I have been following the scientific literature on this pandemic sent to the West by communist China from the very beginning. I mostly agreed with the comments of the publisher, Wyatt Emmerich, yet his introduction to the subject contained a few errors. For example, the latest data disputes the idea that COVID-19 is 2.5 times more deadly than the flu — at best, it is equal to a moderate flu with a mortality rate standing now at 0.25 percent and the overall mortality is actually less as the number of fatal cases is mostly limited to those with medical illnesses, obesity, and immune dysfunction.
Our state public health officer’s advice is not only seriously flawed but is possibly, in my opinion, worsening the situation by expressing an unsubstantiated faith in the policy of forced use of masks by the general public. The vast majority of studies on the use of masks by the general public to control respiratory infections of various kinds has clearly shown it does not work. And all studies have clearly shown that in the face of transmission of the infection by fine aerosols (less than five microns in diameter) neither the surgical mask nor the cloth mask has any significant effect on reducing infections in the community. The consensus by the scientific community is that transmission of COVID-19 is primarily by fine aerosols. In fact, it has been shown that the cloth mask — the most commonly used mask — actually increases the infection rate. Washing a cloth mask repeatedly significantly lowers its efficiency in filtering the virus. Fine aerosols have been shown to carry the largest concentration of infective viruses and not coarse droplets (which was originally assumed). And, it is these fine particles that make up most of the viral shedding during speaking, laughing, singing, coughing and sneezing, and not the coarse droplets. Masks only filter coarse droplets. It has also been shown that even in the infected person, no more than 30 percent to 40 percent of these infected people will shed any viruses into the environment. Therefore 60 percent to 70 percent of known infected people will transmit no viruses, even when coughing or sneezing. We see the same thing with the influenza virus.
Bioengineering studies of masks have clearly shown that surgical masks and cloth mask demonstrate extensive jetting of infected breath around the leaking sides of the masks, primarily to the rear of the person. These turbulent clouds of infected fine aerosols are known to travel up to 27 feet. What this means is that a person dutifully following the directional arrows in a store will be creating a trailing turbulent cloud of infected air behind them so that anyone walking behind will pass through this turbulent cloud and will have a high risk of becoming infected. People with beards cannot seal their masks and studies have shown that even a heavy facial stubble allows substantial leakage of infected exhaled air. Will the government mandate mandatory shaving each morning?
The mask has also been shown to direct the turbulent cloud into the eyes and downward, covering the entire front of the person. In addition, one of the main problems is that people are constantly touching and adjusting their masks and removing them improperly, thus contaminating their hands (or gloves). Everything they touch then becomes contaminated—including produce in groceries. In restaurants, people remove their masks and place them on the table next to them, thus contaminating the table.
Beyond these demonstrations of mask inefficiency for protection, there are definite and demonstrated dangers to prolonged wearing of masks—including hypoxia (oxygen deficiency) and hypercapnia (accumulation of C02). People with lung diseases, such as COPD, emphysema, and asthma should not wear a mask, as it can precipitate a medical crisis. Pregnant women should never wear a mask, as it can produce injury to the baby. The elderly person is also at risk, especially during exertion. People with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes should not wear a mask. Obese people should not wear a mask. It has clearly been shown that intermittent hypoxia can cause a number of serious effects on the body as we learned from sleep apnea. Even surgical masks can result in hypoxia over several hours, which means the worker required to wear a mask for an eight-hour shift is in danger. Small children should never wear a mask, and I frequently see children as young as one year of age wearing masks. Even the CDC warns against this.
With most studies, many of which are randomized clinical trials, showing that the use of masks by the general public has no place in respiratory viral infection control, why are we being forced to wear these ineffective and dangerous masks — especially with the clearly demonstrated dangers? The most recent studies also demonstrate that the best answer to the problem, for the general public, is increased ventilation, which in all studies drastically lowers airborne viruses and prevents spread. There is no need to ever wear a mask outdoors, the sun, ozone, and atmospheric hydroxides kill the virus rapidly.
Dr. Russell Blaylock, a Northsider, is a retired neurosurgeon, having practiced for 24 years. He is associate editor-in chief of the journal Surgical Neurology International, Section on Neuroimmunology. He has published over 40 medical articles in peer-reviewed journals and has four published medical books and chapters in five medical textbooks.