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Harold Saive: Face masks can damage the immune system

OPINION

BY HAROLD SAIVE

Request for BOCC to reduce the facial coverings mandate to “voluntary.”

With the constant stress presented by the fear and anxiety of Covid-19, wearing a face mask or self-designed facial covering can become a hazard to the health of the majority of our population who remain in good health.

When a healthy population becomes unhealthy due to excessive stress driven by hyperbolic media fear of Covid-19, any of a variety of different diseases can break through that weakened immune system to cause more active cases of Covid-19, metabolic, heart, and other diseases like cancer.

Len Cabrera, April 3rd:  The mass hysteria (and bad public policy) on coronavirus is due to exaggerated computer models. The numbers for the month of March in Alachua County were barely a “sniffle,” much less a pandemic at 35 cases per 100,000 people (.035%). 

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Bio-Statistician Knut M. Wittkowski: “With all respiratory diseases, the only thing that stops the disease is herd immunity. About 80% of the people need to have had contact with the virus, and the majority of them won’t even have recognized that they were infected, or they had very, very mild symptoms, especially if they are children. So it’s very important to keep the schools open and kids mingling to spread the virus to get herd immunity as fast as possible, and then the elderly people, who should be separated, and the nursing homes should be closed during that time, can come back and meet their children and grandchildren after about 4 weeks when the virus has been exterminated”

Alachua Chronicle, May 1st: “The Commission moved forward on mandatory facial coverings in spite of the CDC voluntary recommendation for masks, the governor’s voluntary recommendation for masks, and the conclusion from Paul Myers (Florida Department of Health in Alachua County) that there is no consensus on the wearing of face masks.”

Len Cabrera, April 29th: “The facial covering mandate is an example of petty tyranny we’ve been witnessing all over the country. They made that recommendation even though earlier in the day Governor DeSantis held a press conference where Dr. Sunil Desai downplayed the need for masks, saying hand hygiene is more important: “If your hands aren’t clean, that mask is worthless.” He also said, “Hand hygiene and not touching your face and the social distancing, judiciously applied in the most high-risk groups, is the most important”.

Paul Myers, the Alachua County Administrator for the Florida Department of Health, echoed Dr. Desai in the County Commission meeting on April 28, saying that the evidence for the usefulness of masks being worn by the public does not support a mandate for mask wearing. He cited a review of 52 studies that concluded “cloth masks are ineffective as source control” and N-95 masks are “not recommended for source control.” He also said the CDC guidance is that masks should be a “voluntary public health measure” (emphasis added). “

“So according to local, state, and national experts, the general public does not need to wear masks.”

NY POST:  4/29/2020 – Dr. Michael Ryan at WHO Health Emergencies Programme lauds Sweden for avoiding lockdowns.

“What it (Sweden) has done differently is it has very much relied on its relationship with its citizenry and the ability and willingness of its citizens to implement self-distancing and self-regulate,” Ryan said. “In that sense, they have implemented public policy through that partnership with the population.”

“I think if we are to reach a new normal, Sweden represents a model if we wish to get back to a society in which we don’t have lockdowns,” Ryan said.

Virologist Dr. Judy Mikovits, PhD  offered a science-based warning about wearing face masks:

“The masks on walks outside and while driving in your car is mind blowing to me. Do you not know how unhealthy it is to keep inhaling your carbon dioxide and restricting proper oxygen flow? I honestly cannot believe how non-logical we have become! We as a society seem to just listen to (perceived) authority without question. I don’t see a whole lot of critical thought happening here, I’m sorry to say. Why I opt NOT to wear a mask. Well, let me break it down for you. The body requires AMPLE amounts of oxygen for optimal immune health. Especially during a so-called ‘pandemic’. Proper oxygenation of your cells and blood is ESSENTIAL for the body to function as it needs to in order to fight off any illness.

Masks will hamper oxygen intake. Unless you are working in a hospital setting, it is NOT necessary. But go ahead and hold onto to your security blanket if it makes you feel better. I do not listen to the government when it tries to instruct me on how to maintain health, nor do I trust their ‘stats’ (which we know are based on unconfirmed numbers).

You want to be healthy, then make sure to apply it to all aspects of your life. Stop smoking, change your diet, stop consuming alcohol, turn off your wifi and cell phone, stop getting injected with neurotoxins, stop taking toxic medications, stop using so many chemicals in your everyday life, practice proper hygiene (WASH YOUR HANDS). Most importantly, go outside and BREATHE DEEPLY, get some sun, drink plenty of (filtered) water, sleep well and learn to LISTEN to your body.”

In addition to Dr. Mikovits warning, there are additional problems with wearing a face mask that increase stress on the immune system.

Stress Can Lower Your Immunity

Cortisol is closely linked with stress

A face-covering or mask that interferes with respiration can add to stress.

Cortisol is a hormone closely linked with stress. It works as a key player in the body’s stress response and is often measured in research as an indicator of stress. 

Cortisol plays a vital role in the body’s functioning; it’s secreted by the kidney’s adrenal glands. But high and sustained blood levels of cortisone in individuals stressed by the fear of Covid-19 can trigger serious and emergent health issues.

Higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream (such as those associated with chronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects, such as:

  • Impaired cognitive performance
  • Suppressed thyroid function
  • Blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia
  • Decreased bone density
  • Decrease in muscle tissue
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Lowered immunity and inflammatory responses in the body, slowed wound healing, and other health consequences
  • Increased abdominal fat, which is associated with a greater amount of health problems than fat deposited in other areas of the body. Some of the health problems associated with increased stomach fat are heart attacks, strokes, developing metabolic syndrome, higher levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and lower levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL), which can lead to other health problems.

Offering a face mask “waiver” to shoppers “diagnosed” with COPD, asthma, or related pulmonary diseases misses the point since any healthy person who wears a face mask can become immune compromised by the additional stress that attempting the breathe through a mask can place on the individual.

A face mask or facial covering can displace oxygen to the lungs and increase the levels of carbon dioxide intake when exhaled air – trapped inside the mask – is re-breathed.

More stress is realized when accumulated moisture causes the mask to “clog” the inspiration of air through the  mask with increased resistance to inhalation and exhalation. Blocking the passage of air through the mask, even partially, places excessive demands on thoracic muscles and the diaphragm. The result is that breathing becomes more difficult and labored – even among a healthy population. Pushing a shopping cart through a grocery store under these conditions can result in labored respiration.

In certain individuals, especially those suffering from PTSD, mask obstruction can cause claustrophobia, panic attacks, or a feeling of suffocation. These individuals are more prone to blood pressure spikes, heart attacks, and stroke. All of these factors combined can compromise those with otherwise-normal immune systems.

Covid-19 is a time when the public is encouraged to maintain high immunity and healthy habits in order to avoid a serious respiratory illness. But elected officials unwilling to defer critical health policy decisions to experts in health care can too easily be seen as arrogant and politically motivated.

Sweden has already proven to the satisfaction of Dr. Michael Ryan at WHO that a lockdown is not necessary to achieve herd immunity while maintaining a low-stress and viable economy.

The concept of flattening the curve was to prevent hospitals from overflowing with patients, but the forecasts for patient load and mortality were wildly high by orders of magnitude.

It’s time to look at Covid-19 more like a seasonal flu outbreak rather than a scary pandemic.

The opinions expressed by letter or opinion writers are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AlachuaChronicle.com.

  • Excellent article. Thanks. —People need to go back to being
    Normal…the “new normal” is abnormal. I ask everyone who
    Is wearing a mask if they are sick… if you are sick, stay home. If your not sick, stop drinking the germaphobe
    Fear kool Aid.

  • You are sick in the head if you believe the media hype. The stats are equivalent to the Flu. End of story

  • I think the this writer shows far too much common sense and proper application of real factual science in this article, I think the writer must be some sort of medical professional who is still sane and has a backbone to speak the truth without fear of being ostrizied. How on earth are we supposed to have a global panicdemic, mandated vaccines, forced quarantines for the healthy, forced wearing of masks, banning of cash etc with dangerously rational arguments like this

  • Spent the holiday weekend in Orange County. No mask mandate. I’d say about 90% of people were wearing masks. But it was such a breath of fresh air (pun very much intended) to walk into the store, no Gestapo outside checking my papers, no one giving me the death glare, no one asking “where’s your mask?!”. I’m not anti-mask mind you. I just know what’s best for my own health. It’s all about choice. Somehow the fascists on the Commission can’t seem to grasp that.

  • The main problem with the quotes in the article, is that it assumes that its readers won’t actually open and read the cited articles. Reading each cited article about mask-wearing shows the quotes are used out of context and misleadingly. Each article re-emphasizes these points: 1) wearing masks ARE helpful, but mostly in regards to you not infecting others, not for personal protection; that medical-grade masks should be left for those most at risk, and that mask-wearing alone is not enough.

    Sometimes substitutions are helpful. I think if you replaced the word “masks” in these conversations with “condoms” it would be easier to see past the unfounded, emotionally-hooking soundbites being thrown at us from both sides of the political isle. I think the tone would be much more respectful, and I think we would be better able to discuss what we believe is an acceptable risk. Yes, some would still chime in about personal liberty and the right to choose comfort over safety, but at least in that conversation the risk of pregnancy and STDs are usually accepted by both parties in advance.

    The second problem is the implication that wearing a mask causes stress. That is only true for some of the population, and the opposite is true for the rest.

    Stress IS bad. Really bad.

    Wearing non-medical-grade masks helps reduce transmission by reducing the amount in *exhalations* not inhalations. Those who wear masks do so for the safety those around them, not themselves. If you will not return the courtesy, then it’s you causing the mask-wearer’s Cortisol to spike. Not the mask. So people choosing to enter shared spaces without a mask does pose a potential threat to everyone around them, but an additional threat to those considerate enough to wear one on the behalf of others.

    Personally, the only time I feel stress about wearing a mask is when I encounter people indoors who aren’t. Since the virus can incubate for 14 days before showing symptoms, the stress from those encounters can last two weeks. So I choose to shop where masks are required. Even if it means driving 30 miles. Cause I agree: stress is bad.

    The article states that the experts got it all wrong in the models.

    You can choose to believe that the models failed because they were wrong, or you can choose to accept that all models become wrong as soon as the factors respond in an unpredictable way. In the case of the current pandemic, the population at large responded with an extremely unpredictable amount of caution. As soon as social behavior was incredibly different than could be expected, the models were worthless.

    The truth about whether the models would have been correct will never be known. Even if we all rushed back to life as it was in 2019, we wouldn’t know because the initial wave of exposure was drastically affected. Instead of everyone getting hit hard at once, we’ve experienced a much more gradual exposure to it. Also, we’ve already learned things about the virus that allows us to care for people & increase chances of survival, and we’re still learning about it.

    It’s easy to disregard all that & compare the numbers to the flu. Just remember that it’s been about like the flu, but with unprecedented containment measures in place. No one can say what the numbers would have been if we had not responded as we did.

    The only honest consideration in the article is whether we should expose ourselves intentionally and spread the virus in the hopes of speeding up what some consider inevitable.

    The premise cited here is that we could keep those most at risk isolated while everyone else in the world gets it, & dies or doesn’t, and then it’ll be extinct. Maybe. Or maybe it’ll mutate & we’d start all over. Maybe the resulting death count and chronic illnesses won’t be any worse than the average flu. Or serious flu. Maybe it won’t be any worse than the plague. Nobody has that answer at this time. We may never have it.

    My question is if that’s such a sound premise, why is it such a marginal viewpoint? Moreover, if it’s such a sound premise, why through it out, then deflect attention from it? Why bury it in a whole article of unfounded opinions and misleading quotes taken out of context?

    I think the answer is that these days it’s not about sharing truth to get support, it’s about hooking into the feelings of a frustrated, manipulated population.

    I choose to wear a mask and social distance. So does my family. My family spans the gamut of liberal & conservative thinkers, feelers not thinkers, Trump supporters and haters, punk rock and corporate mindsets, gun owners and non-owners (mostly owners tho, to be honest)… It’s a big family. We don’t do it because we think it’ll ward off the boogey man or save us from certain doom. We do it because we try to be good people. We’re taking every precaution we can because we can. It’s not that big a deal and it reduces our stress about whether we are unknowingly and recklessly endangering others- strangers and loved ones.

    So the next time you see someone in a mask, please try to remember that they’re choosing discomfort and inconvenience for your safety. Whether you agree with that or not, maybe you can at least appreciate the gesture.

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