly… in a non-sterile fashion. They’re becoming contaminated. They’re pulling them off of their car seat, off the rearview mirror, out of their pocket, from their countertop, and they’re reapplying a mask that should be worn fresh and sterile every single time.”
He also noted he has been reviewing medical studies for over 30 years regarding the effectiveness of wearing masks to stop viral infections, with the result of his studies being that masks provide “very marginal, at best, efficacy, and those studies are in health care workers and hospital settings in which we have an optimal environment, nothing like our community is encountering.”