at 06 Jul 2020 11:08
The government is now recommending that people wear masks when social distancing is difficult - for example on public transport or shops or when in contact with people that are 'cocooning' .
Health risks of wearing a mask:
Wearing a mask can cause reduction in blood oxygenation (hypoxia) or an elevation in blood C02 (hypercapnia) . This is particularly true for frail elderly people or those with lung diseases. It can lead to a person losing consciousness very suddenly - so the person might not be able to protect themselves as they fall which means they risk hitting their head and having serious injury or even death. Obviously where people wear masks while driving it could have very serious consequences for them, their passengers and other road users. In addition, a drop in oxygen levels (hypoxia) is associated with an impairment in immunity which can make you more susceptible to any infection including Covid19 and can make the consequences of that infection more serious.
Repeated episodes of hypoxia has been proposed as a significant factor in atherosclerosis and hence increases heart attacks and strokes. 
Recent guidelines from the WHO have outlined numerous potential harms/disadvantages of wearing masks including increased risk of self-contamination, headache and/or breathing difficulties, development of facial skin lesions, irritant dermatitis or worsening acne. 
Why have these risks not been communicated to the public? The current guidance does not list any of these health issues as reasons to avoid wearing a mask.  Why is this? Do we need to wait until mask wearing causes serious injury or death before these questions are answered?
Ineffectiveness of masks:
Advice from the WHO published in April stated that “there is currently no evidence that wearing a mask (whether medical or other types) by healthy persons in the wider community setting, including universal community masking, can prevent them from infection with respiratory viruses, including COVID-19.” 
A systematic review of the evidence, in which 17 studies were analyzed, concluded that, “None of the studies established a conclusive relationship between mask/respirator use and protection against influenza infection.”  This well referenced article from the School of Public Health states that “ the extremely low efficiency of cloth masks as filters and their poor fit, there is no evidence to support their use by the public or healthcare workers to control the emission of particles from the wearer.”  Another recent paper which reviews the evidence concludes that “Masks and respirators do not work.” 
If all of the available scientific evidence and the WHO agree that wearing a mask will not prevent contracting or the spreading of respiratory viruses - why have the Irish government started advising us to wear one at this stage?
The CDC came out with a report a few weeks ago where they put the fatality rate at 0.4% for Covid-19 . When using a conservative percentage of 35% of asymptomatic people, that would bring the overall figure fatality rate down to only 0.26%. This is a far cry from the original estimate of 3.4% by the WHO  that prompted world wide lockdowns and draconian restrictions.
It is long past time to end lockdown and all lockdown restrictions completely including social distancing and wearing masks. There is evidence to show that wearing masks can be harmful and none to show that they are in any way effective in preventing people from contracting Covid-19. We now know that for the vast majority of people Covid-19 is a mild illness with a very low fatality rate. Add to this, that there are highly effective treatments for the small minority that are vulnerable to it, as we have covered in previous updates  - it really is high time to end lockdown fully and stem the damage it is causing to so many of our citizens.
Will you help us? We need to reach more people that may not be aware of this information and invite them to sign this petition. Please contact people you know today and ask them to sign and share.