If you are looking for the scientific rationale behind universal mask-wearing, you certainly won’t find it now that the issue has become as political as guns, abortion, and taxes. We are now at a point where Canada’s chief public health officer is calling on people to wear masks when engaging in sexual activities and 19-month-old babies are being forced to wear them on airplanes. There is no rational thought in a political cult. But what did the governmental and scientific literature say on the issue before it became political?
On April 3, already several weeks into the unprecedented lockdown over coronavirus, but before the big media push for universal masking, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued guidance for respiratory protection for workers exposed to people with the virus. It stated clearly what governments had said all along about other forms of airborne contamination, such as smoke inhalation — “Surgical masks and eye protection (e.g., face shields, goggles) were provided as an interim measure to protect against splashes and large droplets (note: surgical masks are not respirators and do not provide protection against aerosol-generating procedures).”
In other words, they knew that because the virions of coronavirus are roughly 100 nanometers, 1/1000 the width of a hair and 1/30 the size of surgical mask filtrations (about 3.0 microns or 3,000 nanometers), surgical masks (not to mention cloth ones) do not help. This would explain why experience has shown that all of the places with universal mask orders in place for months, such as Japan, Hong Kong, Israel, France, Peru, Philippines, Hawaii, California, and Miami, failed to stave off the spread of the infection. Surgical masks could possibly stop large droplets from those coughing with very evident symptoms, but would not stop the flow of aerosolized airborne particles, certainly not from asymptomatic individuals.
This is why the CDC, as late as May, was citing the 10 randomized controlled trials that showed “no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks.” The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford also summarized six international studies which “showed that masks alone have no significant effect in interrupting the spread of ILI or influenza in the general population, nor in healthcare workers.” – READ MORE
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