COVID-19: Do Masks Protect You—or Not?

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If you watched Tucker Carlson take on the mask controversy, you might feel confused.

Carlson quoted the CDC study that showed that 85 percent of people who had a positive PCR test for COVID-19 had been wearing a mask “always” (71 percent) or “often” (14 percent).

But what you are supposed to conclude from the study is that restaurants and bars are the most dangerous places to be. The actual data show that people who went to a clinic for a respiratory illness AND were PCR-positive for COVID-19 were about twice as likely to have gone to a restaurant or bar as sick patients who tested negative and presumably had some other respiratory illness.

One can hypothesize that people caught the virus because bar or restaurant patrons weren’t masked while eating or drinking.

Only 21 of about 300 patients in the study had been to a bar, and 107 (34 percent) had been to a restaurant—while 272 (87 percent) had gone shopping.

A CDC statement reads: “CDC guidance on masks has clearly stated that wearing a mask is intended to protect other people in case the mask wearer is infected. At no time has CDC guidance suggested that masks were intended to protect the wearers.”

So, do masks filter only outgoing air, not incoming?

With the tight-fitting N95 masks used to protect medical workers, it’s the other way around. The exhalation valves have no filter, so the worker can breathe more easily, and less contamination accumulates inside the mask. Airlines don’t allow masks with exhalation valves.

Regular masks do reduce the dose of expelled droplets to a greater or lesser extent. But if the virus is carried in tiny aerosolized particles from speaking, breathing, or a toilet flushing somewhere, neither masks nor “social distancing” will be effective. This possibility is controversial—but how else do people get infected while alone at home? If aerosols are the problem, then the solution is filtering and decontaminating the air with ultraviolet light.

The main reason many of us wear a mask is to protect ourselves against mask zealots or police or to protect businesses from being shuttered by government.

The reason you see little discussion about the ineffectiveness of masks and their potential dangers is that internet censors cancel anything not supportive of current official dogma.

For example, AAPS’s posting of Dr. Peter McCullough’s outstanding lecture on life-saving early treatment was peremptorily taken down with this explanation: “YouTube doesn’t allow content that explicitly disputes the efficacy of local health authorities’ or World Health Organization (WHO) guidance on social distancing and self isolation that may lead people to act against that guidance.”

For further information, see AAPS discussion of mask facts.