More than three years ago, the coronavirus pandemic was declared, and the country was shut down as a supposed measure of safety. Many small businesses were closed down for good even though Target and Walmart stayed open. Masks were mandated in all public spaces, and many cities even instated a vaccine passport, meaning you couldn't even enter a restaurant or coffee shop without showing your proof of coronavirus vaccination. Today, we know that many of the things we have been told about Covid were completely untrue—and those of us who were called conspiracy theorists have been wholly vindicated. The vaccine has been shown to negatively affect women's menstrual cycles, and studies have shown that the shot is no more effective at protecting people against coronavirus than the natural antibodies. In yet another turn of events, the people who have been skeptical about wearing masks are proved right yet again. It turns out that long Covid symptoms may have been misinterpreted as negative effects that come from wearing the mask.
New Research Shows Negative Effects of Wearing a Mask Have Likely Been Misinterpreted as Long Covid Symptoms
Researcher Dr. Eli David shared a paper on Twitter from Frontiers in Public Health, which was a systematic review of 2,168 studies that covered the adverse medical mask effects. The research found "significant effects in both medical surgical and N95 masks, with a greater impact of the second." While there are various doctors and medical experts on social media who chastise people who abandoned the mask a long time ago, it seems as though the research continually points to the fact that masks do more harm than good.
"Wearing masks causes 'long Covid' symptoms?" @DrEliDavid tweeted. "A new paper reviewed 2,168 studies and concluded that masks decrease oxygen saturation, increase blood CO2, heart rate and blood pressure, and cause headache and dizziness. That is, symptoms wrongly classified as 'long Covid'!"
The paper showed that masks interfere with O2-uptake and CO2-release, which compromised respiratory compensation and cause mask-induced exhaustion syndrome (MIES).
"MIES can have long-term clinical consequences, especially for vulnerable groups," the paper read. "So far, several mask related symptoms may have been misinterpreted as long COVID-19 symptoms. In any case, the possible MIES contrasts with the WHO definition of health."
Long Covid is known as an extended period of time in which someone has long-term effects from their infection. Some general symptoms are listed as fatigue, respiratory issues such as trouble breathing or coughing, and chest pain and palpitations. Others have reported brain fog and trouble concentrating, as well as headaches and sleep issues, but symptoms can vary from person to person. Reportedly, about 5% of the adult population is struggling with long Covid, but because it's a vague diagnosis, that is difficult to pinpoint.
But the paper in Frontiers in Public Health suggests that many of the long Covid symptoms are actually just side effects of mask wearing. It says that we should consider the "long-term effects widespread mask wearing may have on normal breathing." The N95 masks seem to have a worse effect on respiratory health than other masks.
The paper also suggests that ubiquitous mask mandates in various countries around the world were not helpful in slowing down the spread of Covid, particularly when the Omicron variant emerged. Even in societies where "mask use was assiduously followed," such as South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc., the rates of coronavirus were not affected by the vast majority of the population wearing masks every day. It begs the question: If masks aren't even successfully preventing the spread of Covid, while also causing respiratory issues that may be misdiagnosed as long Covid, what's really the point of wearing them anyway?