My mask does not protect you, and your mask does not protect me.
I am writing something more worthy of your attention, I promise. But in the meantime, I had to share this astonishing news with you.
A new study by researchers at the University of Bristol has found that cloth and surgical masks do not stop the transmission of Covid. The Mail reports that 90% of particles get through “making them effectively useless during the pandemic”. They may even have contributed to the spread. You don’t say.
If you already follow me this is not news, because I have dispelled myths about masks numerous times. I have spoken to various advisors to government who ‘let the mask slip’ and included their testimony in articles and in my book A State of Fear. But you might know someone who is still masked and anxious and this article might reassure them.
Next we need politicians and public health experts to admit that masks don’t work, and mask mandates removed from hospitals, healthcare settings and aeroplanes.
Sadiq Khan repeating the unevidenced nonsense that “My mask protects you, your mask protects me” in 2020, 2021 and 2022. No, Mr Khan, they do not.
Masks were designed to offer obvious signals — something is being done! take action for the collective! don’t forget it’s dangerous out here! — and they were low cost for government. However they were not low cost for us, because they caused discomfort, psychological distress (for some people), impeded speech and development in babies and infants, affected education in schools, polluted the environment, and they made life very difficult for the hard of hearing. They were unevidenced and should never have been legally mandated.
At the beginning of the epidemic, politicians and public health leaders around the world told us masks were not effective in the community. England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said, “In terms of wearing a mask, our advice is clear: that wearing a mask if you don’t have an infection reduces the risk almost not at all. So we do not advise that.” In the US, Dr Anthony Fauci was clear on 8th March 2020 that “People should not be walking around with masks.” He went on to say that a mask might make people feel better and it might even prevent “a droplet” but doesn’t give the protection people think and can even increase transmission. But although there was no new hard evidence, policies changed country by country.
In a speech on 3rd August 2020, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “the mask has come to represent solidarity”. What he did not mention was any new evidence behind the policy change. In fact, the WHO’s guide, Mask use in the context of Covid-19, published on 1st December 2020, said, “At present there is only limited and inconsistent scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of masking of healthy people in the community to prevent infection with respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2.” The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) concurred that “evidence regarding the effectiveness of non-medical face masks for the prevention of COVID-19 is scarce”.
My mask does not protect you, and your mask does not protect me. Take the damn thing off.