It surprised me how long it took for experts to agree that SARS-Cov-2 could be spread in aerosols.
On a cool, humid day I watched a person wearing a mask and saw a plume of vapour escaping their mask. I observed how far the vapor travelled and it was several feet. Had I stood nearby, the vapor, along with any virus particles it carried me, would have reached me and if it could travel through the other person’s mask, it could travel equally well through mine. This was the day I knew for myself that masks did little to retain aerosols.
But for those who would like a little more information, I’ll add there are studies that indicate surgical masks deliver a slightly higher level of protection. You have to be careful when looking at studies because I’ve noticed they like to combine hand washing with mask wearing and the result is different when only mask wearing is the factor.
I’ve mostly ignored the numerous articles comparing different masks because I’m happy with my mask. I have faithfully followed the masking regulations, out of respect for those who see masks as important. The reason I’ve ignored the articles is because improving masks means adding more layers, more filtration systems, or closing all possible gaps in order to prevent air from escaping. Eventually we will suffocate if we can’t get air through our masks. Or at least we will become oxygen deficient. If our masks are so airtight that we cannot expel the carbon dioxide our body is trying to get rid of when we exhale, then we will breath it back in, along with all the viral particles we may or may not have. I prefer to breathe in fresh, clean oxygen so I try and limit my mask use. The only way to do this is to avoid going out as much as possible to places where masks are required.
I have put up with mask wearing because I didn’t want to major on the minors, so to speak. I told myself I am not significantly harmed by this mandate so I will tolerate it. I don’t believe that mask wearing is entirely harmless. I re-wore a mask once and re-caught the respiratory illness I had, making it last nearly three weeks longer.
I wear a mask out of consideration for others who have very strong feelings about masks, even if their beliefs are not supported by evidence. I just haven’t wanted to keep making a fuss about masks so I went along with the game.
I knew the real reason for wearing masks was to give a sense of security to the fearful. People who are afraid feel better if they can perform an action and do something visible that they feel will make a difference. I wish there was a least a placebo effect for masks, but I think studies will not prove this to be the case.
Our BC public health official, Dr. Bonnie Henry, is documented to have resisted mask wearing for the longest time, repeatedly, publicly, insisting they made minimal difference and could give a false sense of security. What changed? The data? The efficacy of masks? No. Opinion polls changed.
People were insistent on wanting to wear masks. They wrote articles. Businesses put pressure on health officials. People wanted regulations that could make them compel others to wear masks into their businesses and places of work so they could feel more secure. Eventually our respected Dr. Bonnie Henry caved. Literally. She went against what she had been saying for months.
I admit that at the beginning of the pandemic I was greatly reassured by Dr. Henry’s expertise, since she has had experience with pandemics. I thought we were especially privileged to have her on board in our province. But, sadly, we are not all impervious to external pressure. She was also the doctor who made a complete reversal of the famed headline of May 25, 2021, No vaccine passports in B.C’s future: Dr. Bonnie Henry. Here is what she said then,
“This virus has shown us that there are inequities in our society that have been exacerbated by this pandemic, and there is no way that we will recommend inequities be increased by the use of things like vaccine passports for services with public access here in British Columbia,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.
These societal inequities were later exacerbated when she changed her mind. In other words she lied to us.
Below is the data about mask wearing, directly from the World Health Organization.
Global Influenza Programme: Non Pharmaceutical public health measures for mitigating the risks and impact of epidemic and pandemic influenza, document published by the World Health Organization in 2019. The downloadable file can be found on the WHO website.
In the document we read that according to the study there is a not significant “reduction of 8% in the face mask group regardless of whether or not hand hygiene was also enhanced (RR:0.92, 95% CI=0.75–1.12, I2=30%, P=0.40). The article adds, “the evidence was insufficient to exclude chance as an explanation for the reduced risk of transmission. “
The reason I am speaking out now is because Dr. Bonnie Henry has told us “everybody” will get the Omicron virus. There is no stopping it. It’s time to point out the obvious. Masks are just for show. I might add I just had Omicron myself this week.