“Masks Don’t Work” – and other comments from field experts.

Many source that can essentially be considered ‘media’ rather than scientific or medical are advocating for use of cloth masks by the general population – some are recommending compulsory compliance.  Prior to a couple months ago, the prevailing opinion was that cloth masks do little or no good to protect against transmitting or being vulnerable to the Covid-19 virus.  Many of those earlier claims of ineffectiveness have been changed or removed in response to political pressure (or political manipulation). The CDC itself in February said that people should NOT wear masks and now they have changed their approach with the Director of the CDC recommending them through their website as well as various social media platforms.

Here is a dose of commonsense and reality: ZeroHedge published a great article yesterday titled, “World’s Top Epidemiologists – Masks Don’t Work!” They discuss in clear terms the ups and downs of the ongoing maskers v. anti-maskers conflict between handling of the mandates by socialist-minded local leaders. Not to mention the various name calling and physical fights in Wal-Mart and other public places.

The article takes a look at Denmark and quotes one group of Danish health experts as saying, “there is little conclusive evidence that face masks are an effective way to limit the spread of respiratory viruses.” One was quoted, “There is no benefit and there may even be negative impact.”

The article also discusses the Principle of Effectiveness, which is a kind of Hippocratic Oath within the realm of public health practice and policy. This is the idea that recommending mask wearing or mandating mask wearing defies that principle, especially if mask wearing cannot be proven effective.  In this way, the public health entities are violating the Effectiveness Principle.  The article says, “They are using force to make people submit to a state order that could ultimately make individuals or entire populations sicker, according to world-leading public health officials. That is not just a violation of the Effectiveness Principle. It’s a violation of a basic personal freedom.”

Appropriate kudos are also provided to the authors of the University of Minnesota study who chose to respond to the criticism they received for their stance on the ineffectiveness of masks by adding commentary to their website rather than deleting the valuable study information. Another study shared by the Annals of Internal Medicine a couple months ago also concluded that neither surgical nor cloth masks proved effective in preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. (A little bit more of a complex read, but enlightening.) The New England Journal of Medicine in a May 2020 article said, “We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection.”

At this point there are numerous studies that have been done and a variety of sources that have changed their tune, but ZeroHedge article is definitely worth the read, incorporating expert sources as well as a little bit of real world logic. The most valuable take away from the ZeroHedge article is a poignant comment, “Instead of ordering people to “mask-up” under penalty of fines or jail time, scientists and public health officials should get back to playing their most important role: developing sound research on which people can freely make informed decisions.” In other words, health experts should get back to doing what they were hired to do, by focusing on research and good medicine – and our legislators should get back to the business of focusing on American freedoms rather than engaging in turning the health crisis into their next favorite political rant.

(photo by Martin Sanchez on Unspash)

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