Best Covid 19 Mask
In order to analyze comprehensively what is the best COVID 19 mask, We look at how effective masks are under different conditions and environments. We also weigh in on the question: do the pros of wearing a mask outweigh the cons, for the level of protection they provide?
To answer these questions, we look at the different types of masks. How long viruses last outside of the body. How COVID spreads according to recent data and why COVID is difficult to study. We analyze what the particle efficiency of masks like the n95 or its lesser alternatives is, for prevention of COVID transmission. And how that filter efficiency is calculated.
We also look at how effective masks are to prevent spread of COVID for source control (if worn by infected individuals). And how effective masks are at respiratory protection (if worn by healthy individuals).
Finally we cover the negative impacts of wearing masks. And of following other COVID safety protocols, including social distancing and lockdowns. What are the biological (physical) and psychological (mental) effects of these protocols. Under what conditions if any, do the pros of wearing a mask and following safety protocols outweigh the cons, for the level of effective protection they may provide, under certain conditions.
“We don’t recommend wearing a face mask, unless you are coughing or sneezing allot”Dr. Margaret Harris, WHO (World Health Organization)
“is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through material.”Dr. Anthony Fauci
Please Note: This post is subject to change, and new information is added frequently.
*11-8-2021 Added Quotes from Dr. Axom and Dr. Fauci
*14-11-2021 Added section “Other experts talk about face masks and COVID-19” and added video from glaxosmithklein pharmaceuticals talking about face mask effectiveness
- Important Points
- Different types of face masks | Best COVID 19 Mask
- Fit is very important
- Surgical Masks | Best COVID 19 Mask
- Respirator Masks | Best COVID 19 Mask
- Respirator Mask Standards
- Cloth & DIY home-made masks | Best COVID 19 Mask
- Cloth face masks conclusion
- How respirators work | Mechanisms of filtration
- Collection Efficiency of N95 Masks against COVID
- Masks on Infected vs Healthy Individuals
- Dr. Hodkinson and Chris Schaefer on Lockdowns and mask mandates
- The government politicized masks and it’s for the worse
- Why Flu and COVID-19 are difficult to study
- How long can a virus “live” outside of the body
- Possible Modes of Transmission of COVID-19
- Airborne droplet nuclei vs larger droplets on Surfaces
- Aerosol Transmission of COVID | Best COVID 19 Mask
- How conditions can affect aerosol transmission of infection
- Outdoors is safer then indoors for virus transmission
- Talking as a mode of viral transmission | Best COVID 19 Mask
- Evidence for aerosol transmission of COVID 19
- Comparison | Influenza spreads through the air and droplets
- Other reports & evidence of COVID aerosol transmission
- Don’t Panic! We don’t know enough yet!
- The Impact of Community Masking on COVID-19: A Cluster-Randomized Trial in Bangladesh
- Comparison of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies for Masked vs Unmasked group
- Conclusion and notes on The Impact of Community Masking on COVID-19: A Cluster-Randomized Trial
- Downloadable PDF
- Dr. Moran Reviews large cluster randomized trial comparing no intervention against cloth masks and against surgical masks | Video
- Who is Dr. Keith Moran
- Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data | Best COVID 19 Mask
- RISK | Mask touching can spread the virus more | Best COVID 19 Mask
- RISK | Masks get moist and filter effectiveness plummets | Best COVID 19 Mask
- Face Masks are only effective as an adjunct precaution | Best COVID 19 Mask
- An argument for Surgical Mask use by infected individuals-not healthy individuals-not other types of masks | Source Control
- Effects of masks on cardiopulmonary (heart and lungs) during exercise | Healthy Individuals
- A comparison of mask use by country and COVID death rates | Best COVID 19 Mask
- Europe’s Top Health Officials Say Masks Aren’t Helpful in beating COVID
- Other experts talk about face masks and COVID-19
- How effective HEPA air filters are against COVID
- Air Purifiers – it’s all in the HEPA
- What are HEPA Filters?
- What is a MERV rating?
- NASA study on HEPA air filters
- If a HEPA filter can capture viruses like COVID, do they stay on the filter media?
- How long does COVID (and most other viruses) last on a HEPA filter?
- Can viruses as small as COVID detach from a HEPA filter and become airborne again?
- HEPA Air Purifier Summary
- Hippocratic oath “First do no harm”
- Summary – What is the Best COVID 19 Mask?
I noticed after analyzing several studies, it’s important to point there are two distinctly different areas of study; the “devil’s in the details” as they say.
Source Control vs Respiratory Protection
- Source Control: Effectiveness of masks worn by infected individuals on transmitting coronavirus
- Respiratory Protection: Effectiveness of masks worn by healthy individuals on contracting coronavirus. Also referred to as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
“People misunderstand the face mask, they think the face mask is about protecting themselves, its actually about protecting others if you are producing allot of respiratory droplets”Dr. Margaret Harris, WHO
Masks vs Surgical Masks vs Respirators
In most studies they also analyze a particular mask or separate data on each mask type. I think allot of the general population just groups masks together, or says “N95 must be the best because it’s more powerful, so I’ll wear that!” but in reality masks, surgical masks and mechanical respirators, all have different properties that lend some to be better in certain situations then others.
Health care setting vs Home vs Outside
Also most studies differentiate the conditions under which the study is preformed, or again separate the data by
- At home
- In a health care setting.
These are all very different conditions. And some mask types may perform better then others depending on which setting they are used.
It’s very important when reading a new article or a study, that you clearly identify the following
- Mask type
- If its for source control or respiratory protection
- Conditions it’s analyzing
By knowing the specifics of these three variables, you can better understand what the results mean for you as a healthy or infected individual, and which mask is applicable.
In other words, are the people near this sick guy protected by wearing a mask? or are masks only effective if the sick guy is wearing the mask? or should both sick and healthy people wear masks? under what conditions? and and which mask is it? cloth mask, surgical mask or respirator that may provide protection?
Different types of face masks | Best COVID 19 Mask
Single use face masks have the lowest requirement on filtration effectiveness. Surgical masks are more stringent, and respirators have the highest requirements. In addition Respirators score higher on fit effectiveness (fit tighter around the face) vs single-use or surgical face masks.
“While masks help to keep some large respiratory droplets contained and from reaching other people, they are not perfect. If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, wearing a mask does not make it safe or acceptable to visit public areas or be close to other people. Isolate yourself, whether or not you have symptoms.”Respiratory Protection vs. Source Control – What’s the difference? –Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Respirators like the N95 are designed to reduce particles that the wearer will inhale, although they are not as effective on the 0.1 micron particle size of potentially airborne COVID virus particles. Wearer must receive fit testing for the respirator to be effective (air gaps near face), and exhalation valves should be avoided as they permit potentially infected air to exit the mask unfiltered.
- Surgical Masks are regulated by the FDA for their ability to protect the wearer from contact with liquids such as larger droplets expelled by an infected individual, and are used as standard pieces of personal protective equipment in healthcare settings, including for COVID-19 mainly by preventing larger droplets from reaching wearers mouth and nose, and decreasing the viral load,
- Cloth Masks provide very minimal source control protection (expelled virus by infected individual), and are not tested or certified to to provide respiratory protection (protection from infection, when worn by healthy individuals); and are not evaluated by NIOSH.
- A Study by CBC News found cloth face masks with multiple layers and high thread count (680 threads is better then 600 threads; the higher the better) are the most effective form of cloth mask and must be fit your face perfectly otherwise it doesn’t matter how good the mask is, your exhaled breath will push out the top and sides.
Fit is very important
One of the most important things with any mask is that it fits properly. A mask must have an airtight seal around your face, to offer any filtration whatsoever. It doesn’t matter how good a mask is, if it doesn’t fit properly! Air can simply escape out the top and sides.
Health care workers are fit tested to wear respirator and surgical masks…So perform your own fit testing at home, and make sure that mask is sealed against your face as tight as possible, if you want any level of filtration from the mask at all.
Surgical Masks | Best COVID 19 Mask
CDC states that surgical masks, unlike respirators, do not provide adequate protection against COVID-19.
“Unlike respirators, masks are not designed to reduce the particles that the wearer will inhale and are not evaluated by NIOSH for their effectiveness to protect the wearer from airborne hazards. While there are many different mask designs available, they typically do not form the necessary seal against the wearer’s skin or have the appropriate level of filtration.“Respiratory Protection vs. Source Control – What’s the difference? –Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
In addition surgical masks primarily function by keeping respiratory droplets from getting to the other side of the mask. Potentially infected droplets can escape the sides of the cloth or surgical mask, which can’t be avoided.
“if you sneeze that prevents the droplets from going out at a very small angle, doesn’t prevent it from going out the side of your mask”Dr. A Jay Chauhan, President, Chicago Medical Society
Respirator Masks | Best COVID 19 Mask
It’s becoming more, and more accepted that COVID is transmissible both through the air, in the form of small droplets and through larger droplets on surfaces. COVID has multiple modes of transmission and can be transmitted in both airborne aerosol droplets and larger droplets on surfaces.
A respirator does not provide effective, full-proof respiratory protection to protect healthy individuals from infection. Mechanical respirator masks (if properly fit) are somewhat effective as source control to prevent transmission, when worn by infected asymptomatic individuals. However the protection is far form full-proof. Therefore you should still social distance, and stay at home if you are not feeling well, regardless of what mask you are wearing.
In addition only non-exhalation valve models provide very minimal source control protection (because the valve models essentially let’s you blow out most of the infected air.)
“The CDC does not recommend that the general public wear respirators to protect themselves from COVID-19. Due to the way SARS-CoV-2 spreads“Respiratory Protection vs. Source Control – What’s the difference? –Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 05-16-2021
The recommendation by the CDC to wear masks, is only there to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 through respiratory droplets expelled from asymptomatic individuals.
“The purpose of wearing masks is to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by reducing the spread of the virus through respiratory droplets from asymptomatic individuals. Masks are recommended as a barrier to help prevent large respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. Emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies shows that masks help reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth.”Respiratory Protection vs. Source Control – What’s the difference? –Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 05-16-2021
If you are not fit tested for an n95 mask, it’s not effective.
The N95 is primarily designed as a barrier protection for health care workers in the operating room or in health care settings. Health care workers are fit tested and trained to wear the mask properly, where the public is not.
“N95 mask, I have to be fit tested for it, I’ve got to make sure I’ve got a tight seal to wear it as a health care provider. The average citizen, that mask it not going to protect them”Dr. Jerome Adams U.S. Surgeon General
3M Product notes state no protection from infection
If you look at 3Ms own product notes of the N95 + electrostatic filter mask it states that the mask might offer some protection against biological particles, but it
“cannot eliminate the risk of contracting infection, illness, or disease.”3M N95 respirator product notes
This is why experts including the CDC, tell you masks and respirators do not provide, full-proof protection, even though people think they do! This false sense of security can lead people to ignore other measures such as social distancing, and staying at home, both of which are more effective in preventing transmission of COVID, than wearing a mask.
N95 | Mechanical Filter Respirator & Exhalation Valve Models | Best COVID 19 Mask
N95 respirators are part of a class of respiratory protection devices known as mechanical filter respirators, which “mechanically” stop particles down to a certain size, from reaching the wearers nose and mouth. The N95 designation is a mechanical filter respirator standard set and certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
N95 Respirators without exhalation valves are the preferred mask for Respiratory protection, worn as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in healthcare settings and indoors. N95 models with exhalation valves, are completely useless as source control protection.
“Preliminary data suggests that the outward leakage from exhalation valves is less than or comparable to that of many devices being used for source control (e.g., cloth masks, bandanas, surgical masks). However, until more research is available, masks with exhalation valves or vents should NOT be worn to help prevent the person wearing the mask from spreading COVID-19 to others (source control).“
“If only a respirator with an exhalation valve is available and source control is needed, cover the exhalation valve with a surgical mask or a cloth mask that does not interfere with the respirator fit.”Respiratory Protection vs. Source Control – What’s the difference? –Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 05-16-2021
3M Label is a company not a standard
The company 3M manufactures a variety of respirators / masks, however 3M is not a certification or standard of any kind. However 3M is but one of many respirator manufacturers that produce masks and respirators, which meet KN95 or N95 standards.
Cloth & DIY home-made masks | Best COVID 19 Mask
A meta-analysis of different studies and literature by Dr. Brosseau and Dr. Sietsema titled COMMENTARY: Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data reviewed cloth masks, surgical masks and respirator masks. They found that Cloth masks don’t work in any form to protect against COVID, neither as source control or as personal protective equipment (PPE) and should especially not be used in health care settings for multiple reasons.
Home made masks, cotton masks, masks made from HEPA vacuum cleaner bags, sock masks, bandanas and all the other variants of DIY masks, are not remotely equal to an n95 mechanical respirator or surgical mask and provide little to no protection from coronavirus infection.
“A cloth mask or face covering does very little to prevent the emission or inhalation of small particles…inhalation of small infectious particles is not only biologically plausible, but the epidemiology supports it as an important mode of transmission for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.”Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data —Lisa M Brosseau, ScD, and Margaret Sietsema, PhD
There is however some evidence that cloth face masks offer very minimal protection for aerosol droplets specifically from asymptomatic individuals, that aren’t coughing or sneezing.
“We do, however, have data from laboratory studies that indicate cloth masks or face coverings offer very low filter collection efficiency for the smaller inhalable particles we believe are largely responsible for transmission, particularly from pre- or asymptomatic individuals who are not coughing or sneezing.”Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data —Lisa M Brosseau, ScD, and Margaret Sietsema, PhD
What type of cloth face mask is best?
A Study by CBC News found cloth face masks with multiple layers and high thread count (680 threads is better then 600 threads; the higher the better) are the most effective form of cloth mask, and must fit your face perfectly, otherwise it doesn’t matter how good the mask is, your exhaled breath will escape out the top and sides.
The downsides of cloth face masks
Face masks cause you to breath in poisonous carbon dioxide gas, in higher then usual amounts for multiple hours, on a daily basis. In the short term, increased carbon dioxide inhalation can do the following: negatively impact your heart and lung health, reduce oxygen absorption in your blood and can lead to a variety of diseases.
So does the very minimal protection cloth face masks (or any masks for that matter) offer, outweigh the negative impacts wearing a mask has on your immune system and your overall health? You be the judge.
Cloth face masks conclusion
The cloth or DIY mask may look nice and make you feel comfortable, but ultimately cloth face masks only provide minor protection as a form of source control (if your infected), by asymptomatic individuals, indoors. However you are not protecting yourself (respiratory protection), by wearing one.
Cloth masks also cause you to breath increased amount of carbon dioxide, which has a negative impact on your immune system and therefore increase your ability to get sick. Respect social distancing measures, eat healthy, exercise, avoid drinking or smoking, and take your vitamins, because those measures will do more to keep you from getting sick, then any mask ever will.
How respirators work | Mechanisms of filtration
Mechanical respirators such as the N95 operate through a few different filtration mechanisms that effect different particle sizes, understanding those mechanisms, will help you understand how face masks (respirators) such as the N95 mask, operate and why they are suitable to filter some particle sizes, but not others.
Masks such as the n95 filter particles utilizing these mechanisms.
- Inertial Impaction
- Interception Capture
- Electrostatic (only on Electret filters)
The path of air travelling around a filter fiber moves in streams. The likelihood of a particle to stay within the stream is primarily determined by it’s size. Particle size plays an important role in collection or filter efficiency.
The largest particles in the air tend to be slow moving and predominantly settle on the filter media due to gravity.
Particles that are too small for the effects of gravity (down to around 600nm) are primarily captured by inertial impact and interception.
2. Inertial Impaction
Inertial impaction occurs on larger particles in this size range, when a particle cannot follow the air stream around a fiber because of it’s inertia, it impacts the filter fibers where it’s captured.
3. Interception Capture
Smaller particles stay within the air stream, but due to their size are naturally brought close enough to come into contact with the filter fiber. This is what’s known as Interception capture.
4. Diffusion & Brownian Motion
Particles below 100nm (0.1microns) are mainly captured through a mechanism known as diffusion. Random movements of air molecules cause these very small particles to wander across the air stream due to Brownian motion. Because the path taken through the filter is drawn out, the probability of capture through inertial impact or interception increases dramatically, particularly at low air flow velocities.
5. Electrostatic Capture
Some masks employ electrostatic capture. The standard N95, as well as all cloth and most surgical masks do not utilize electrostatic capture. So how does electrostatic capture work?
Within the filter media it’s made up of fibers, and those fibers are what capture the particles. To enhance the filter performance and increase the amount of particles it can capture, their is an electrostatic charge applied to the fibers. So then the fibers have an ability to attract the particles to the surface and enhance the filtration performance. This allows use of less filter media and therefore it makes it easier to breath, because you don’t need so much filter media in the respirator.
Collection Efficiency of N95 Masks against COVID
The lowest collection efficiencies occurs for particles in the middle size range, within 100-500nm, because diffusion and impaction have the least effect on these size particles.
COVID-19 Particle Size | Best COVID 19 Mask
The alleged particle size of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) ranges in reports from 0.08 microns (80nm) to 0.12 microns (120nm). According to a US National Library of Medicine Study the COVID-19 particle size is around 0.1 microns (100nm). We will accept that measurement is from a reliable source, and is valid.
Collection Efficiency of N95 Masks against COVID-19 Particle Size
If COVID-19 is 100nm in size, it falls in the worst range possible for the capture efficiency of n95 and other masks. The COVID-19 particle size of 100nm-120nm, is on the lowest point for diffusion capture efficiency because it is too large, and is on the lowest point for interception capture because it is too small.
“N95 masks filter 95% of particles with a diameter of 0.3 microns or larger. COVID-19 particles are .08 – .12 microns.“Chris Schaefer is a respirator specialist within the field of occupational health and safety of over 27 years. He has been teaching and conducting respirator fit testing for over 20 years as Director of SafeCom Training Services Inc. His clients include many government departments (all branches: municipal, provincial, federal and different branches within those) , our military, healthcare providers with Alberta Health Services, educational institutions ( including University of Alberta faculties of Medicine and dentistry) and private industry. He is a published author and a recognized authority on the subject of respirators.
In summary the n95 and other similar respirator masks have the lowest filter efficiency possible for the particle size of COVID-19. N95 respirator masks (and similar respirator masks) will largely allow the COVID-19 virus to pass through relatively unimpeded. This renders face masks like the n95, ineffective in providing effective protection against infection or transmission of COVID-19.
In addition doctors don’t know how many particles are required for infection (For influenza, studies have shown that just three virus particles are enough to make someone sick.) so even if only some COVID particles get through, that could be enough.
Study by Smart Air INVALID | Best COVID 19 Mask
Smart Air did a study where they tightly attached filter media around the end of one tube and placed a pollution particle monitor on the other side of the face mask filter. They then pushed exhaust through the filter. Their study showed face masks are effective against pollution particle sizes of 0.3 micron (300nm) to 2.5 micron (250nm). However coronavirus is around 0.1 microns (100nm) in size. This study is therefore completely irrelevant in measuring the effectiveness of n95 and other face masks, against COVID-19 and other viruses of a similar size.
Masks on Infected vs Healthy Individuals
There is mounting evidence, that surgical masks worn by symptomatic infected individuals (exhibiting symptoms) can at least reduce the droplets and quantity of virus that reaches the other side of the mask (reduce the likelihood of transmitting the virus to others) during coughing, talking, etc. But doctor’s don’t know how many particles are required for COVID to infect an individual (For influenza, studies have shown that just three virus particles are enough to make someone sick.), which means that even if only a few COVID particles get through the mask, that could potentially be enough to infect someone…doctor’s just don’t know.
“When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better, and it might even block a droplet. But it is not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is, and often there are unintended consequences; people keep fiddling with the mask and touching their face.””Dr. Anthony Fauci noted back in March on 60 Minutes
The catch here is that those infected with COVID can by asymptomatic (not exhibiting any symptoms). Therefore it can be difficult to identify whos sick, and may benefit from a mask, vs whos healthy and would receive little benefit, or may actually be negatively impacted by wearing a mask.
In addition there is very little evidence, that wearing of surgical or cloth masks by asymptomatic infected individuals (not exhibiting symptoms), will prevent or even reduce transmission of COVID. Really if you are exhibiting COVID infection symptoms, you shouldn’t be going outside anyway.
“Surgical masks, I decided, based on the literature, might have a role as source control for people who have symptoms. Say if they’re staying home and they have some symptoms. They shouldn’t be something you’d wear if you have symptoms going out into the public because you shouldn’t be going out into the public service.”— Lisa Brosseau, ScD, is a nationally recognized expert on infectious diseases. Brosseau taught for many years at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
There is also very little evidence that non-surgical mask use, or mask use by healthy individuals provides any tangible benefit.
However significant evidence does show wearing of a mask by healthy individuals can further compromise their immune system and make them more prone to infection especially during work and exercise. Lets not forget your immune system is the frontline of defense against any illness, virus, or disease-including COVID-19.
Some would say this is a good reason to force everyone to wear a mask or respirator. But in reality, this uncertainty is all the more reason the decision should be left to individuals, instead of mandated.
“Public health officials should not be recommending a preventative measure—let alone mandating it—without knowing it is effective. (In public health, this is known as the principle of effectiveness.)”
“Governments forcing healthy people into mask-wearing was always an affront to the rights we hold over our own bodies and our basic human dignity.”New Danish Study Finds Masks Don’t Protect Wearers From COVID Infection –FEE.org
I could not have put it better myself. In the face of uncertainty if there is any benefit to wearing a mask, the choice should be up to the individual; at least until more evidence is released that states otherwise.
“All rational action is in the first place individual action…Only the individual thinks. Only the individual reasons. Only the individual acts.”— Economist Ludwig von Mises once observed. “
Dr. Hodkinson and Chris Schaefer on Lockdowns and mask mandates
“Masks are utterly useless. There is no evidence based for their effectiveness whatsoever.”Dr. Hodkinson
Who is Dr. Roger Hodkinson
DR. Roger Hodkinson is a pathologist and virologist. Graduate of Cambridge University where he obtained his medical degrees and then trained at UBC in BC for pathology. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Ottawa and College of American Pathologists. He was a past President of the Alberta Society of Laboratory of Physicians aka Pathologists. Was an assistant professor and the University of Alberta (UofA). Was Chairman of a sub-committee of the Royal College of Physicians in Ottawa, setting the annual examination for pathologists, for a number of years. Was Laboratory inspector for the College of Physicians in Services in Alberta. And finally was the CEO of a large community based laboratory and chairman of a biotechnology company in North Carolina that sells a Covid-19 testing solution.
Dr. Roger Hodkinsons Fact Check
Dr. Hodkinson made the following statements, which were immediately attacked by fact checkers and news stations:
“The bottom line is simply this: there is utterly unfounded public hysteria driven by the media and politicians. It’s outrageous. This is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public. There is absolutely nothing that can be done to contain this virus, other than protecting older more vulnerable people. It should be thought of nothing more than a bad flu season.”
“It’s politics playing medicine and that’s a very dangerous game.”
“Masks are utterly useless. There is no evidence based for their effectiveness whatsoever. Paper masks and fabric masks are simply virtue signaling.”
“Social distancing is also useless because Covid is spread by aerosols which travel 30 meters or so before landing. Enclosures have had such terrible unintended consequences.”
“Everywhere should be open tomorrow. “
“Using the provinces own statistics, the risk of death under 65 in this province is 1 in 300,000. You’ve got to get a grip on this. The scale of the response that you’re undertaking with no evidence for it is utterly ridiculous.”Dr. Hodkinson
Some news stations reported that Dr. Hodkinson called COVID a HOAX, which is completely false. Dr. Hodkinson never called COVID a hoax. As you can see from Dr. Hodkinson statements above, he simply stated that the unfounded public hysteria and fear driven by politicians and media outlets was a hoax, not COVID.
Snopes released this fact check trying to confuse the issue and discredit Dr. Hodkinson, by stating that:
“DR. Hodkinson is not the Chairman of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and his public comments do not align with the consensus of the medical community.”Snopes – December 14, 2020
However Dr. Hodkinson never claimed he was the current chairman of that organization, he stated he was (past tense) the chairman in the past:
“I was the chairman of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada Examination Committee of Pathology in Ottawa”.Dr. Hodkinson
Dr. Hodkinson is not alone. Many doctors such as Dr. Malone who is the creator of mRNA technology, and Dozens of other doctors disagree with the official narrative.
How fact checkers discredit doctors
- Confusing the issue – listing half truths, focusing on one aspect of an argument. Twisting a phrase to sound false, taking it out of context or misunderstanding it intentionally.
- Finding a fault with one part of the argument and using it to invalidate the entire argument – one inconsistency, mistake, or poorly worded phrase is all a fact checking authority needs to then discredit the person and call the entire argument false.
- Confusing past or present tenses in statements – in order to call those statements false or invalid.
- Seeding doubt – it’s very easy to seed doubt when it comes to science. Studies are not foolproof, theories and hypothesis are not 100%. New data may come out and newer studies may be published to disprove old studies (or aspect of them) or hypothesis . All you really have to say as a fact checker is that “there isn’t enough proof” or “it could mean this but it could also mean something else” so it’s “not sufficient evidence by itself” and you are going to be right.
Example of fact checkers tactics to discredit, esteemed doctors | Dr. Malone Fact Check
An excellent example is the Fact check of Dr. Malone, one of the creators of mRNA treatments…Dr. Malone warned of the dangers of mRNA treatments (which he invented) and though his entire argument was valid, he made one mistake. He stated all COVID vaccines only being licensed for emergency use, while on the same day of the interview with Dr. Malone an FDA statement was released of a Pfizer approval.
The fact checkers immediately used that to fact check and call Dr. Malones entire argument invalid and discredit him.
Further Research showed directly on the FDA approval letter, that the FDA approval was for a new vaccine “comirnaty”, which was not yet developed by pfizer. Regardless pfizer implied comirnaty was the same as the current pfizer vaccine and that both were approved by proxy, which is simply not true.
Who is Chris Schaefer
Chris Schaefer has been teaching and conducting respirator fit testing for over 20 years and which he now operates through his company SafeCom Training Services Inc.
Chris Schafers Open Letter
Chris Schaefer wrote an open letter to Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief medical officer of Alberta Health. Warning about the ineffectiveness of masks, and danger of mask mandates on public health.
“I have a lot of concerns regarding Alberta Health’s recommendation that everyone wear a mask to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. I sent a letter to the Chief Safety Officer and 23 other doctors in charge of public health across the province. See below:”Source https://www.facebook.com/kehewinhealthservices/posts/1553747434793987
The government politicized masks and it’s for the worse
One can make a strong argument for or against use of face masks / respirators, but by legally mandating face masks, public health officials have politicized the issue to an unhealthy degree and polluted the science. Quite frankly politicians are not doctors, and should not be making public health policies. Mask use has become the frontline issue for the culture war:
“Mask opponents tend to see mask wearers as “fraidy cats” or virtue-signalling “sheeple” who willfully ignore basic science. Mask supporters, on the other hand, often see people who refuse to wear masks as selfish Trumpkins … who willfully ignore basic science.”Europe’s Top Health Officials Say Masks Aren’t Helpful in Beating COVID-19 -fee.org
“It’s politics playing medicine and that’s a very dangerous game.”Dr. Hodkinson
- Scientists have faced retraction demands on research that concluded mask-for-all policies were not based on sound data.
- Government officials who got sick and recovered from COVID, developed natural immunity (confirmed by an anti-body test) and refused to take the vaccine because they didn’t need it, but are being slandered and labeled anti-vaxxers.
- On facebook, youtube or other social media platform, any evidence or news against mask use or mRNA treatments is being highly censored, even the FLCCC (Frontline COVID Critical Care) alliance had to request government assistance, to get Facebook to stop censoring their content.
- A mask book written by an expert in the field was bought-out by amazon who then refused to sell and ship the books out, when I looked for the book I had to download it off kobo because it was unavailable on amazon.
- Researchers at Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy responded to demands they remove an article that found mask requirements were “not based on sound data.”
Why Flu and COVID-19 are difficult to study
Mutations change COVIDs virulence and transmissibility, environmental factors, and lack of technology or tools, lead to sampling difficulties and make COVID difficult to study.
“we discuss various environmental factors (e.g., temperature, humidity, etc.) and sampling difficulties, which affect the conclusions of the studies focused on airborne transmission. One of the reasons for reduced emphasis on airborne transmission could be that the smaller droplets have less number of viruses as compared to larger droplets. Further, smaller droplets can evaporate faster, exposing SARS-CoV-2 within the small droplets to the environment, whose viability may further reduce. For example, these small droplets containing SARS-CoV-2 might also physically combine with or attach to pre-existing PM so that their behavior and fate may be governed by PM composition. Thus, the measurement of their infectivity and viability is highly uncertain due to a lack of robust sampling system to separately collect virions in the atmosphere.”Why airborne transmission hasn’t been conclusive in case of COVID-19? An atmospheric science perspective –pubmed
The above example will give you in scientific fashion, many reasons why COVID is a difficult virus to study. It’s all the more reason why vaccines or treatments should be carefully studied, before being recommended or given to the general public.
COVID mutations make it difficult to study
“While a lot is known about how viruses such as measles spread, flu is harder to study. That’s in part because there are so many strains, and the virus is prone to mutations that change its virulence and transmissibility.”Allison Aiello, a professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina
This is the primary reason why it’s difficult to narrow down the main mode of COVID-19 transmission, and to create effective treatments against it, such as conventional vaccines. Remember COVID is a cousin of the common cold and with the common cold, though doctors could make a vaccine for it, it would quickly mutate making that vaccine less effective.
COVID mutations could make it a seasonal infection
This is also why doctors are now saying that COVID is likely here to stay, because it can mutate much like the common cold, which likely means it will become a seasonal, re-occurring infection, similar to colds or the flu.
Although some scientists argue the mutation rate is still much lower than the common cold, and that it may be some years before a new vaccine is required.
Prof John Bell stated people will likely need a “seasonal coronavirus vaccine” but then also said the virus is not “very variable” so it may be some years before a new one is needed. However these statements contradict each other and really leave more unanswered questions.
How long can a virus “live” outside of the body
The complex structure of a virus
Technically, viruses are not really alive because they can’t reproduce by themselves. Instead they have to invade a living cell, to hijack its genetic machinery in order to reproduce. In the process, they disrupt the cell’s life cycle and the following cellular damage, is what results in disease. The goal of a virus is not to kill it’s host. The goal of the virus is to keep it’s host alive and coughing, in order to infect others and replicate itself.
The correct question is how long do viruses remain infectious? as in how long does a virus retain its ability to invade a living cell.
“A virus is composed of a complex array of nucleic acids, proteins, glycoproteins (proteins with carbohydrates attached), fats and water molecules, all assembled in a three-dimensional network. If this assembly is disrupted, the virus cannot invade a cell. The picture we so often see of the coronavirus features spikes emerging from a ball. Those spikes contain the proteins the virus uses to attach itself to receptors on cells, which is the first step to invading a cell. All proteins are composed of amino acids linked in a chain (primary structure), but those chains are folded in a specific pattern with the folds maintained by various types of “cross-links,” much like rungs of a ladder (secondary structure). Some of these links are “hydrogen bonds” in which a partially positively charged hydrogen atom on one part of the chain is attracted to the negatively charged electrons on an oxygen or nitrogen atom elsewhere on the chain. Water molecules can also take part in such bonding with the two hydrogens being attracted to oxygen or nitrogen atoms on two amino acids located at different positions on the protein chain, forming a bridge. On top of it all, the folded chains themselves then twist into an even more complex array (tertiary structure), again maintained by more “rungs.” This arrangement has to be maintained for a virus to remain infective. “
In essence the complex structure of a virus has to remain fully intact for it to remain infective (able to infect a cell). If any part of that delicate structure breaks down, the virus can no longer infect a living cell, and even if it could invade a cell it no longer is able to replicate.
“Although somewhat too simplistic, a lock and key model can serve as an analogy. If the proteins in the spike have the right twists and turns, they constitute the right “key” to fit into the cell’s receptor, which is the “lock.” If the shape of the key is altered, it will not fit. However, if there is a fit, then the “door” opens, and the virus will enter the cell and insert its genetic material into the cell’s DNA and trick it into making many copies of itself. But if the virus’s genetic material has been somehow previously compromised, no replication occurs even if it invades the cell successfully. The spikes of the virus are also protected by an “envelope” of fats and glycoproteins, which if disrupted allow the proteins needed to invade cells to leak out.”
“We now see that there are at least three ways that a virus can become inactive. Any disruption of the structure of key proteins, nucleic acids or the fatty membrane will render it incapable of infecting cells.”How Long Can a Virus “Live” Outside the Body? –McGill Office for Science and Society
Observe how delicate a virus structure is and how easily any break in its structure renders it completely ineffective. The ultra violet rays of the sun rapidly degrade the structure of a virus. Which is why leaving clothing or masks in the sun for several hours, is the best way to disinfect them. And is also why events outside in the open sun; especially if socially distanced, are very unlikely to see any spread of infection.
What happens to a virus once it lands on a surface?
When a virus lands on a surface it begins to break down due to many different factors…
- Firstly heat – heat speeds up molecular motion breaking links of the virus structure, and causes evaporation of the water imbedded in the viral structure with disrupts the folding pattern of the proteins.
- Secondly oxygen – oxygen and nitrogen molecules in the air attract hydrogen atoms on proteins which can cause hydrogen bonds of the virus to dissociate. In addition oxygen can react with fats in the virus and impair the protective effect of the fatty envelope.
“Heat speeds up molecular motion and the more molecules move around, the greater the chance that the links needed to maintain the secondary and tertiary structure of proteins are broken. This is why temperatures above 60C are lethal to most viruses. (Cold temperatures do not bother viruses, they can remain viable for a long time in refrigerators and freezers.)”
“Also, with time, the molecules of water embedded in the viral structure evaporate and that can disrupt the folding pattern of the proteins. Air is composed of oxygen and nitrogen molecules that have an affinity for hydrogen atoms on proteins and can cause some of the hydrogen bonds to dissociate. Oxygen can also engage in a chemical reaction with fats, much like it causes rancidity in cooking oils, and impair the protective effect of the fatty envelope.”How Long Can a Virus “Live” Outside the Body? –McGill Office for Science and Society
Put all of this together and we can see why the viability of a virus to cause an infection wanes with time. But just how much time?
Surface type and conditions affect virus longevity | viability of virions
Some surfaces harbor viruses longer while others have substances that can render viruses ineffective and Grease on surfaces can protect viruses on surfaces from outside agents…
“The cleanliness of the surface is important. Viral particles can be embedded in grease, protecting them from outside agents. The composition of the surface can also play a role. Copper, for example, releases copper ions that have antiviral activity. Paper has residues of the chemicals used in pulping that can inactivate viruses. Steel and plastic seem to be more hospitable, but even here survival time is only a couple of days.”How Long Can a Virus “Live” Outside the Body? —McGill Office for Science and Society
Ultraviolet UV Light Filtration is another factor that can shorten longevity of a virus on non-organic material
Ultraviolet light, particularly short-wavelength (UV-C), is energetic enough to break chemical bonds and has been shown to alter the structure of nucleic acids.
It is very effective and shortening the lifespan of viruses suspended in the air or on a surface near the UV element. Essentially breaking down viruses (rendering them non-infectious) when passing the UV area.
Possible Modes of Transmission of COVID-19
The truth of the matter is doctors don’t know the primary mode of COVID-19 transmission, but If it turns out COVID-19 does in fact spread primarily through aerosols “droplet nuclei” as suspected, then masks such as the n95 respirator would be ineffective in preventing transmission of COVID-19, and neither would other safety protocols such as disinfecting hands or using hand sanitizer. Although social distancing may have a minimal effect with airborne transmission.
“At present, it is unclear whether surfaces or air are the dominant mode of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, but N95 masks should provide some protection against both (Jefferson et al., 2009; Leung et al., 2020).”US National Library of Medicine Study SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) by the numbers PMC7224694
In other words experts are not sure if surfaces or air are, the main pathway through which COVID-19 spreads. Currently all the safety protocols including mask wearing, have very little direct evidence as to their efficacy against COVID-19 and it’s mutations in particular.
Many experts state it is unlikely that COVID-19 transmits primarily through large droplets and surfaces. More evidence is mounting that COVID-19 transmits chiefly through the air.
“The small sizes are not easily understood but an imperfect analogy would be to imagine marbles fired at builders’ scaffolding, some might hit a pole and rebound, but obviously most will fly through,”Dr. Axon
Until recently doctors thought influenza mainly spread through droplets, when new studies were released in 2018 that proved otherwise.
Airborne droplet nuclei vs larger droplets on Surfaces
Airborne transmission is one of the routes for the spread of COVID-19. When scientists say “airborne.” The term refers to transmission of a pathogen via aerosols—tiny respiratory droplets that can remain suspended in the air (known as droplet nuclei)—as opposed to larger droplets that fall to the ground within a few feet and transmit through surface contact. In reality, though, the distinction between droplets and aerosols is not a clear one…
“Notably, a significant fraction of the small droplets, along with respiratory droplets, is produced by both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals during expiratory events such as breathing, sneezing, coughing and speaking. When these small droplets are exposed to the ambient environment, they may interact with PM and may remain suspended in the atmosphere even for several hours. “Why airborne transmission hasn’t been conclusive in case of COVID-19? An atmospheric science perspective
“The separation between what is referred to as ‘airborne spread’ and ‘droplet spread’ is really a spectrum, especially when talking about relatively small distances”Joshua Santarpia, an associate professor of pathology and microbiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
“Viruses are often transmitted through respiratory droplets produced by coughing and sneezing. Respiratory droplets are usually divided into two size bins, large droplets (>5 μm in diameter) that fall rapidly to the ground and are thus transmitted only over short distances, and small droplets (≤5 μm in diameter). Small droplets can evaporate into ‘droplet nuclei’, remain suspended in air for significant periods of time and could be inhaled. Some viruses, such as measles, can be transmitted by droplet nuclei (Tellier et al., 2019). Larger droplets are also known to transmit viruses, usually by settling onto surfaces that are touched and transported by hands onto mucosal membranes such as the eyes, nose and mouth (CDC, 2020). The characteristic diameter of large droplets produced by sneezing is ~100 μm (Han et al., 2013), while the diameter of droplet nuclei produced by coughing is on the order of ~1 μm (Yang et al., 2007).”US National Library of Medicine Study SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) by the numbers PMC7224694
Aerosol Transmission of COVID | Best COVID 19 Mask
Airborne spread has been hypothesized for other deadly coronaviruses, including the ones that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Many new studies suggest the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, can exist as an aerosol in health care settings. But the potential for transmission depends on many factors, including infectiousness, dose and ventilation.
Much remains unknown about whether the aerosolized virus is infectious and what amount of virus one needs to be exposed to in order to become sick, known as the minimal infectious dose. Even if aerosol transmission does occur, it is not clear how common it is, compared with other transmission routes, such as droplets or surfaces.
“Is the coronavirus airborne?” is the wrong question. COVID-19 may have the potential for airborne spread. But whether [this route is] important clinically is really the question one wants to know about,”Stanley Perlman, a professor of microbiology at the University of Iowa. “
The World Health Organization has acknowledged publicly, that there is potential aerosol transmission of the new coronavirus. The reversal came after more than 200 scientists contributed to an open letter pointing to the cumulative evidence for this type of transmission.
How conditions can affect aerosol transmission of infection
It’s important to remember that if SARS-COV-2 is airborne, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is transmitted over a long range. Like cigarette smoke, aerosol particles spread around a person in a cloud, with the highest concentration near the smoker and lower the further away from the smoker you travel.
“Cowling hypothesizes that many respiratory viruses can be spread through the airborne route—but that the degree of contagiousness is low. For seasonal flu, the basic reproduction number, or R0—a technical designation for the average number of a people a sick person infects—is about 1.3. For COVID-19, it is estimated to be somewhere between two and three (though possibly as high as 5.7). Compared with measles, which has an R0 in the range of 12 to 18, these values suggest most people with the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 are not extremely contagious.”How Coronavirus Spreads through the Air: What We Know So Far –Scientific American
Furthering that analogy, if there is a fan or air conditioner moving the air, infectious aerosols (or even droplets, as was suspected in the case of the restaurant in China) could potentially infect someone further away if they are downwind. Just like cigarette smoke can blow towards people further away from the smoker.
“in an environment of stagnant air, droplet nuclei generated by speaking will persist as a slowly descending cloud emanating from the speaker’s mouth, with the rate of descent determined by the diameter of the dehydrated speech droplet nuclei.”The airborne lifetime of small speech droplets and their potential importance in SARS-CoV-2 transmission
Outdoors is safer then indoors for virus transmission
The study supports that conclusion that ventilation plays an important role, in how easily the virus can be transmitted through the air.
Indoor spaces pose a higher risk than being outdoors, especially when its warm and bright out because a) outdoors environmental factors like uv rays and heat, accelerate degradation of the virus structure which degrades the viruses ability to infect and replicate.
As well dispersion of the virus molecules throughout the air molecules outside, reduces the concentration of the virus particles. However currently doctors are unsure what concentration of particles is required for effective infection of COVID.
Indoor poorly ventilated spaces such as bars, restaurants, gyms and subway trains could all be risky.
Talking as a mode of viral transmission | Best COVID 19 Mask
A study titled The airborne lifetime of small speech droplets and their potential importance in SARS-CoV-2 transmission published in Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences USA on May 13 2020. Found substantial evidence that normal speaking, can cause airborne transmission of COVID virus, especially in confined environments.
The study utilized a sheet of laser light to visualize bursts of speech droplets produced during repeated spoken phrases; this light scattering method is highly effective in observing medium-sized (10 μm to 100 μm) droplets. Although the research did not measure droplets with viable SARS-CoV-2 virus specifically. It was able to analyze other viruses such as influenza, tuberculosis and measles. The study demonstrated irrefutable evidence, that speech can emit thousands of virus containing oral fluid droplets per second, which stay suspended in the air for 8-14 minutes.
“It has long been recognized that respiratory viruses can be transmitted via droplets that are generated by coughing or sneezing. It is less widely known that normal speaking also produces thousands of oral fluid droplets with a broad size distribution (ca. 1 μm to 500 μm) (1, 2). Droplets can harbor a variety of respiratory pathogens, including measles (3) and influenza virus (4) as well as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (5). High viral loads of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been detected in oral fluids of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)−positive patients (6), including asymptomatic ones (7). However, the possible role of small speech droplet nuclei with diameters of less than 30 μm, which potentially could remain airborne for extended periods of time (1, 2, 8, 9), has not been widely appreciated.”The airborne lifetime of small speech droplets and their potential importance in SARS-CoV-2 transmission
Evidence for aerosol transmission of COVID 19
Both the Wuhan and Santarpia studies measured RNA (and not the actual virus). Therefore it’s unclear weather the airborne material found was functionally infectious.
“Finding RNA doesn’t tell you [that] you have aerosol spread,”Dr. Pearlman
In addition scientists do not know the infectious dose of SARS-CoV-2, and are unsure weather the amount that remains in aerosols and on surfaces, is sufficient for infection or not. (For influenza, studies have shown that just three virus particles are enough to make someone sick.)
A great preponderance of the evidence that airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is possible, is drawn from studies in clinical settings. In clinical settings often there are many sick people and some may undergo invasive procedures such as intubations, which may cause patients to generate aerosols through coughing. It’s unclear however, how reflective these studies are under everyday, ordinary conditions.
“There is not much convincing evidence that aerosol spread is a major part of transmission” of COVID-19”Dr. Perlman
Wuhan China hospital study
“Our study and several other studies proved the existence of SARS-CoV-2 aerosols and implied that SARS-CoV-2 aerosol transmission might be a nonnegligible route from infected carriers to someone nearby,”Study co-author Ke Lan, a professor and director of the State Key Laboratory of Virology at Wuhan University.”
In a study published April 27 2020 titled Aerodynamic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in two Wuhan hospitals researchers measured the virus’s RNA genetic material, in aerosols sampled in February and March, at two hospitals in Wuhan, China, the city where the outbreak is widely believed to have begun. The researchers discovered extremely low levels of airborne viral RNA in the hospitals’ isolation wards and in ventilated patient rooms. However there was measurably higher levels in some of the patients’ bathroom toilet areas. Also discovered were high levels of viral RNA, in places where medical workers remove protective gear, and two crowding-prone locations near the hospitals.
Santarpia study of COVID-19 patients
A now published study by Dr. Santarpia and colleagues titled Aerosol and Surface Transmission Potential of SARS-CoV-2 discovered evidence of viral contamination in air samples and surfaces from rooms where COVID-19 patients were being kept in isolation.
“I think there are a lot of us—myself included—who feel very strongly that the airborne route of transmission is very possible,”
“I would hesitate to call it proven by any means. But I think there’s mounting evidence to support it.”Statement by Dr. Santarpia – Study Aerosol and Surface Transmission Potential of SARS-CoV-2
New England Journal of Medicine Study 382:1564-1567
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine on Apr 6 2020 titled Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1 discovered in a laboratory setting, evidence that infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus is able to remain in aerosols for a minimum of 3 hours, and for several days on various surfaces. However the virus structure (its ability to infect) decreased significantly during that time.
Washington State Choir Practice
After attending a choir practice in Washington State in early March, dozens of people were diagnosed with or developed symptoms of COVID-19 even though they had not shaken hands or stood close to one another. At least two died.
A CDC report was released may 12 regarding the event, it found that 32/61 of the 2.5hr choir practice attendees developed confirmed COVID-19 infections and 20 developed probable ones. It summarized that close contact (within 6 feet) augmented by the act of singing contributed to transmission of COVID through emission of aerosols.
“The 2.5-hour singing practice provided several opportunities for droplet and fomite transmission, including members sitting close to one another, sharing snacks, and stacking chairs at the end of the practice.”
“The act of singing, itself, might have contributed to transmission through emission of aerosols, which is affected by loudness of vocalization”CDC report
It also stated that some people release more aerosol particles during speech than others, Known as “superemitters”
“might have contributed to this and previously reported COVID-19 superspreading events (2–5)”CDC report
It supported the conjecture based safety protocols in place and
“recommended that persons avoid face-to-face contact with others, not gather in groups, avoid crowded places, maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet to reduce transmission, and wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”CDC report
If COVID is an aerosol transmitted virus, masks would have little effect on preventing infection. The most effective safety measures are instead social distancing, avoiding groups, and staying home if you are exhibiting any symptoms.
Comparison | Influenza spreads through the air and droplets
Common wisdom among flue experts was that influenza was not an airborne virus but only spread by fairly large droplets, from coughing or sneezing.
A study released in 2018 shattered this preconception when it found clear evidence that influenza patients breathe the virus out through their mouths and noses in tiny particles that can stay suspended in the air for minutes or hours.
“We found that flu cases contaminated the air around them with infectious virus just by breathing, without coughing or sneezing,”
“Even if you are not coughing, you can still infect other people,”
“Many people shedding virus into the air are shedding real, infectious virus.”Dr. Donald Milton at the University of Maryland’s school of public health
The study utilized Gesundheit II machine to analyze 178 flu patients. The team detected influenza virus from 76 percent of the fine aerosol particles they tested and 40 percent of the coarser particles. they cultured virus from 39 percent of the fine aerosols.
“The flu patients generated a cloud of particles loaded with virus — some large, some small and some very small. Large particles tend to fall straight to surfaces and that’s one well-known way that flu and other infectious diseases spread.”
“Smaller particles spray out, and the smallest particles, called fine particles, can stay suspended in the air for a while.”Dr. Donald Milton at the University of Maryland’s school of public health
Other reports & evidence of COVID aerosol transmission
- The WHO recently reversed its guidance to say that such transmission, particularly in “indoor locations where there are crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces where infected persons spend long periods of time with others, cannot be ruled out.”
- After dining at an air-conditioned restaurant in China in late January, three families at neighboring tables became sickened with the virus—possibly through droplets blown through the air.
Don’t Panic! We don’t know enough yet!
“Most of what people know about aerosol transmission is from tuberculosis, measles and chickenpox, and these pathogens usually have high transmissibility, with the potential for long-range spread. The conventional thinking is, therefore, once you mention there’s aerosol transmission, everyone is so worried because [they assume that the virus has] higher transmissibility and that it’s more difficult to control. But even if there is airborne transmission, it may only happen at short range—within which other infection routes may be just as likely—or more so. Thus having a higher risk of aerosol transmission itself doesn’t necessarily translate to more transmissibility.”Nancy Leung, an assistant professor at the University of Hong Kong’s school of public health and head of study Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks
The Impact of Community Masking on COVID-19: A Cluster-Randomized Trial in Bangladesh
A study published Aug 31 2021 titled The Impact of Community Masking on COVID-19: A Cluster-Randomized Trial in Bangladesh, analyzed 342,126 adults in a cross-randomized, non-blinded format. There were 178,288 individuals in the intervention group and 163,838 individuals in the control group. All intervention arms received free masks, information on the importance of masking, role modeling by community leaders, and in-person reminders for 8 weeks. The control group did not receive any interventions.
Outcomes included symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence (primary) and prevalence of proper mask-wearing, physical distancing, and symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (secondary).
The intervention increased proper mask-wearing from 13.3% in control villages to 42.3% in treatment villages. Physical distancing increased from 24.1% in control villages to 29.2% in treatment villages.
The study found that 27,166 (8.1%) of people had a COVID-like illness, composed of Control group 13,893 (8.6%) and Masking group 13,273 (7.6%). In other words there was only a 1% increase in effectiveness for the Masking group, over the Control group.
Comparison of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies for Masked vs Unmasked group
As well 40% of symptomatic participants agreed to blood collection tests. Blood samples were collected at 10-12 weeks of follow-up for these individuals and were analyzed for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies.
Note: these numbers omit the number of people who didn’t consent to a blood test. So the true rate of people with symptoms and anti-bodies would likely have been 2.5x higher, assuming the non-consenter had similar likelihood of a positive test.
They found that people with symptoms and positive anti-bodies were noted in 0.76% of control villages and 0.68% in Intervention villages. In other words there was 0.8% more people in the unmasked group with antibodies to protect them from SARS-CoV-2.
In the Intervention (masked) group they broke up antibody positive by mask type. In the control (unmasked) group 0.76% had symptoms and positive anti-bodies, then 0.74% in the cloth mask villages and 0.67% for the surgical mask villages. Results clearly show a statistically insignificant reduction of 0.02% (5% relative reduction) in the cloth mask group, and a 0.09% reduction (11.2% relative reduction) in the surgical mask group vs the unmasked group which is of statistical significance.
Note: The study there is a possibility that the reduction could have been more, if more than 42% of people in the mask group had worn masks, and done so properly; however this is mere speculation, with no evidence to back it up (that may or may not be the case).
Conclusion and notes on The Impact of Community Masking on COVID-19: A Cluster-Randomized Trial
In conclusion the study results showed that surgical masks are more effective than cloth masks and that cloth masks were actually quite useless in preventing infection. It demonstrated that doing a study in the middle of the pandemic is possible, and that we desperately need other randomized trials to analyze who, if anyone actually benefits from masking such as what age groups; children or seniors may benefit? and what are the downsides for those different groups.
There are many negative mental and biological impacts especially on children of public safety measures including wearing masks. Considering the Infection fatality rate for kids is around 1 out of 120,000, we have to ask ourselves if it’s even worth it to mask children, when they have such a low mortality rate. In addition many young children have contracted the virus and developed natural immunity (varies) and the higher the natural immunity, the tougher it is for the vaccine to have an impact. We must also consider other variables that change depending on the community.
Dr. Moran Reviews large cluster randomized trial comparing no intervention against cloth masks and against surgical masks | Video
Who is Dr. Keith Moran
Dr. Keith Moran MD, RCPSC, DABIM, RCS, NBE Biography:
I am a consultant in Internal Medicine with special medical interests in gastroenterology, cardiology, and echocardiography. I am a a full-time practicing physician in these areas. I was an undergraduate at the University of Toronto, Trinity College where I received a number of scholarships including one for top student at Trinity College. I attended medical school at the University of Toronto graduating with a gold medal. My internship was completed at McMaster University in Hamilton followed by a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Western Ontario in London. I then completed a fellowship in General Internal Medicine at the University of Western Ontario. I am an active echocardiographer who has been certified and recertified by the National Board of Echocardiography. I am certified in cardiac sonography and have trained and completely educated a number of cardiac sonographers. I am the medical director of my cardiology laboratory which was established in 2001. My laboratory performs echocardiography and stress echocardiography amongst other tests. I maintain my certification in the American Board of Internal Medicine. I have over 27 years of experience as a hospital-based consultant in internal medicine and intensive care unit attending physician. For more videos search #MedicinewithDrMoran on YouTube.
Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data | Best COVID 19 Mask
A meta-analysis of different studies and literature by Dr. Brosseau and Dr. Sietsema titled COMMENTARY: Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data reviewed cloth masks, surgical masks and respirator masks. They found the following:
- Cloth masks don’t work in any form to protect against COVID, neither as source control or as personal protective equipment (PPE) and should not be used in health care settings for multiple reasons.
- A Study by CBC News found cloth face masks with multiple layers and high thread count (680 threads is better then 600 threads; the higher the better) are the most effective form of cloth mask and must fit your face perfectly otherwise it doesn’t matter how good the mask is, your exhaled breath will push out the top and sides.
- Surgical masks can provide minimal benefit if worn as source control by patients with symptomatic infection at home or in a health care setting but are best reserved for use by health care workers to “reduce the viral load” (reduce the amount of infectious particles in the air in a health care setting).
- Respirators are the only mask that can function as PPE to provide at least some protection for the healthy person wearing the mask from infection, but should be reserved for use by health care workers who will be present in the vicinity of an infected individual, to reduce the viral load.
- Any respirators which can function as PPE to provide some protection to the healthy wearer are in short supply, and should be reserved for use by health care workers who are working with infected individuals in a health care setting, to reduce the viral load.
- The CDC’s recommendation that the general public wear cloth masks to protect themselves cited references, none of which have anything to do with masks, or the performance of masks, or the performance of filter or any of that, they’re all references related to pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic (not exhibiting symptoms) transmission. And that based on that data the only effective method would be for people to stay home more.
- One of the biggest issues with telling people people they can wear masks, is it gives people a false sense of security, which can incline them towards disrespecting other safety precautions such as social distancing, which may actually help stop transmission of the virus.
- The most likely mode transmission for COVID is small aerosols and close range, and wearing a cloth mask is useless against this mode of transmission and the false sense of security it gives people, puts more people at risk.
- The pressure to re-open combined with the CDC recommendation that masks provide protection as PPE, can potentially cause mass outbreaks of COVID infection, because cloth masks are useless against preventing COVID transmission.
RISK | Mask touching can spread the virus more | Best COVID 19 Mask
Over time masks become moist from your breath, and potentially covered with infectious particles. Not only can this increase the viral load on an individual, it also adds another avenue for transmission of COVID. Because let’s be honest, face masks aren’t comfortable to wear, and people are going to touch their mask often, and without thinking about it.
“One of the risks of the face mask is people struggle to wear them for long. They are very uncomfortable, and they tend to touch them allot, and if you touch the front of your face mask and it’s wet, whatever respiratory bugs you’ve coughed out onto your face mask will go onto your hand, and then you will put it onto other surfaces”Dr. Margaret Harris, WHO
If for example the mask: doesn’t fit right, slides down, or makes your nose itch. Very often people will unconsciously touch their mask to quickly adjust it, scratch an itch, or for any number of reasons, and then touch a handle or surface of some kind, potentially spreading COVID onto those surfaces where it can infect others. And often people perform this action without even thinking about it or realizing they are doing it.
In other words face masks add another avenue for individually to potentially spread COVID. Just put on a mask for a few hours and make the conscious effort to focus on your desire to adjust or scratch it when it arises, then stop yourself and tally how many times you reach to touch or adjust your mask; trust me your going to touch it multiple times!
“You do yourself no favor, if you wear a mask and then touch the mark, either to adjust it or take it off in the wrong way. You do not touch the front of the mask.”Dr. Gregory Plant, COVID-19 expert
It is especially important when removing the mask, that you do not ever touch the front of the mark.
RISK | Masks get moist and filter effectiveness plummets | Best COVID 19 Mask
As soon as masks get moist from breath or perspiration, they immediately start to break down and the effectiveness of the mask to filter particles degrades quickly.
“once a mask gets wet, maybe from our exhalation, it really begins to decrement in effectiveness, in filtering any sort of respiratory particulate matter”Dr. Gregory Plant, COVID-19 expert
Face Masks are only effective as an adjunct precaution | Best COVID 19 Mask
In reality masks are only effective if you combined mask use, with other safety precautions like social distancing and hand-cleaning.
“Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.”
“if you wear a mask then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.”World Health Organization (WHO)
An argument for Surgical Mask use by infected individuals-not healthy individuals-not other types of masks | Source Control
A Hong Kong study headed by Dr. Nancy Leung titled Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks analyzed patients with respiratory infections in an outpatient clinic from 2013-2016 the study detected RNA from seasonal viruses such as influenza viruses and rhino viruses in both droplets and aerosols of a patients exhaled breath (symptomatic) and found that wearing surgical masks reduced the amounts of influenza RNA in droplets and of seasonal coronavirus RNA in aerosols. The wearing of masks by infected individuals is known in medical jargon as source control.
Summary: In other words the study found surgical masks only, can have a positive effect when worn by individuals who are infected with COVID (source control) and exhibiting symptoms (symptomatic), primarily by reducing the amount of viral infected droplets that reach the other side of the mask.
Effects of masks on cardiopulmonary (heart and lungs) during exercise | Healthy Individuals
Due to the SARS-CoV2 pandemic, medical face masks are widely recommended for a large number of individuals and long durations.
A study published on Dec 2020 titled Effects of surgical and FFP2/N95 face masks on cardiopulmonary exercise capacity analyzed the effect of wearing a surgical and a FFP2/N95 face mask on cardiopulmonary exercise capacity (heart and lung effects during exercise) because it “has not been systematically reported.” in other words quantified or measured before to address the scale of mask use currently imposed on the global community. The study concluded the following
“Ventilation, cardiopulmonary exercise capacity and comfort are reduced by surgical masks and highly impaired by FFP2/N95 face masks in healthy individuals. These data are important for recommendations on wearing face masks at work or during physical exercise.”Effects of surgical and FFP2/N95 face masks on cardiopulmonary exercise capacity
A comparison of mask use by country and COVID death rates | Best COVID 19 Mask
As of May 14 2021 Sweden has some of the lowest mask use recorded across Europe (according to statista.com) and also some of the lowest COVID-10 infection and death rates worldwide….Public health authorities have stated they see “no point” in requiring individuals to wear masks.
Can you see the trend yet?
Texas ended COVID restrictions 10 weeks ago and 0 COVID deaths
Europe’s Top Health Officials Say Masks Aren’t Helpful in beating COVID
Original story here Europe’s Top Health Officials Say Masks Aren’t Helpful in Beating COVID-19 –FEE.org
Denmark boasts one of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in the world. As of August 4 2021, the Danes have suffered 616 COVID-19 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.
That’s less than one-third of the number of Danes who die from pneumonia or influenza in a given year.
A Writer in Berlingske, the countries oldest newspaper criticized Danish policies which don’t mandate or recommend mask use. Danish health officials responded stating there is no conclusive evidence face masks are an effective way to limit the spread of respiratory viruses like COVID-19.
“All these countries recommending face masks haven’t made their decisions based on new studies,” (Denmark has since updated its guidelines to encourage, but not require, the use of masks on public transit where social distancing may not be possible.) “Henning Bundgaard, chief physician at Denmark’s Rigshospitale, according to Bloomberg News.
According to data by the statista.com on mask use across Europe is much lower than it’s American or Spanish counterparts! With Sweden, Norway, and Finland among the lowest in mask use, when outside.
“From a medical point of view, there is no evidence of a medical effect of wearing face masks, so we decided not to impose a national obligation,”Statements in a Sun UK News Article by Medical Care Minister Tamara van Ark
Studies are mounting, which show mask use by healthy individuals can negatively impact the immune system, and exacerbate the spread of the virus.
“Face masks in public places are not necessary, based on all the current evidence…There is no benefit and there may even be negative impact.”Coen Berends, spokesman for the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment.
Sweden with some of the lowest mask use recorded across Europe (according to statista.com) and also some of the lowest COVID-10 infection and death rates worldwide….Has publicly stated they see “no point” in requiring individuals to wear masks.
“With numbers diminishing very quickly in Sweden, we see no point in wearing a face mask in Sweden, not even on public transport”Statements by Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s top infectious disease expert in a fortune.com Article
On the other hand Americans are wearing masks at record levels, far more than many people in European countries. Yet America has some of the highest COVID death rates in the world. Are you seeing a trend.
For the General population it’s confusing and frightening, when government authorities like the WHO constantly change their recommendations. And yet people caught without a mask are accosted by other individuals, just for stepping outside without a mask.
Danish study finds masks don’t protect wearers from COVID Infection | Best COVID 19 Mask
A study by scientists at the University of Copenhagan in Denmark is perhaps the best scientific evidence to date on the effectiveness of masks against COVID-19 and other coronaviruses.
It’s important to Remember that Denmark boasts one of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in the world; evidence that they know what they’re talking about.
“Researchers in Denmark reported on Wednesday that surgical masks did not protect the wearers against infection with the coronavirus in a large randomized clinical trial,”A New York Times report
The study recruited over 6,000 participants who tested negative for COVID-19 immediately prior to undertaking the experiment. The study was launched with the hope results would support mask effectiveness against coronavirus; but that was not the case.
The participants all received surgical masks and were divided equally into two groups
Group #1 Were instructed to wear the mask outside of the home
Group #2 Were instructed to not wear the mask outside
“The researchers had hoped that masks would cut the infection rate by half among wearers. Instead, 42 people in the mask group, or 1.8 percent, got infected, compared with 53 in the unmasked group, or 2.1 percent. The difference was not statistically significant,”A New York Times report
“Our study gives an indication of how much you gain from wearing a mask…Not a lot.”Dr. Henning Bundgaard, lead author of the experiment and a physician at the University of Copenhagen
It’s important to note, the Danish study analyzed masks worn by healthy individuals, but did not study the effect of masks if worn by Infected individuals, on transmitting the virus. Therefore the study doesn’t contradict CDC finding that show effectiveness of masks worn by infected individuals, but it is certainly at odds with the CDCs public endorsement, that face coverings protect individuals from contracting the virus.
Texas prohibits gov’t mask mandates upon penalty of $1000 fine
Other experts talk about face masks and COVID-19
How effective HEPA air filters are against COVID
Air Purifiers – it’s all in the HEPA
Air purifiers are essentially comprised of a fan and a filter, and then some bells and whistles to add functionality or cosmetic appeal. If any part of the air purifier is going to filter a virus, it’s going to be the HEPA air filter. We’ve already cited a study that COVID-19 is approximately 100nm in size, but can HEPA filters capture the 100nm (0.1 micron) COVID-19 virus effectively?
At home a filter is not an effective tool to prevent transmission of a virus, simply because you have many more different ways in which you could potentially transmit the virus such as surfaces, close contact, food, fecal transmission, etc. In a public space a HEPA filter and adequate ventilation can be very effective adjunct (supplementary tool) to aid in prevention of COVID transmission.
What are HEPA Filters?
“HEPA is a type of pleated mechanical air filter. It is an acronym for “high efficiency particulate air [filter]” (as officially defined by the U.S. Dept. of Energy). This type of air filter can theoretically remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns (µm). The diameter specification of 0.3 microns responds to the worst case; the most penetrating particle size (MPPS). Particles that are larger or smaller are trapped with even higher efficiency. Using the worst case particle size results in the worst case efficiency rating (i.e. 99.97% or better for all particle sizes).”US Environmental Protection Agency EPA – Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
What is a MERV rating?
“Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values, or MERVs, report a filter’s ability to capture larger particles between 0.3 and 10 microns (µm).”US Environmental Protection Agency EPA – Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
- This value is helpful in comparing the performance of different filters
- The rating is derived from a test method developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) [see www.ashrae.org].
- The higher the MERV rating the better the filter is at trapping specific types of particles.
NASA study on HEPA air filters
In a 2016 test of HEPA and compacted granular air filters, the space agency confirmed that both were capable of capturing nanoparticles, defined as particles as small as 0.01 microns.
This critical piece of evidence, combined with other existing literature, strongly suggests that a standard HEPA air filter can capture particles even smaller than the size of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The report also found that ultrafine particle capture was somewhat enhanced when a HEPA filter was combined with a compacted granular filter, such as a bed of activated carbon.
As a result, using an air purifier that features both HEPA and carbon filtration will likely give you the best chance of capturing virus-sized particles, although the HEPA filter on its own was found to be reasonably effective.
If a HEPA filter can capture viruses like COVID, do they stay on the filter media?
Some people wonder does the HEPA filter become a dangerous harbor for the dangerous viruses? can the viruses come back out into the air? You can answer that by answering another question…How long can the viruses stay alive for when not on human organic material?
How long does COVID (and most other viruses) last on a HEPA filter?
HEPA filter falls in the category of “cloth” which when clean, is not an ideal surface for COVID-19 or any virus to last. So how long does a virus last on a HEPA filter? Approximately 4 Hours.
Can viruses as small as COVID detach from a HEPA filter and become airborne again?
A study by NASA of plutonium particles on a HEPA filter found that small particles captured on filter fibers would not be dislodged even if the filter was agitated.
Essentially this means it is very unlikely COVID or other viruses will become dislodged from HEPA filter media.
The survivability of a virus like COVID on filter media is around 4hours, OK. If you wait that allotted time before handling or removing the filter. Then the virus would be unable to cause infection anyway due to degradation of it’s structure while being on the filter media, due to the elements.
HEPA Air Purifier Summary
Viruses often have multiple pathways to spread infection, both through the air and through droplets on surfaces, current data shows evidence that COVID utilizes both modes of transmission. This makes it difficult to say with any certainty the effectiveness of a HEPA filter against COVID.
Some evidence is available that HEPA air filtration systems can help remove virus particles including coronavirus from the air, but doctor’s don’t know how many particles are required for COVID to infect an individual (For influenza, studies have shown that just three virus particles are enough to make someone sick.) and therefore we don’t know if the efficiency or amount of particles it filters are enough to prevent infection of COVID.
In addition if COVID can transmit through the air, many other variables can effect the efficiency of a HEPA air purifier at removing COVID particles from the air and consequently preventing infection
“Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams
Hippocratic oath “First do no harm”
All doctors swear to the Hippocratic oath which states “First do no harm”. Therefore science is always supposed to lean the way of caution, rather then discrediting doctors, studies and data to push an experimental therapy, or public health mandates such as the mask mandates or lockdowns.
The survival rate for COVID infection of those under 40 is 99.98%, but what is the risk of an adverse reaction and what are the long term health effects of these experimental mRNA or adenovirus vaccines? Honestly doctors don’t know…because these mRNA and other COVID vaccines at the time of writing this, are in phase 3 clinical trials (trials being the key word). And all of them skipped most of the key steps to ensure safety, in their accelerated 1 year development; the shortest vaccine development in history. Steps which are normally part of a lengthy 10+ year vaccine development process.
Summary – What is the Best COVID 19 Mask?
In summary, all the evidence points towards masks being an ineffective tool for preventing infection of spread of COVID. Masks are ineffective against COVID under nearly all conditions. And face masks or mechanical respirators only provide minimal protection, as a form of source control when worn by an symptomatic infected individuals who are coughing and sneezing; but do not filter enough of the virus to prevent infection regardless.
Air can escape out the top or sides of the mask, and even if fit tested properly (which the vast majority of non-health care professionals, aren’t trained to do). Masks ultimately do not filter enough of the virus, to prevent users from infection.
Evidence also suggests that COVID may transmit both through droplets and aerosols. Which further emphasizes masks as an ineffective tool to prevent both infection and spread of COVID-19.
Masks also have a negative impact on your health and immune system. Covering your face with a masks increase the concentration of carbon dioxide inhaled (a deadly gas), which reduces the oxygen content in the air you inhale. During exercise wearing a mask can severely impede your bodies ability to draw in oxygen. Outside the heat, ultraviolet rays of the sun and ventilation rapidly degrade the structure of many viruses, including COVID-19. Therefore the spread of COVID outside is extremely unlikely, and wearing a mask outside is all but pointless.