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Independent, Science-Based

Evidence To Empower Canadians

Hello Sonya,

As provinces lift COVID-19 public health mandates, many Canadians are asking questions about the safety of some of these changes, especially around the removal of masks, particularly in the school setting. We too are asking: is this too soon or not soon enough? We felt it was important to know: Are kids at higher risk of getting sick? Have schools been linked with super spreading? Is there specific evidence for benefit of masks in children? Could there be potential harms? We went to the emerging research to help find answers. In part 1 of this 2-part focus on these questions, here are some of the key findings that we wanted to share.

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How Well do Masks Protect Us?

COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets - including aerosols. These can easily travel around and through the various types of masks typically worn by most people.

Canadian national health agencies have recommended against general mask use (see p 227, Section 2.6. Use of Masks During a Pandemic) in the community for influenza pandemics. As the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the influenza viruses share similar characteristics and size, why would the recommendations be different? Even surgical mask producers state that their products are not designed to protect the wearer from inhaling airborne bacteria or viruses.

Multiple clinical trials have shown that wearing a mask made little or no difference to the spread of respiratory viral infections. Read more here and here.

There have been suggestions that higher quality masks (such as N95s) are effective at stopping the spread of respiratory viruses. With perfect use, these masks may reduce the spread. However, they lose their effectiveness if the mask fits improperly, becomes moist, or is removed for eating or drinking or at other times.

The Bottom Line: Overall, the evidence continues to show that masks simply do not protect against COVID-19

A Review of Science Relevant to COVID-19 Social Policy
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Do Masks Cause More Harm than Good?

Wearing masks may seem harmless, but there are risks associated with their use that may have long-term negative consequences.

Many people who wear masks for long periods report symptoms including: irritability, headaches, nausea, difficulty concentrating, and drowsiness. Some of these issues may be due to rebreathing exhaled air which has oxygen levels that are lower than, and carbon dioxide levels that are higher than, safe amounts.

Adverse effects may occur throughout the body due to altered breathing dynamics with prolonged mask wearing.

Mask wearers may be exposed to numerous particles, fibers, and chemicals that could damage the lungs and have other health consequences. Read more here and here.

Masks are ideal places for growth of and contamination by organisms that cause infections such as pneumonia, skin lesions, and sinusitis.

Dentists have coined the term “maskmouth” to describe the poorer dental hygiene thought to be due to mouth breathing while wearing a mask.

Masks hide the face and may interfere with a child’s learning, language, psychological, and social development demonstrated by reports of difficulty concentrating, less happiness, reluctance to go school, malaise, psychological impacts, and impaired learning, including speech delays. We have yet to understand the full impact of masks on the overall development of children. Read more here.

The Bottom Line: Masks are not as harmless as once thought.

150+ Comparative Studies and Articles on Mask Ineffectiveness and Harms

Overall, Are Masks Necessary?

At CCCA, we believe that policy should always be derived from the available evidence. 

The primary responsibility of all health care practitioners is ‘First do no harm’. Because of this, we respect the mantra, ‘If there is risk, there must be choice’. Clearly, this could not be any more important than when considering the welfare of all, especially children.

Additional Resources

Dr. Steven Pelech's Letter to UBC President: End Mandatory Masking
Do masks work? Watch Viral immunologist Dr. Byram Bridle’s experiment.
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Our alliance of independent Canadian doctors, scientists, health care practitioners, and lawyers is committed to providing top-quality and balanced, evidence-based information to the Canadian public about COVID-19 so that hospitalizations can be reduced, lives saved, and our country safely restored as quickly as possible.

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The information contained or presented in this newsletter is for educational purposes only. Information in this newsletter is NOT intended to serve as a substitute for diagnosis, treatment, or advice from a licensed medical professional. The facts presented are offered as information only in order to empower you to make further informed decisions. 

Any links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by CCCA of any products, services or opinions of the corporation, organization or individual. The CCCA bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site directly for answers to any question regarding its content.

Any treatment protocol you undertake should be discussed with your physician or other licensed medical professional.  In no way should anyone infer that we, even though we are physicians, are practicing medicine; it is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a medical professional for proper application of ANY material in this email to your specific situation. NEVER stop or change your medications without consulting your physician. If you are having an emergency contact your emergency services (911).


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