As the United States begins to re-open from lockdowns, jurisdictions are instituting measures that dictate how people are able to participate in society. One of the most common is compulsory mask-wearing. Officials throughout the country are seeking policy guidance on masks from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has flip-flopped its position on face coverings several times since March but is now recommending that everyone wear a mask in public. State and local authorities are taking varying approaches in what their emergency mask orders stipulate and how they will be enforced. Rules differ by state and are constantly changing. However, to date, only a handful of states don’t have any mandatory mask measures. Though CDC’s policy guidance encourages the use of face masks, there is substantial evidence showing that masks are harmful and a lack of evidence showing they are effective in preventing the spread of coronavirus. Studies show that wearing a face covering reduces blood and tissue oxygenation — which can be deadly — while increasing carbon dioxide levels. Mask-wearing can also increase the risk of infection and the spread of viral illness, hinder detoxification that occurs via exhalation, impair the immune system and cause many other ailments, both physical and emotional. Moreover, some masks have been found to contain known carcinogens, which put people at risk from inhaling toxic chemicals and having them come into contact with their skin. Lawsuits are now being filed throughout the country to challenge mandatory masks. Despite evidence of harm and questionable evidence of benefit, fall 2020 school guidelines across the country are calling for mandatory masks. Public school systems (e.g., San Diego, California) are concerned that mask requirements in the classroom will spark even more legal battles. It is unethical and unconstitutional to force healthy citizens to abide by measures that can result in physical and emotional harm and that impinge on their ability to move freely throughout society without discrimination. For those with deeply held religious beliefs, mask mandates violate their ability to abide by natural law and follow their convictions to walk in faith, not fear. As such, the decision to wear a mask is a highly personal one and should not be universally mandated; measures that are meant to protect the community as a whole are ineffective if they hurt individuals in that community. Please email and tweet your lawmakers now and urge them to do their part to make sure that mask-wearing is voluntary, not mandatory. References 1. bin-Reza F et al. The use of mask and respirators to prevent transmission of influenza: A systematic review of the scientific evidence. Resp Viruses 2012;6(4):257-67. 2. Zhu JH et al. Effects of long-duration wearing of N95 respirator and surgical facemask: a pilot study. J Lung Pulm Resp Res 2014:4:97-100. 3. Ong JJY et al. Headaches associated with personal protective equipment- A cross-sectional study among frontline healthcare workers during COVID-19. Headache 2020;60(5):864-877. 4. Bader A et al. Preliminary report on surgical mask induced deoxygenation during major surgery. Neurocirugia 2008;19:12-126. 5. Shehade H et al. Cutting edge: Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 negatively regulates Th1 function. J Immunol 2015;195:1372-1376. 6. Westendorf AM et al. Hypoxia enhances immunosuppression by inhibiting CD4+ effector T cell function and promoting Treg activity. Cell Physiol Biochem 2017;41:1271-84. 7. Sceneay J et al. Hypoxia-driven immunosuppression contributes to the pre-metastatic niche. Oncoimmunology 2013;2:1 e22355. 8. Blaylock RL. Immunoexcitatory mechanisms in glioma proliferation, invasion and occasional metastasis. Surg Neurol Inter 2013;4:15. 9. Aggarwal BB. Nucler factor-kappaB: The enemy within. Cancer Cell 2004;6:203-208. 10. Savransky V et al. Chronic intermittent hypoxia induces atherosclerosis. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2007;175:1290-1297. 11. Baig AM et al. Evidence of the COVID-19 virus targeting the CNS: Tissue distribution, host-virus interaction, and proposed neurotropic mechanisms. ACS Chem Neurosci 2020;11:7:995-998. 12. Wu Y et al. Nervous system involvement after infection with COVID-19 and other coronaviruses. Brain Behavior, and Immunity, In press. 13. Perlman S et al. Spread of a neurotropic murine coronavirus into the CNS via the trigeminal and olfactory nerves. Virology 1989;170:556-560.

4 Votes Created
Default_avatar
Erin Whitney at August 03, 2020 at 2:55pm PDT

I strongly disagree with the idea of optional face coverings. From a recent WSJ article, "Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said he believes the pandemic could be brought under control over the next four to eight weeks if “we could get everybody to wear a mask right now.” There are multiple studies cited in this article that support the wearing of facial coverings, not to mention this very convincing video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6cTDGqcUpA. I understand some people may have real medical conditions that preclude the wearing of masks but do not believe people should be exempt just because they don't like how they feel or feel angry about having to wear them. We have evidence they work, our local COVID-19 cases are growing exponentially, and we ALL want to get back to school and work. Masks and true social distancing is the only way we can do this. Everyone must be part of the solution.

Vote
Default_avatar
Susan Carter at August 04, 2020 at 11:23am PDT

How hard is it to wear a mask? Countries where people hunkered down right away have successfully controlled the virus. Germany for example, has 100 Covid deaths per million people while the USA has a Covid mortality rate of over 400 people per million. Experts say that if there is 85-90% mask compliance, the USA can control the virus within about 8 weeks. When will people start thinking about the COMMON GOOD instead of their "personal freedon". We live in a country where individualism is important and should be, but not at the expense of endangering others.

Vote