To wear or not to wear a mask? That is the question….

Confused about Wearing a Mask?

You are Not Alone!

Elizabeth Plourde, CLS, NCMP, PhD
Marcus Plourde, PhD
21st Century Health Consulting LLC

It is no wonder when the news reports conflicting advice from medical experts.

On May 29, 2020 they reported: “If you do not have any respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, or runny nose, you do not need to wear a mask,” Dr. April Baller, a WHO public health specialist, says in a video on the site. “Masks should only be used by health care workers, caretakers, or by people who are sick with symptoms of fever and cough.”1

And one week later on June 6, 2020: World Health Organization Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “In areas with widespread transmission, WHO advises medical masks for all people working in clinical areas of a health facility, not only workers dealing with patients with COVID-19. . . . “Second, in areas with community transmission, we advise that people aged 60 years or over, or those with underlying conditions, should wear a medical mask in situations where physical distancing is not possible. Third, WHO has also updated its guidance on the use of masks by the general public in areas with community transmission.” Dr. Tedros also stated: “Masks are not a substitute for physical distancing.”2

So what is the truth?
We need to look at actual studies that test whether viruses are stopped by masks, and whether wearing them may be more harmful, i.e. more virus particles directed to the brain, not enough oxygen in the body to fight infection.

On April 1, 2020, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at The University of Minnesota published a commentary in their newsletter titled:

“Masks-for-all for COVID-19 Not Based on Sound Data.”3

Now, this scientific reasoning is appearing around the world. From all my research, it is good to see the WHO April 29 recommendation.4 It is also good to see that TV News stations carried this message of the World Health Organization and identified the sharp contrast from the advice given by American public health officials who recommend everyone wear a mask in public.5

The WHO April 29 statement concurs with the conclusions of a 1920 study published in the American Journal of Public Health amid the Spanish flu pandemic by Dr. W.H. Kellogg detailing his investigations into whether masks protect from spreading viruses. The researchers identified that it required multiple, multiple layers to block viruses and that this amount of material prevented the person from obtaining enough oxygen through the mask. To quote the study: “When a sufficient degree of density in the mask is used to exercise a useful filtering influence, breathing is difficult and leakage takes place around the edge of the mask.” This leakage leaves the mask not more than 50% effective in reducing infection. The article also stated: “Masks have not been demonstrated to have a degree of efficiency that would warrant their compulsory application for the checking of epidemics.” Their summary stated:

“Masks have not been proved efficient enough to warrant compulsory application for the checking of epidemics, according to Dr. Kellogg, who has conducted a painstaking investigation with gauzes. This investigation scientific in character, omitting no one of the necessary factors. It ought to settle the much argued question of masks for the public.”6

Recently published articles state similar findings: “In conclusion, both surgical and cotton masks seem to be ineffective in preventing the dissemination of SARS–CoV-2 from the coughs of patients with COVID-19 to the environment and external mask surface.”7

A survey of healthcare workers wearing restrictive masks and protective eyewear while working with patients found that 81% of them reported new headaches.8 With airflow blocked enough for restriction of virus movement, it makes sense that headaches happen as there is not enough oxygen getting into the body, and headaches happen in a low oxygen environment such as the headaches people get when they are at high altitudes.

We have found in working with people with EMF symptoms from cell phone use that headaches are a primary complaint. This is due to the red blood cells sticking together, which prevents their ability to supply the necessary oxygen we humans need to function. It makes sense that the restrictive airflow through highly efficient masks would result in reduced oxygen levels that would result in the development of headaches.

Mask pore sizes are larger than the size of viruses.
Pore sizes of masks are many times larger than the size of viruses. Viruses are so tiny, they can easily slip through most any type of mask that is not NK95 rated. The CDC does not recommend that the public wear the smaller pore surgical grade masks, as they are in short supply and need to be reserved for health care workers and first responders.9 The coronavirus is about 0.120 μm (micrometer) in diameter.10 The pore size of masks ranges from 80 to 500 μm, which means that viruses of 0.120 μm can slip through the pores of masks exceptionally easily.

Cloth Masks
Researchers looking at whether masks can block viruses found: “This study showed that the filtering efficiency of cloth face masks were relatively lower, and washing and drying practices deteriorated the efficiency.” . . . “The poor efficiency was due to the presence of larger sized pores. Our study also demonstrated that washing and drying cycle deteriorates the filtering efficiency due to change in pore shape and clearance. We also found that stretching of the CM [cloth masks] surface alters the pore size and potentially decreases the filtering efficiency. The findings of this study suggest that CM are not effective, and that effectiveness deteriorates if used after washing and drying cycles and if used under stretched condition.”11

Other researchers found similar results for cloth masks. A study in the British Medical Journal found: “Penetration of cloth masks by particles was almost 97% and medical masks 44%.” The study concluded: “This study is the first RCT [Randomized Controlled Trial] of cloth masks, and the results caution against the use of cloth masks. This is an important finding to inform occupational health and safety. Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection. Further research is needed to inform the widespread use of cloth masks globally. However, as a precautionary measure, cloth masks should not be recommended for HCWs [Health Care Workers], particularly in high-risk situations, and guidelines need to be updated.”12

I am excited to send this edition of NewsFlash, because I have had this critical subject in mind as I kept reading the many articles identifying the new health problems that arise with the wearing of masks by the general public.

It is time for our health agencies and officials to stop requiring we wear face masks in public or at work, and change their recommendations to ones that are not inclined to create more health problems than those they are attempting to protect us from.

Please share this information with everyone you meet, it is critical for the health of our society.

  1. Who Website. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: When and how to use masks. Retrieved May 29, 2020 from:
  2. Fox News Website. Report on face masks’ effectiveness for COVID-19 divides scientists. Retrieved June 3, 2020 from:
  3. Brosseau L, Sietsema M. COMMENTARY: Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data. Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. April 1, 2020.
  4. Who Website. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: When and how to use masks. Retrieved May 29, 2020 from:
  5. Fox News Website. Report on face masks’ effectiveness for COVID-19 divides scientists. Retrieved June 3, 2020 from:
  6. Kellogg WH, MacMillan G. An experimental study of the efficacy of gauze face masks. Am J Public Health (NY). 1920 Jan; 10(1): 34–42. doi: 10.2105/ajph.10.1.34.
  7. Bae S, Kim MC, Kim JY, et al. Effectiveness of Surgical and Cotton Masks in Blocking SARS-CoV-2: A Controlled Comparison in 4 Patients. Ann Intern Med. 2020 Apr 6:M20-1342. doi: 10.7326/M20-1342.
  8. Ong J, Bharatendu C, Goh Y. Headaches Associated with Personal Protective Equipment – A Cross-Sectional Study Among Frontline Healthcare Workers During COVID-19. Headache. 2020 May;60(5):864-877. doi: 10.1111/head.13811.
  9. CDC Website. Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings, Especially in Areas of Significant Community-Based Transmission. Retrieved May 31, 2020 from:
  10. Viralzone Website. Coronaviridae. Retrieved May, 31, 2020 from:
  11. Neupane BB, Mainali S, Sharma A, Giri B. Optical microscopic study of surface morphology and filtering efficiency of face masks. PeerJ. 2019; 7: e7142. Published online 2019 Jun 26. doi: 10.7717/peerj.7142.
  12. MacIntyre CR, Seale H, Dung TC, et al. A Cluster Randomized Trial of Cloth Masks Compared with Medical Masks in Healthcare Workers. BMJ Open. 2015 Apr 22;5(4):e006577.doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006577.