At A Glance:
- CDC suggests all students over the age of two years and unvaccinated should wear a mask.
- AAP says all students over two years, no matter vaccination status.
- Studies have proven carbon dioxide levels above safety guidelines for children wearing masks.
- University of Florida analyzes children’s masks; find dangerous pathogens.
- Masks considered ineffective in many settings.
CDC guidelines came out last week calling for masks in schools this fall for unvaccinated students over the age of two. How effective are masks? How safe? People have been asking these questions since the beginning of 2020. Yet, the clear answers as to why masks are required, whom they protect, and whether they are effective or safe takes a bit more research than reading headlines.
The Studies on Safety– Carbon Dioxide
JAMA Pediatrics published a study on June 30, 2020 with clear evidence that masks were unsafe for children. The study concluded “that children should not be forced to wear facemasks.”¹
A previous, larger survey revealed that of 25,930 children, 68 percent had problems “when wearing nose and mouth coverings.”¹ The randomized, blind study was done as a follow-up to assess these findings. It included school age children ages 6-17 years with 20 girls and 25 boys. Measurements were taken for the concentration of carbon dioxide students were exposed to as compared to normal exposure to carbon dioxide, as well as the limits set in place by the German Federal Environmental Office (2,000ppm).¹
Using two different face masks, three different measurement time frames, and the various ages, it was determined that the type of mask didn’t propose a significant difference to the concentration of carbon dioxide in the breathable air. After just three minutes of mask wearing, the concentration was six times higher than the safe level set by the German Federal Environmental Office. Children in schools in Germany wear the mask for a mean measurement of 270 minutes per day.¹ The figures were highest in younger children. The child with the lowest carbon dioxide level was still three times higher than the allowable, safe limit. One seven year old had a value of 25,000 ppm, twelve-and-a-half times higher than the allowable limit.¹
Effects of not enough oxygen coming into and not enough carbon dioxide leaving the body can range from mild to severe. Severe effects require immediate medical attention, can have long-term effects, and have potentially dangerous, even fatal, consequences.²
Mild effects of high levels of carbon dioxide include:
- excessive fatigue
- feeling disoriented
- flushing of the skin
- shortness of breath
More serious effects include:
- depression or paranoia
- hyperventilation or excessive breathing
- irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia
- loss of consciousness
- muscle twitching
- panic attacks
Studies in Safety — Other Pathogens, Cleanliness
After her children broke out with rashes and infections, a Florida mom, Amanda Donoho, and other concerned parents sent their children’s face masks into a University of Florida lab.³ The lab analyzed the masks of which three were surgical, two were cotton, and one was a poly gaiter. The analysis revealed parasites, fungus, and bacteria responsible for causing pneumonia, sepsis, Lyme’s disease, meningitis, Legionaire’s Disease, diphtheria, and other severe infections and diseases.⁴ Some of the contaminants have already been declared antibiotic resistant.
Donoho went on to say that even while children were outside playing at recess and P.E. they were required to wear the masks in 90 degree and above heat. The only breaks they got were to eat, drink, and when they were more than six feet apart.³
The Studies on Effectiveness of Masks
According to the FDA website, the masks are ineffective for what the CDC and schools are calling them used for:
While a surgical mask may be effective in blocking splashes and large-particle droplets, a face mask, by design, does not filter or block very small particles in the air that may be transmitted by coughs, sneezes, or certain medical procedures. Surgical masks also do not provide complete protection from germs and other contaminants because of the loose fit between the surface of the mask and your face.⁵
PubMed also released a study in which masks were tested for effectiveness in Japan in relation to the common cold:
Health care workers outside surgical suites in Asia use surgical-type face masks commonly. Prevention of upper respiratory infection is one reason given, although evidence of effectiveness is lacking.⁶
The study concluded:
Face mask use in health care workers has not been demonstrated to provide benefit in terms of cold symptoms or getting colds. A larger study is needed to definitively establish noninferiority of no mask use.⁶
There was no difference in the number of colds in the masked versus the unmasked group. Headaches were the most common complaints of the mask wearers and were “significantly more likely.”⁶
In fact, there have also been medical articles that suggest masks increase the risk of COVID simply by the bad habits they create. The article goes on to further articulate that we aren’t taking into account children’s innate immunity in terms of how their body handles exposure to COVID.⁷
Children and COVID in Schools
With the CDC suggesting that school resume in person this fall, it is evident many people are looking to get back to normal. Unfortunately, that “normal” will certainly look different. We know that children aren’t “super spreaders” of COVID. In fact, children are the most resilient population to COVID with very little risk of infection and an even better recovery rate.
Mental health challenges have soared with students having to use remote learning, social distancing, and the fear that has surrounded the COVID pandemic. Masks certainly create a barrier between people and cause damage to the process in which children learn to relate to people.⁸ During childhood, the brain matures as social and emotional connections are made and children learn to engage with their community. Masks create a barrier to the the facial expressions typically read by people as they take in social and emotional cues from those around them.⁸ It seems the slight risk of COVID infection among students is driving a more harmful pandemic of mental and social health.
On Monday, July 19, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that all school age children over the age of two years, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks.⁹ The guidance continued regarding vaccinations, “While the influenza vaccine generally is not required for school attendance, it should be highly encouraged for all students and staff.”⁹
Hold the Phone — Doc’s Thoughts:
Masks. I’ve talked about them a million times in videos, with people in our clinics, friends, family, schools…endless places. At the beginning, we didn’t know much about COVID and understandably, we were all a bit more cautious. Ironically, at that time, the WHO and other people including the U.S. Surgeon General recommended not wearing masks! Now that we know more about the virus and the ineffective, even harmful nature of masks, they’re recommending them! You can’t make this stuff up!
First, a little biology. We breathe out carbon dioxide as a waste product. It’s a waste product. Seeing the studies above alone should have parents pounding on school board doors. Many did that last year as they stood up for common sense and medical freedoms, however, with two newly released studies, we now have the science they are telling us to follow. Schools mandating and the CDC endorsing that children breathe in waste and highly dangerous contaminants could be considered child abuse and criminal. These children know they feel uncomfortable, but as they are developing, they may not be able to accurately communicate how, especially two-year-olds!
This isn’t even taking into account the idea that we are suggesting materials be used for practices they are unapproved for, for health purposes! I’m thinking there’s a fallacy in there at best, potentially even a medical malpractice issue.
Children have robust, developing, innate immune systems. We need to allow them to work and function properly. Their risk of infection is low. They are shown not to spread COVID. Many have likely had the infection and already recovered from it because of the nature of the mild and asymptomatic cases.
I want to point out one caveat in the CDC guidelines. The masks are for the “unvaccinated.” That leaves a door open to ditch the masks. However, we need to think about the known potential risk versus the known potential benefit of these vaccines in children. We know that studies are going on and some of the vaccine manufacturers are hoping to have vaccines for younger populations yet this fall. The FDA is facing pressure to fully approve the vaccines to overcome vaccine hesitancy. Long-term studies don’t expire until late 2022 or 2023. We know we don’t have the full data yet. But did you notice that now the AAP is suggesting that the flu vaccine also be strongly encouraged this year? We’re going to start a new vaccine cycle for all kids.
Those asymptomatic and mild cases we just discussed would provide a natural immunity to COVID. Many of these children likely have lifelong immunity with a healthy, strong immune system. What happens if they are forced to get a vaccine? How many parents think that may be an easy way to get rid of the mask? The risk of adverse reactions to vaccines when the body already has recovered from the disease dramatically increases! Young people have suffered with myocarditis, blood clots, and heart attacks especially when vaccines have been mandated by schools, sports clubs and possibly soon our military. The WHO has yet to say children pose a risk and need to be added to the populations getting vaccinated. In fact, they said the opposite! Experts and vaccine developers are urging us to slow down. It doesn’t sound like they’re following science anymore.
With new threats of variants and another “wave” likely this fall, August-October, and the WHO’s recommendation for fully vaccinated people to wear masks, there’s no end in sight. Unless people stand up for their medical freedoms. People need to speak out and ask the questions to get to the answers. School boards are elected by the people of a community. We have the ability to voice our ideas in these settings and hold people accountable to the people they represent!