It has come to my attention that some people unfortunately still believe that masks protect the wearer and/or those around them from COVID-19. Real data from many studies – and from real life – have demonstrated that masks have no efficacy in stopping COVID-19 transmission.
For the sake of clarity, the 3 most common types of masks used by the general public are N95 masks, surgical masks, and homemade fabric masks. N95s are by far the superior devices among the three types. However, even they do not have any significant effect on COVID transmission. Surgical masks have even less efficacy. And the homemade lingerie masks are not even worth discussing.
Below is an excerpt from my book, The Plague That Must Not Be Questioned, which simply lists the studies that prove that masks cannot stop COVID or even the much larger flu virus particles:
Jacobs, J. L. et al. (2009) “Use of surgical face masks to reduce the incidence of the common cold among health care workers in Japan: A randomized controlled trial,” American Journal of Infection Control, Volume 37, Issue 5, 417 – 419.
“N95-masked health-care workers (HCW) were significantly more likely to experience headaches. Face mask use in HCW was not demonstrated to provide benefit in terms of cold symptoms or getting colds.”
Cowling, B. et al. (2010) “Face masks to prevent transmission of influenza virus: A systematic review,” Epidemiology and Infection, 138(4), 449-456.
“None of the studies reviewed showed a benefit from wearing a mask, in either HCW or community members in households (H).”
bin-Reza et al. (2012) “The use of masks and respirators to prevent transmission of influenza: a systematic review of the scientific evidence,” Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 6(4), 257–267.
“There were 17 eligible studies. … None of the studies established a conclusive relationship between mask/respirator use and protection against influenza infection.”
Smith, J.D. et al. (2016) “Effectiveness of N95 respirators versus surgical masks in protecting health care workers from acute respiratory infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” CMAJ Mar 2016
“We identified six clinical studies…In the meta-analysis of the clinical studies, we found no significant difference between N95 respirators and surgical masks in associated risk of (a) laboratory-confirmed respiratory infection, (b) influenza-like illness, or (c) reported work-place absenteeism.”
Offeddu, V. et al. (2017) “Effectiveness of Masks and Respirators Against Respiratory Infections in Healthcare Workers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 65, Issue 11, 1 December 2017, Pages 1934–1942
“Self-reported assessment of clinical outcomes was prone to bias. Evidence of a protective effect of masks or respirators against verified respiratory infection (VRI) was not statistically significant.”
Radonovich, L.J. et al. (2019) “N95 Respirators vs Medical Masks for Preventing Influenza Among Health Care Personnel: A Randomized Clinical Trial,” JAMA. 2019; 322(9): 824–833
“Among 2,862 randomized participants, 2,371 completed the study and accounted for 5,180 HCW-seasons. … Among outpatient health care personnel, N95 respirators vs medical masks as worn by participants in this trial resulted in no significant difference in the incidence of laboratory-confirmed influenza.”
Long, Y. et al. (2020) “Effectiveness of N95 respirators versus surgical masks against influenza: A systematic review and meta-analysis,” J Evid Based Med. 2020; 1- 9.
“A total of six RCTs involving 9,171 participants were included. There were no statistically significant differences in preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza, laboratory-confirmed respiratory viral infections, laboratory-confirmed respiratory infection, and influenza-like illness using N95 respirators and surgical masks. Meta-analysis indicated a protective effect of N95 respirators against laboratory-confirmed bacterial colonization (RR = 0.58, 95% CI 0.43-0.78). The use of N95 respirators compared with surgical masks is not associated with a lower risk of laboratory-confirmed influenza.”
Alonso, S. et al. (2021) “Age-dependency of the Propagation Rate of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Inside School Bubble Groups in Catalonia, Spain,” Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal
“More than 1 million students were organized in bubble groups and monitored and analyzed by the Health and the Educational departments…The secondary attack rate depends on the school level and therefore on the age.” (this study found no more COVID transmission in unmasked 5 year-olds than in masked 6 year-olds)
Government of UK (2022) “Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the use of face coverings in education settings,” Department of Education of The United kingdom
“This suggests that COVID-19 absence fell by 0.6 percentage points more in secondary schools that used face masks compared to similar schools that did not over a 2–3-week period…There is a level of statistical uncertainty around the result.”
Barycka K, et al. (2020) Comparative effectiveness of N95 respirators and surgical/face masks in preventing airborne infections in the era of SARS-CoV2 pandemic: A meta-analysis of randomized trials. Plos One Journal.
“…there was no statistically significant difference in laboratory-confirmed influenza between N95 and medical masks.”
Furthermore, states without mask mandates such as South Dakota (and Florida, which has been relatively free of corona-fascism over the past year) have had no worse outcomes by any measurable statistics when compared to states with moderate to severe mask mandates and lockdowns. In fact, the data seems to suggest that mask mandates are correlated with worse COVID rates:
The two most powerful types of data in clinical research are studies in labs (or scientific experiments) and real-world data. Both types of evidence show that masks do not prevent COVID spread.
Can we please stop pretending that masks stop COVID transmission?