Saturday, July 20, 2024
HomeCOVID-19They just won’t let go of masks

They just won’t let go of masks


The writer is in New Zealand

AS the pandemic fades, should we meekly accept new restrictions or seek new freedoms?

An article in the New Zealand autumn 2022 AA Directions magazine advises that ‘masks are going to be part of our day-to-day lives for the foreseeable future’, and teaches us how to recognise whether someone is smiling behind their mask.

Yesterday in Stuff, science columnist Dr Siouxsie Wiles finally gets around to admitting that ‘you can’t rely on mRNA vaccines’. Her answer? Be stricter about mask wearing.

Dr Wiles, a British microbiologist who received the 2021 New Zealander of the Year Award for pandemic science communication, cites a new study which she says supports continuing use of masks at gatherings. Click on the link (most people don’t) and you arrive at a study that involves theoretical modelling rather than verified effects. 

Mask studies (of which there are many) have not demonstrated large reductions in Covid transmission. They tend to be very technical in nature and focus on the comparative viral loads found in nasal and mask swabs. These measurements can be connected to Covid transmission only via theoretical modelling.

Back in the real world, the near universal combination of vaccination and mask wearing to date in New Zealand has not stopped Omicron transmission.

study published in ClinMed entitled ‘Adverse Effects of Prolonged Mask Use among Healthcare Professionals during Covid-19’surveyed 343 healthcare professionals in New York City hospitals obliged to wear masks throughout most of their working day. They reported: headaches (71 per cent), skin breakdown (50 per cent), and impaired cognition (24 per cent). Yes, you did read that right, one quarter of medical professionals wearing masks suffer decreased intellectual capacity.

Even costly N95 masks do not stop the passage of air around them essentially negating their purpose and prompting the observation that it is like trying to stop mosquitos with chicken wire. Surgical masks or their equivalent are mainly required in hospitals and dirty environments such as sawmills or building sites to protect the wearer from inhaling human tissue or large particulates. 

So will Dr Wiles advise us next week to wear a full deep-sea diving suit? In the crazy world of the new subnormal apparently nothing absurd can be ruled out.

Hiding the truth from the public has become a medical imperative

There is a certain hysteria surrounding the realisation that mRNA vaccines don’t actually work and may be harmful. When my kids were growing up we used to read an amusing book to them, Lies My Mother Told Me. How many lies have we been told? Too many.

For example, the Pfizer mRNA vaccine is:

·         95 per cent effective

·         Completely safe

·         Mostly stays in the upper arm muscle, as most traditional vaccines do

This last is interesting because Pfizer knew before they released the mRNA vaccine that it didn’t stay in the upper arm. They had completed an animal study which suggested that most of the mRNA vaccine spread throughout the body instead of staying at the injection site. The lipid nanoparticles (LNP), which encase the mRNA and help to breach cell walls are highly mobile and ensure that the mRNA spreads rapidly to all the organ systems in the body. If you want the full story see this article by clinical immunologist Dr Byram Bridle. 

If we had known this, we would have realised early on that adverse reactions such as liver and kidney damage, strokes, cardiac events, neurological conditions and sudden-onset cancers were not unrelated to vaccination, as many victims were assured at the time by the NZ Ministry of Health, GPs and hospital staff. 

Medical professionals assessing the causal connections between mRNA vaccination and subsequent adverse events were relying upon their prior knowledge about traditional vaccines. They thought they knew that vaccine ingredients mostly stayed at the injection site and eventually appeared in lymph nodes as they were cleaned up by the immune system. Pfizer neglected to tell them this was not the case. In fact Pfizer didn’t seem to inform anybody: the damning data was hidden in an obscure study buried in the requirements of the various national regulatory processes supposedly scrutinising safety. Anyone sounding the alarm seemed to be cancelled by the media and relegated to the ranks of conspiracy theorists.

Now that we have some hard NZ data showing that the protective effect of mRNA vaccination is a myth, there appears to be a rush on the part of seasoned and highly decorated Covid science communicators like Dr Siouxsie Wiles, member of the NZ Order of Merit, to throw us a lifeline. We may not actually choose to be saved. We might instead get on with our own lives and make the best of what opportunities we can discover for ourselves. At least we will be rowing our own boat, not sinking in the good ship misinformation.

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Guy Hatchard
Guy Hatchard
Guy Hatchard PhD is a former senior manager at Genetic ID, a global food testing and certification company. He lives in New Zealand.

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