Face coverings were first made mandatory on public transport in London on the 15th June. Since then Londoners have seen masks become mandatory in shops, supermarkets and hospitality establishments. According to Transport For London: “The latest scientific advice suggests that, face coverings are unlikely to prevent an individual from catching the coronavirus”. Face coverings offer very little protection, yet they are mandatory to wear in most places.
It is important to remember that when surgeons wear masks they wear them under temperature-controlled conditions. A study by the British Medical Journal confirmed that wearing face masks for long periods of time can reduce blood oxygen levels. Doctors that wear masks for long periods of times report headaches and dizziness. Another study pointed out that 81% of health care workers developed headaches while wearing face masks at work.
Dr Vernon Coleman has said since March that masks have been proved to do more harm than good. A number of MPs have said that the government should make mask wearing voluntary including Michael Gove. Back in March The World Health Organisation first said: “Masks should be worn by those with the disease or those in close contact with those infected”.
Since then the WHO have said most people should wear masks. Let’s remind ourselves that a week ago the WHO issued a statement on Twitter which said: “WHO warns against COVID-19 lockdown due to economic damage” It seems they are finally starting to envision the bigger picture. During this pandemic it seems wherever we look we are constantly presented with conflicting information.
I recently visited a cinema; I was told to wear a mask while entering the building but once seated in the auditorium I was allowed to remove it. Many of these rules do not make much sense yet Londoners still follow them. Face coverings should be changed every four hours and must be disposed of safely. If masks are not washed or changed frequently bacteria can accumulate which can lead to other types of infections.
Dr Coleman points out that wearing a mask traps exhaled carbon dioxide which can lead to a condition called Hypercapnia. Anxiety and fear have forced people to mask up, some even call to make masks mandatory outside. According to the New England Journal of Medicine: “We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offer little, if any, protection from infection… in many cases the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic”
Masks contain many loose fibres which can be seen if you examine your mask. Studies suggest these loose fibres could be breathed in. Dr Coleman suggests if these fibres are breathed in there is a serious risk these fibres cold cause serious lung damage. Dr Coleman expresses his concern and worries that masks will do more harm than good.
Words: Ryan Venables