Masks have been hailed as a public health intervention during the Covid-19 pandemic, but recent research shows that they can actually cause significant health problems.
An international team of scientists conducted a meta-analysis of 2,168 studies on adverse medical mask effects, finding that prolonged mask-wearing can lead to a statistically significant decline in oxygen intake, increase in carbon dioxide, increased heart rate, increase in shortness of breath, dizziness, and skin irritation, and is associated with a 62% increase in headaches.
The researchers also noted that symptoms were more common and severe with N95 masks, which can impose elevated health risks under extended use compared to surgical masks. Moreover, masks provide limited benefits in slowing airborne virus transmission rates. A recent U.K. study found that masks made ‘no discernible difference’ to Covid transmission rates in hospitals.
In addition, the study’s authors questioned whether the so-called “long COVID” symptoms are really the result of the “long mask” instead. Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz raised an important question, whether masks could be responsible for a misinterpreted long-COVID-19 syndrome after an effectively treated COVID-19 infection.
The researchers noted that nearly 40% of main long-COVID-19 symptoms overlap with mask-related complaints and symptoms, which they also detected in the qualitative and quantitative analysis of face mask effects in their systematic review. It is possible that some symptoms attributed to long-COVID-19 are predominantly mask-related.
Harvard Medical School professor Adam W. Gaffney also reported on the overlap between self-reported “long Covid” symptoms and those from prolonged mask usage.
The post-COVID group reported significantly more symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, anosmia [loss of smell, ed.], headache, & more. Moreover, no differences were shown in numerous biomarkers like general inflammation, autoimmunity, clotting abnormality, heart inflammation, kidney function, liver function, blood levels, and brain injury.
This research calls into question the effectiveness of masks in controlling the spread of Covid-19, while simultaneously highlighting their potential harm to individuals who are required to wear them for prolonged periods of time.
Masks can cause significant health problems, including Mask-Induced Exhaustion Syndrome (MIES), which can lead to fatigue, dyspnea, confusion, anxiety, depression, tachycardia, dizziness, and headache. These symptoms are more common and severe with N95 masks. Moreover, masks provide limited benefits in slowing airborne virus transmission rates, and there is a possibility that some symptoms attributed to long-COVID-19 are predominantly mask-related.
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Given the potential harm caused by masks and the limited benefits they provide in slowing the spread of Covid-19, it is time to reconsider their use. Public health officials and policymakers must take a more balanced and nuanced approach to mask-wearing and other measures aimed at controlling the spread of the virus. Rather than relying solely on masks, we must also consider alternative approaches that are less invasive and do not cause harm to individuals, particularly children who are required to wear masks for long periods of time.