‘New England Journal of Medicine’: Masks are symbolic and can increase Covid-19 transmission

“..the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.”

Universal Masking in Hospitals in the Covid-19 Era

May 21, 2020

We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.

A mask alone will not prevent health care workers with early Covid-19 from contaminating their hands and spreading the virus to patients and colleagues. Focusing on universal masking alone may, paradoxically, lead to more transmission of Covid-19 if it diverts attention from implementing more fundamental infection-control measures [like taking vitamins D and C plus zinc – editor].

It is also clear that masks serve symbolic roles. Masks are not only tools, they are also talismans that may help increase health care workers’ perceived sense of safety, well-being, and trust in their hospitals.

So instead of recommending what actually does protect people from Covid (vitamins D and C plus zinc), Big Pharma pushes masks, giving people a false sense of protection, which Big Pharma admits can “lead to more transmission,” spreading covid by contaminating their hands each time they touch their masks and don’t wash them.

A 25-years nurse said in her experience, doctors and nurses do not wash their hands after touching their masks. And certainly, the public being mandated to wear masks will also mostly not. And the public rarely change out their masks, wearing the same moist, bacteria laden device over and over, or for entire 8-hour shifts, making them even more bacterial and virus laden than the masks discussed in this journal.

NEJM Article

 

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