‘There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.’ (Nelson Mandela)
Masking children is not indicated and a huge threat to child well-being, while masking anyone against a virus is of doubtful efficacy. In a move of gobsmacking immorality, the New Zealand government has mandated masks for children from Year Four upwards while ‘the red traffic-light setting’ is in place. This means that children from as young as seven or eight will be forced to wear masks for hours on end in the classroom, and also on publicly funded school trips.
There’s absolutely no justification for forcing children to wear masks: they are not at risk from Covid-19, nor do they spread it. Early reports from Wuhan indicating that severe COVID-19 disease was rare in children, have only been confirmed by subsequent data. German physician-scientists reported in December 2021 that not a single healthy child between the ages of 5 and 18 died of Covid in Germany in the first 15 months of the epidemic.
Nor are adults at risk from children: there has not been a single case of a child under 10 infecting an adult with COVID-19, according to a large medical review of paediatric evidence. Furthermore, a major post-lockdown study in Wuhan China involving almost 10 million people, found zero cases of asymptomatic transmission in adults or children.
Key risks to masks for children (from the World Council for Health, Face masks – the risks vs benefits for children):
‘Breathing problems – hypoxia (inadequate oxygen) and hypercapnia (elevated carbon dioxide levels in the blood): Normal open air has approximately 0.04% carbon dioxide by volume (400 parts per million) and the German Federal Environmental Office states that the limit for closed rooms is 0.2% (2,000 ppm), with anything higher being unacceptable. However, evidence shows that carbon dioxide levels inside children’s masks build up very quickly. After as little as three minutes, carbon dioxide in children’s masks have been measured to be in the region of 13,000 ppm, more than six times the maximum carbon dioxide exposure. Younger children tend to have the highest values. Significantly lowered levels of oxygen have also been found in the air under masks. These levels are associated with conditions including headaches, drowsiness, poor concentration, nausea and increased heart rate. [See also Margarite Griesz-Brisson, top European neurologist: ‘Oxygen deprivation damages every single organ’.]
Bacterial, viral and fungal infections such as bacterial pneumonia: Studies have found that germs (bacteria, fungi and viruses) accumulate on the outside and inside of the masks, in a warm and moist environment. Inhaling these germs can cause fungal, bacterial and viral infections.
Cognitive difficulties: Wearing of masks is associated with problems such as fatigue, exhaustion, lack of concentration, impaired communication and impaired field of vision (especially affecting the ground and obstacles on the ground) as well as headaches, disorientation, brain fog and confusion.
Psychological effects: Research refers to psychological deterioration as a result of wearing masks, including anxiety, distraction, stress, panic and depressive feelings. Feelings of deprivation of freedom and loss of autonomy, increased psychosomatic illnesses and suppressed anger have also been reported.
Dermatological effects: Unlike garments worn over closed skins, masks cover body areas involved in respiration (ie the nose and mouth). This leads to temperature and humidity rises which changes the natural skin conditions considerably, leading to rashes, acne, itchiness and other skin irritation.
Dental effects: Dentists have described a condition known as ‘mask mouth,’ associated with problems such as gum and mouth inflammation, bad breath and fungal infections. Reduced saliva flow and increased plaque and tooth decay are also linked to excessive and inappropriate mask wearing.
Micro- and nano-sized particles – inhalation risks: Most people are aware of the damage done to many workers’ lungs, including cancers and other lung diseases, as a result of routine work carried out using asbestos-containing materials during the 1960, 70s and 80s around the world. Similarly, heavy and prolonged exposure to silica dust as a result of work with stone and sand can cause lung cancer and other respiratory diseases as a result of inhaling tiny particles. Research has shown that face masks readily release micro- and nano-sized particles and the risk is these may be inhaled by children who are mandated to wear these for many hours during the school day. In March 2021, news reports (1, 2) highlighted the recall of millions of masks in Canada after analysis found evidence of graphene nanoparticles being shed by the face coverings.
Individual needs of children: Masks have been universally mandated across schools, usually without individual risk assessments being conducted – in contravention of good occupational safety and health practice. As a result, little to no account has been taken of children’s varied predispositions, or even of their underlying health conditions such as asthma and epilepsy. Doctors have emphasised the importance of considering such health conditions. For example, neurologists from Israel, the UK and the USA have stated that a mask is unsuitable for people with epilepsy because it can trigger hyperventilation.
Long-term ill health: In the context of occupational safety and health, a single, brief and light exposure to a hazard may sometimes carry little risk. However, prolonged and heavy exposures can be highly risky. Some mask-induced adverse effects appear relatively minor at first glance, but repeated exposure over longer periods in accordance with pathogenetic principles is relevant. Researchers have warned that long-term diseases, such as heart disease and neurological diseases, as a consequence of mask wearing, are to be expected.
Hygiene issues: Masks, when used by the general public, are considered by scientists to pose a risk of infection because the standardized hygiene rules of hospitals cannot be followed outside of the that setting. This effect will no doubt be particularly pronounced in a large class of young children managed by a single teacher.
Given that masking children, not being at risk and not presenting a risk to others, is completely unwarranted, the efficacy of masks is a side issue. However there is abundant evidence that Masks Don’t Work. Extensive randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies, and meta-analysis reviews of RCT studies, show that masks and respirators do not work to prevent respiratory influenza-like illnesses, or respiratory illnesses believed to be transmitted by droplets and aerosol particles. Masks cannot work as the main transmission path is aerosol particles (< 2.5 μm), which are too fine to be blocked.
Worn by fidgety children masks are even less likely to offer any protection.
And the next step: masking two-year olds
Last year a court in Weimar, Germany, prohibited mask-wearing, distancing measures and rapid testing in schools:
‘The children are damaged physically, psychologically and educationally and their rights are violated, without any benefit for the children themselves or for third parties.’
New Zealand, however, is digging in. The next step will be masking pre-schoolers. The NZ Herald asks, ‘Should we be masking 2-year-olds?’, quoting Professor Michael Baker, always a strong advocate of masking:
‘At the moment, we’ve got a giant hole in our protection in New Zealand – and that is for pre-school children. I don’t know any reason why we’re not looking at masks in those age groups.