“Even having mild, minimal acne can have profound effects on interpersonal relationships, how we socialize, job performance, depression and anxiety.”
Board-certified Dr. Seemal Desai, spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatologists.
‘Maskne’s existence has been reported by most mainstream media out there, so it’s “official”, but no one really talks about it, I’ve met very few people semi-aware of it and its consequences. Unsurprisingly.
Let’s break that silence. We start with none other than CNN, for fact-checkers’ delight, here’s what info they’ve gathered from US physicians on the maskne issue:
“I have patients calling in despair saying ‘What is going on? I’ve never had a breakout before and now my face looks like a teenager’s!'”
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center
Breakouts that occur after wearing a mask have become so common that mask acne’s been dubbed “maskne” on social media.”We think that wearing these masks, combined with stress from the pandemic, is causing an increased moisture-rich environment for bacteria and organisms to proliferate,” Desai said, “causing a breakdown of the skin and flaring of some of these conditions.” Nurses and other health care professionals on the front line of the battle against Covid-19 are hardest hit, Desai said, due to the seal needed from personal protective equipment in order to keep the virus at bay. “I’m seeing lots more skin disease in health care workers because they’re wearing PPE and N95 respirator masks that are causing ulcers, breakdown and bleeding of the skin,” said Desai, who is a spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatologists. Compared to the bruised and bleeding faces of doctors and nurses, a few pimples may seem inconsequential. But it’s an important issue that shouldn’t be trivialized, said Bowe, also a spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatologists. “Acne is significantly associated with self esteem, even if it’s just one or two pimples,” she explained.
“We’re seeing lots of flares of acne, especially a type called perioral dermatitis, which tends to happen typically around the mouth and in the areas around the nose”
Board-certified Dr. Seemal Desai, an assistant professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical
It’s not just the added anxiety of coronavirus that might be making you break out a little more than usual right now, though. If you’ve been diligently wearing your face mask whenever you leave the house (only for essentials, we hope!) and you’ve noticed a few extra pimples in those specific areas (the bridge of your nose, your cheeks, and your chin) you may be experiencing what dermatologists are calling “maskne.”
What exactly is maskne and why does it happen?
As the name suggests, maskne is a type of breakout that results from wearing a face mask. “Maskne is acne formed in areas due to friction, pressure, stretching, rubbing or occlusion,” Nazanin Saedi, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Thomas Jefferson University, explains to Health. “You can see it in the areas covered by the mask and also the areas where the mask and face shields touch the skin.”
Kathleen C. Suozzi, MD, director of Yale Medicine’s Aesthetic Dermatology Program and an assistant professor of dermatology, explains that maskne is technically referred to as acne mechanica.
Prior to the pandemic, this form of facial irritation was primarily experienced by athletes, “commonly due to the sweat, heat, and friction in their helmets and straps,” Dr. Saedi explains. “We are seeing it more now with people wearing masks for an extended period of time.” Dr Suozzi adds that you also get acne mechanica in your armpits from using crutches.
Overall, Dr. Saedi explains that maskne—and often, acne mechanica in general—is triggered by pores being blocked by sweat, oil, and makeup. For masks in particular, “while breathing for hours with the mask on, it creates humidity to [form] a breeding ground for acne,” she explains. The friction of the mask can also block and clog pores, leading to the formation of comedones or blackheads, says Dr. Suozzi.
How can you prevent and treat maskne?
Prevention is always your best bet. If you are wearing a cloth mask, wash it daily, urges Dr. Saedi. If you are wearing a disposable mask, try to replace it as often as possible or allow it to air out in between uses. And for tight-fitting N95 respirators—which should be reserved for essential workers right now—Dr. Suozzi suggests applying silicone gel strips to sit under the pressure points of the mask. “This will help prevent against skin irritation,” she explains.
If you start developing maskne, first and foremost, be gentle—that means going easy on at-home spa days. “People might be overdoing it at home with face masks, scrubs, washes, and toners,” says Dr. Suozzi, who adds overdoing skincare right now can compromise your skin’s protective barrier. Instead, wash your face with a gentle cleanser, says Dr. Saedi. “I would avoid products that are too drying because they will cause the skin barrier to become more compromised.” She suggests a face wash with salicylic acid, to help unclog the pores.
As far as treatment options go for acne breakouts, “over the counter products that help resolve the clogged pores are beneficial,” says Dr. Suozzi.
And while wearing your mask out in public right now is essential–especially in social settings where physical distancing is difficult to maintain—remember you can (and should!) take the mask off and give your face a necessary breather when you’re away from other people, like in your own home (provided you’re not caring for anyone ill) and while driving your car.
Harry Dao, MD, FAAD, a dermatologist for Loma Linda University Health, says acne, isn’t the only skin condition reported by mask wearers. Other common face mask skin problems include:
Allergic contact dermatitis – Some manufactured masks may contain a chemical that causes an allergic reaction. Formaldehyde and bronopol can be found in polypropylene surgical masks.
Rosacea – Classically worsened by heat and stress, mask wearing can increase flares.
Seborrheic dermatitis – It causes scaly plaques, inflamed skin and stubborn dandruff.
Folliculitis – When yeast or bacteria infect hair follicles.
“The mask can also cause skin conditions like miliaria (heat rash) and rosacea to flare up,” she said, adding the mask rubbing on your face made it was the “perfect storm of grossness”.
Emily Doig from Micro Glow, Melbourne-based natural skincare brand
How to prevent these conditions
Dao offers six skin care tips to protect your face from mask irritation.
Wash your face first – Use a gentle cleanser that is free of fragrance and oil and rinse with lukewarm water. “This prevents dirt and oil from being trapped on the skin surface, which cause breakouts,” Dao says. “Your face should always be clean before you put on your mask.”
Apply a moisturizer – Not only will this keep your skin hydrated, it will also act as a barrier between your face and your mask, reducing friction. Apply onto a cleansed face before and after wearing a mask. Dao says to look for moisturizers that contain ceramides, hyaluronic acid, or dimethicone, which will provide extra protection. Take care to avoid fragrances amongst other common contact allergens. This may take trial and error to find the right formulation for your skin type.
Ditch the makeup – Wearing skin makeup under a mask causes clogged pores and breakouts, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Makeup residue will also soil your mask.
Wash your mask – If wearing a cotton mask wash it after each use as its surface contains dirt and oil and can become a breeding ground for bacteria from your nose and mouth.
Choose a fragrance-free laundry soap – Fragrances can irritate your skin — skip the fabric softener, too.
Stay away from harsh products – Medicated skin care products that contain benzoyl peroxide, retinols and salicylic acid will be more irritating to the skin under a mask — be careful about how much and what you use.
How to treat common skin issues
This is what you can do at home to help treat some of the most common mask-related skin issues, Dao says.
Acne or breakouts – Add a glycolic acid wash and a light “non-comedogenic” moisturizer to your pre-mask regimen. Move the application of leave-on skin care products to times not wearing mask at home. If breakouts, redness or swelling still persist, seek medical care with your physician.
Dry skin – Always apply a good moisturizer to the skin before you put on a mask. After you take it off, cleanse the skin and apply a bland emollient. Commonly, natural or botanical substances can contain allergenic products, so beware.
“It’s definitely been something that I’ve had to get used to,” says Jordan Dwyer, Director of Inpatient Transplant Services at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center (PSL).
“You know around my chin, up my cheek bones, even a few like underneath my eyes where the mask touches,” she explained pointing to her face.
The facial plastic surgeon at PSL said any mask can cause irritation from the friction. The material and straps may cause a rash. Best are masks that fit comfortably around the nose and mouth.
natvral r3medies TO DEAL WITH MASKNE
Indian skin expert Nirmala Shetty says for Times of India, that “preferably masks made with cotton material should be used. Wash them daily with soap and a few drops of tea tree oil.” She also shares a few tips to treat skin issues at home… Acne buster
Few coriander and mint leaves Cucumber: ½ Organic coconut oil: 2 tsp Blend together and store in a glass container. Use twice daily
For irritation around the nose and mouth
Carrot juice: 2tsp Cucumber juice: 2tsp Coconut oil: 2tsp Mix and apply three to four times
Queensland-based beauty brand Rawkanvas is among those who have seen demand for skincare items soar, netting £18,000 ($33,000 AUD) overnight yesterday with the launch of its Clarifying Red Wine Mask.
“We launched last night at 6pm and sold a product every 20 seconds totalling £8,000 ($15k AUD) in just 30 minutes,” the brand’s co-founder Simona Valev told news.com.au.
“Since then in the last 12 hours, we have totalled £18,000 ($33k AUS) across NZ and AUS customer base – it was definitely unexpected.”
Simona, who created the vegan-friendly and all-natural skincare brand with Shannon Lacey in 2018, said the clay mask helps to draw out congestion, refine pores and overall gives your complexion a boost.
The mask is made with pinot noir and sauvignon blanc grapes, which “commands next-level skin detoxification and polishing”. It also gives the product a unique mulled wine scent.
While the face mask wasn’t created with coronavirus side effects in mind, Simona said during trials clients had mentioned it helped with their “maskne”.
“Since COVID-19 and the increase of wearing masks we have noticed so many customers reaching out and asking us what they should be using due to their skin concerns,” she said.
She adds that anyone using it may experience redness for a short time after as the process causes blood vessels to dilate and boosts blood circulation.
“This opens pores for a deeper clean and allows other active ingredients to be absorbed faster,” she explained.
“Maskne” was first reported in the US where several states have made it mandatory to cover your mouth and nose in public – similar to the conditions in Melbourne where masks are now compulsory when out in public. – news.com.au.
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! Articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them
… in less than four years? Must be some breakthrough science again, maybe viruses are getting fat like Brits, or maybe they invented invisible masks now, right? No. Politics and media narratives changed. Nature works the same, masks are as lame as they ever were when it comes to virus protection. See for yourself and you will understand why this article is not up anymore.
When did they embraced dogma, yesterday or today? Why?
Below is the full, unedited article, in all its beauty. Probably the most valuable part is the references collection, as well as this little announcement hanged by the Oral Health collective at the end of the piece, just to trash it a bit later for no actual reason:
Oral Health welcomes this original article.
Why Face Masks Don’t Work: A Revealing Review
October 18, 2016 by John Hardie, BDS, MSc, PhD, FRCDC
Yesterday’s Scientific Dogma is Today’s Discarded Fable
Introduction The above quotation is ascribed to Justice Archie Campbell author of Canada’s SARS Commission Final Report. 1It is a stark reminder that scientific knowledge is constantly changing as new discoveries contradict established beliefs. For at least three decades a face mask has been deemed an essential component of the personal protective equipment worn by dental personnel. A current article, “Face Mask Performance: Are You Protected” gives the impression that masks are capable of providing an acceptable level of protection from airborne pathogens. 2Studies of recent diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the Ebola Crisis combined with those of seasonal influenza and drug resistant tuberculosis have promoted a better understanding of how respiratory diseases are transmitted. Concurrently, with this appreciation, there have been a number of clinical investigations into the efficacy of protective devices such as face masks. This article will describe how the findings of such studies lead to a rethinking of the benefits of wearing a mask during the practice of dentistry. It will begin by describing new concepts relating to infection control especially personal protective equipment (PPE).
Trends in Infection Control For the past three decades there has been minimal opposition to what have become seemingly established and accepted infection control recommendations. In 2009, infection control specialist Dr. D. Diekema questioned the validity of these by asking what actual, front-line hospital-based infection control experiences were available to such authoritative organization as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). 3In the same year, while commenting on guidelines for face masks, Dr. M. Rupp of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America noted that some of the practices relating to infection control that have been in place for decades, ”haven’t been subjected to the same strenuous investigation that, for instance, a new medicine might be subjected.” 4He opined that perhaps it is the relative cheapness and apparent safety of face masks that has prevented them from undergoing the extensive studies that should be required for any quality improvement device. 4More recently, Dr. R. MacIntyre, a prolific investigator of face masks, has forcefully stated that the historical reliance on theoretical assumptions for recommending PPEs should be replaced by rigorously acquired clinical data. 5She noted that most studies on face masks have been based on laboratory simulated tests which quite simply have limited clinical applicability as they cannot account for such human factors as compliance, coughing and talking. 5
Covering the nose and mouth for infection control started in the early 1900s when the German physician Carl Flugge discovered that exhaled droplets could transmit tuberculosis. 4The science regarding the aerosol transmission of infectious diseases has, for years, been based on what is now appreciated to be “very outmoded research and an overly simplistic interpretation of the data.” 6Modern studies are employing sensitive instruments and interpretative techniques to better understand the size and distribution of potentially infectious aerosol particles. 6Such knowledge is paramount to appreciating the limitations of face masks. Nevertheless, it is the historical understanding of droplet and airborne transmission that has driven the longstanding and continuing tradition of mask wearing among health professionals. In 2014, the nursing profession was implored to “stop using practice interventions that are based on tradition” but instead adopt protocols that are based on critical evaluations of the available evidence. 7
A December 2015 article in the National Post seems to ascribe to Dr. Gardam, Director of Infection Prevention and Control, Toronto University Health Network the quote, “I need to choose which stupid, arbitrary infection control rules I’m going to push.” 8In a communication with the author, Dr. Gardam explained that this was not a personal belief but that it did reflect the views of some infection control practitioners. In her 2014 article, “Germs and the Pseudoscience of Quality Improvement”, Dr. K Sibert, an anaesthetist with an interest in infection control, is of the opinion that many infection control rules are indeed arbitrary, not justified by the available evidence or subjected to controlled follow-up studies, but are devised, often under pressure, to give the appearance of doing something. 9
The above illustrate the developing concerns that many infection control measures have been adopted with minimal supporting evidence. To address this fault, the authors of a 2007 New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) article eloquently argue that all safety and quality improvement recommendations must be subjected to the same rigorous testing as would any new clinical intervention. 10Dr. R. MacIntyre, a proponent of this trend in infection control, has used her research findings to boldly state that, “it would not seem justifiable to ask healthcare workers to wear surgical masks.” 4To understand this conclusion it is necessary to appreciate the current concepts relating to airborne transmissions.
Airborne Transmissions Early studies of airborne transmissions were hampered by the fact that the investigators were not able to detect small particles (less than 5 microns) near an infectious person. 6Thus, they assumed that it was the exposure of the face, eyes and nose to large particles (greater than 5 microns) or “droplets” that transmitted the respiratory condition to a person in close proximity to the host. 6This became known as “droplet infection”, and 5 microns or greater became established as the size of large particles and the traditional belief that such particles could, in theory, be trapped by a face mask. 5The early researchers concluded that since only large particles were detected near an infectious person any small particles would be transmitted via air currents, dispersed over long distances, remain infective over time and might be inhaled by persons who never had any close contact with the host. 11This became known as “airborne transmission” against which a face mask would be of little use. 5
Through the use of highly sensitive instruments it is now appreciated that the aerosols transmitted from the respiratory tract due to coughing, sneezing, talking, exhalation and certain medical and dental procedures produce respiratory particles that range from the very small (less than 5 microns) to the very large (greater than a 100 microns) and that all of these particles are capable of being inhaled by persons close to the source. 6, 11 This means that respiratory aerosols potentially contain bacteria averaging in size from 1-10 microns and viruses ranging in size from 0.004 to 0.1 microns. 12It is also acknowledged that upon their emission large “droplets” will undergo evaporation producing a concentration of readily inhalable small particles surrounding the aerosol source. 6
The historical terms “droplet infection” and “airborne transmission” defined the routes of infection based on particle size. Current knowledge suggests that these are redundant descriptions since aerosols contain a wide distribution of particle sizes and that they ought to be replaced by the term, “aerosol transmissible.” 4, 5 Aerosol transmission has been defined as “person –to – person transmission of pathogens through air by means of inhalation of infectious particles.” 26In addition, it is appreciated that the physics associated with the production of the aerosols imparts energy to microbial suspensions facilitating their inhalation. 11
Traditionally face masks have been recommended to protect the mouth and nose from the “droplet” route of infection, presumably because they will prevent the inhalation of relatively large particles. 11Their efficacy must be re-examined in light of the fact that aerosols contain particles many times smaller than 5 microns. Prior to this examination, it is pertinent to review the defence mechanism of the respiratory tract.
Respiratory System Defences Comprehensive details on the defence mechanisms of the respiratory tract will not be discussed. Instead readers are reminded that; coughing, sneezing, nasal hairs, respiratory tract cilia, mucous producing lining cells and the phagocytic activity of alveolar macrophages provide protection against inhaled foreign bodies including fungi, bacteria and viruses. 13Indeed, the pathogen laden aerosols produced by everyday talking and eating would have the potential to cause significant disease if it were not for these effective respiratory tract defences.
These defences contradict the recently published belief that dentally produced aerosols, “enter unprotected bronchioles and alveoli.” 2A pertinent demonstration of the respiratory tract’s ability to resist disease is the finding that- compared to controls- dentists had significantly elevated levels of antibodies to influenza A and B and the respiratory syncytial virus. 14Thus, while dentists had greater than normal exposure to these aerosol transmissible pathogens, their potential to cause disease was resisted by respiratory immunologic responses. Interestingly, the wearing of masks and eye glasses did not lessen the production of antibodies, thus reducing their significance as personal protective barriers. 14Another example of the effectiveness of respiratory defences is that although exposed to more aerosol transmissible pathogens than the general population, Tokyo dentists have a significantly lower risk of dying from pneumonia and bronchitis. 15The ability of a face mask to prevent the infectious risk potentially inherent in sprays of blood and saliva reaching the wearers mouth and nose is questionable since, before the advent of mask use, dentists were no more likely to die of infectious diseases than the general population. 16
The respiratory tract has efficient defence mechanisms. Unless face masks have the ability to either enhance or lessen the need for such natural defences, their use as protection against airborne pathogens must be questioned.
Face Masks History: Cloth or cotton gauze masks have been used since the late 19th century to protect sterile fields from spit and mucous generated by the wearer. 5,17,18 A secondary function was to protect the mouth and nose of the wearer from the sprays and splashes of blood and body fluids created during surgery. 17As noted above, in the early 20th century masks were used to trap infectious “droplets” expelled by the wearer thus possibly reducing disease transmission to others. 18Since the mid-20th century until to-day, face masks have been increasingly used for entirely the opposite function: that is to prevent the wearer from inhaling respiratory pathogens. 5,20,21 Indeed, most current dental infection control recommendations insist that a face mask be worn, “as a key component of personal protection against airborne pathogens”. 2
Literature reviews have confirmed that wearing a mask during surgery has no impact whatsoever on wound infection rates during clean surgery. 22,23,24,25,26 A recent 2014 report states categorically that no clinical trials have ever shown that wearing a mask prevents contamination of surgical sites. 26With their original purpose being highly questionable it should be no surprise that the ability of face masks to act as respiratory protective devices is now the subject of intense scrutiny. 27Appreciating the reasons for this, requires an understanding of the structure, fit and filtering capacity of face masks.
Structure and Fit: Disposable face masks usually consist of three to four layers of flat non-woven mats of fine fibres separated by one or two polypropylene barrier layers which act as filters capable of trapping material greater than 1 micron in diameter. 18,24,28 Masks are placed over the nose and mouth and secured by straps usually placed behind the head and neck. 21No matter how well a mask conforms to the shape of a person’s face, it is not designed to create an air tight seal around the face. Masks will always fit fairly loosely with considerable gaps along the cheeks, around the bridge of the nose and along the bottom edge of the mask below the chin. 21These gaps do not provide adequate protection as they permit the passage of air and aerosols when the wearer inhales. 11,17 It is important to appreciate that if masks contained filters capable of trapping viruses, the peripheral gaps around the masks would continue to permit the inhalation of unfiltered air and aerosols. 11
Filtering Capacity: The filters in masks do not act as sieves by trapping particles greater than a specific size while allowing smaller particles to pass through. 18Instead the dynamics of aerosolized particles and their molecular attraction to filter fibres are such that at a certain range of sizes both large and small particles will penetrate through a face mask. 18Accordingly, it should be no surprise that a study of eight brands of face masks found that they did not filter out 20-100% of particles varying in size from 0.1 to 4.0 microns. 21Another investigation showed penetration ranges from 5-100% when masks were challenged with relatively large 1.0 micron particles. 29A further study found that masks were incapable of filtering out 80-85% of particles varying in size from 0.3 to 2.0 microns. 30A 2008 investigation identified the poor filtering performance of dental masks. 27It should be concluded from these and similar studies that the filter material of face masks does not retain or filter out viruses or other submicron particles. 11,31 When this understanding is combined with the poor fit of masks, it is readily appreciated that neither the filter performance nor the facial fit characteristics of face masks qualify them as being devices which protect against respiratory infections. 27Despite this determination the performance of masks against certain criteria has been used to justify their effectiveness.2 Accordingly, it is appropriate to review the limitations of these performance standards.
Performance Standards: Face masks are not subject to any regulations. 11The USA Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies face masks as Class II devices. To obtain the necessary approval to sell masks all that a manufacturer need do is satisfy the FDA that any new device is substantially the same as any mask currently available for sale. 21As ironically noted by the Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare in BC, “There is no specific requirement to prove that the existing masks are effective and there is no standard test or set of data required supporting the assertion of equivalence. Nor does the FDA conduct or sponsor testing of surgical masks.” 21Although the FDA recommends two filter efficiency tests; particulate filtration efficiency (PFE) and bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) it does not stipulate a minimum level of filter performance for these tests. 27The PFE test is a basis for comparing the efficiency of face masks when exposed to aerosol particle sizes between 0.1 and 5.0 microns. The test does not assess the effectiveness of a mask in preventing the ingress of potentially harmful particles nor can it be used to characterize the protective nature of a mask. 32The BFE test is a measure of a mask’s ability to provide protection from large particles expelled by the wearer. It does not provide an assessment of a mask’s ability to protect the wearer. 17Although these tests are conducted under the auspices of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) and often produce filtration efficiencies in the range of 95-98 %, they are not a measure of a masks ability to protect against respiratory pathogens. Failure to appreciate the limitations of these tests combined with a reliance on the high filtration efficiencies reported by the manufacturers has, according to Healthcare in BC, “created an environment in which health care workers think they are more protected than they actually are.” 21For dental personnel the protection sought is mainly from treatment induced aerosols.
Dental Aerosols For approximately 40 years it has been known that dental restorative and especially ultrasonic scaling procedures produce aerosols containing not only blood and saliva but potentially pathogenic organisms. 33The source of these organisms could be the oral cavities of patients and/or dental unit water lines. 34Assessing the source and pathogenicity of these organisms has proven elusive as it is extremely difficult to culture bacteria especially anaerobes and viruses from dental aerosols. 34Although there is no substantiated proof that dental aerosols are an infection control risk, it is a reasonable assumption that if pathogenic microbes are present at the treatment site they will become aerosolized and prone to inhalation by the clinician which a face mask will not prevent. As shown by the study of UK dentists, the inhalation resulted in the formation of appropriate antibodies to respiratory pathogens without overt signs and symptoms of respiratory distress. 14This occurred whether masks were or were not worn. In a 2008 article, Dr. S. Harrel, of the Baylor College of Dentistry, is of the opinion that because there is a lack of epidemiologically detectable disease from the use of ultrasonic scalers, dental aerosols appear to have a low potential for transmitting disease but should not be ignored as a risk for disease transmission. 34The most effective measures for reducing disease transmission from dental aerosols are pre-procedural rinses with mouthwashes such as chlorhexidine, large diameter high volume evacuators, and rubber dam whenever possible. 33Face masks are not useful for this purpose, and Dr. Harrel believes that dental personnel have placed too great a reliance on their efficacy. 34Perhaps this has occurred because dental regulatory agencies have failed to appreciate the increasing evidence on face mask inadequacies.
The Inadequacies Between 2004 and 2016 at least a dozen research or review articles have been published on the inadequacies of face masks. 5,6,11,17,19,20,21,25,26,27,28,31 All agree that the poor facial fit and limited filtration characteristics of face masks make them unable to prevent the wearer inhaling airborne particles. In their well-referenced 2011 article on respiratory protection for healthcare workers, Drs. Harriman and Brosseau conclude that, “facemasks will not protect against the inhalation of aerosols.” 11Following their 2015 literature review, Dr. Zhou and colleagues stated, “There is a lack of substantiated evidence to support claims that facemasks protect either patient or surgeon from infectious contamination.” 25In the same year Dr. R. MacIntyre noted that randomized controlled trials of facemasks failed to prove their efficacy. 5In August 2016 responding to a question on the protection from facemasks the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety replied:
The filter material of surgical masks does not retain or filter out submicron particles;
Surgical masks are not designed to eliminate air leakage around the edges;
Surgical masks do not protect the wearer from inhaling small particles that can remain airborne for long periods of time. 31
In 2015, Dr. Leonie Walker, Principal Researcher of the New Zealand Nurses Organization succinctly described- within a historical context – the inadequacies of facemasks, “Health care workers have long relied heavily on surgical masks to provide protection against influenza and other infections. Yet there are no convincing scientific data that support the effectiveness of masks for respiratory protection. The masks we use are not designed for such purposes, and when tested, they have proved to vary widely in filtration capability, allowing penetration of aerosol particles ranging from four to 90%.” 35
Face masks do not satisfy the criteria for effectiveness as described by Drs. Landefeld and Shojania in their NEJM article, “The Tension between Needing to Improve Care and Knowing How to Do It. 10The authors declare that, “…recommending or mandating the widespread adoption of interventions to improve quality or safety requires rigorous testing to determine whether, how, and where the intervention is effective…” They stress the critical nature of this concept because, “…a number of widely promulgated interventions are likely to be wholly ineffective, even if they do not harm patients.” 10A significant inadequacy of face masks is that they were mandated as an intervention based on an assumption rather than on appropriate testing.
Conclusions The primary reason for mandating the wearing of face masks is to protect dental personnel from airborne pathogens. This review has established that face masks are incapable of providing such a level of protection. Unless the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, national and provincial dental associations and regulatory agencies publically admit this fact, they will be guilty of perpetuating a myth which will be a disservice to the dental profession and its patients. It would be beneficial if, as a consequence of the review, all present infection control recommendations were subjected to the same rigorous testing as any new clinical intervention. Professional associations and governing bodies must ensure the clinical efficacy of quality improvement procedures prior to them being mandated. It is heartening to know that such a trend is gaining a momentum which might reveal the inadequacies of other long held dental infection control assumptions. Surely, the hallmark of a mature profession is one which permits new evidence to trump established beliefs. In 1910, Dr. C. Chapin, a public health pioneer, summarized this idea by stating, “We should not be ashamed to change our methods; rather, we should be ashamed not to do so.” 36Until this occurs, as this review has revealed, dentists have nothing to fear by unmasking. OH
Oral Health welcomes this original article.
References 1. Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. SARS Commission-Spring of Fear: Final Report. Available at: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/pub/ministry_reports/campbell06/campbell06.html 2. Molinari JA, Nelson P. Face Mask Performance: Are You Protected? Oral Health, March 2016. 3. Diekema D. Controversies in Hospital Infection Prevention, October, 2009. 4. Unmasking the Surgical Mask: Does It Really Work? Medpage Today, Infectious Disease, October, 2009. 5. MacIntyre CR, Chughtai AA. Facemasks for the prevention of infection in healthcare and community settings. BMJ 2015; 350:h694. 6. Brosseau LM, Jones R. Commentary: Health workers need optimal respiratory protection for Ebola. Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. September, 2014. 7. Clinical Habits Die Hard: Nursing Traditions Often Trump Evidence-Based Practice. Infection Control Today, April, 2014. 8. Landman K. Doctors, take off those dirty white coats. National Post, December 7, 2015. 9. Sibert K. Germs and the Pseudoscience of Quality Improvement. California Society of Anesthesiologists, December 8, 2014. 10. Auerbach AD, Landfeld CS, Shojania KG. The Tension between Needing to Improve Care and Knowing How to Do It. NEJM 2007; 357 (6):608-613. 11. Harriman KH, Brosseau LM. Controversy: Respiratory Protection for Healthcare Workers. April, 2011. Available at: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/741245_print 12. Bacteria and Viruses Issues. Water Quality Association, 2016. Available at: https://www.wqa.org/Learn-About-Water/Common-Contaminants/Bacteria-Viruses 13. Lechtzin N. Defense Mechanisms of the Respiratory System. Merck Manuals, Kenilworth, USA, 2016 14. Davies KJ, Herbert AM, Westmoreland D. Bagg J. Seroepidemiological study of respiratory virus infections among dental surgeons. Br Dent J. 1994; 176(7):262-265. 15. Shimpo H, Yokoyama E, Tsurumaki K. Causes of death and life expectancies among dentists. Int Dent J 1998; 48(6):563-570. 16. Bureau of Economic Research and Statistics, Mortality of Dentists 1961-1966. JADA 1968; 76(4):831-834. 17. Respirators and Surgical Masks: A Comparison. 3 M Occupational Health and Environment Safety Division. Oct. 2009. 18. Brosseau L. N95 Respirators and Surgical Masks. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Oct. 2009. 19. Johnson DF, Druce JD, Birch C, Grayson ML. A Quantitative Assessment of the Efficacy of Surgical and N95 Masks to Filter Influenza Virus in Patients with Acute Influenza Infection. Clin Infect Dis 2009; 49:275-277. 20. Weber A, Willeke K, Marchloni R et al. Aerosol penetration and leakage characteristics of masks used in the health care industry. Am J Inf Cont 1993; 219(4):167-173. 21. Yassi A, Bryce E. Protecting the Faces of Health Care Workers. Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare in BC, Final Report, April 2004. 22. Bahli ZM. Does Evidence Based Medicine Support The Effectiveness Of Surgical Facemasks In Preventing Postoperative Wound Infections In Elective Surgery. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad 2009; 21(2)166-169. 23. Lipp A, Edwards P. Disposable surgical face masks for preventing surgical wound infection in clean surgery. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2002(1) CD002929. 24. Lipp A, Edwards P. Disposable surgical face masks: a systematic review. Can Oper Room Nurs J 2005; 23(#):20-38. 25. Zhou Cd, Sivathondan P, Handa A. Unmasking the surgeons: the evidence base behind the use of facemasks in surgery. JR Soc Med 2015; 108(6):223-228. 26. Brosseau L, Jones R. Commentary: Protecting health workers from airborne MERS-CoV- learning from SARS. Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy May 2014. 27. Oberg T, Brosseau L. Surgical mask filter and fit performance. Am J Infect Control 2008; 36:276-282. 28. Lipp A. The effectiveness of surgical face masks: what the literature shows. Nursing Times 2003; 99(39):22-30. 29. Chen CC, Lehtimaki M, Willeke K. Aerosol penetration through filtering facepieces and respirator cartridges. Am Indus Hyg Assoc J 1992; 53(9):566-574. 30. Chen CC, Willeke K. Characteristics of Face Seal Leakage in Filtering Facepieces. Am Indus Hyg Assoc J 1992; 53(9):533-539. 31. Do surgical masks protect workers? OSH Answers Fact Sheets. Canadian Centre for Occupational health and Safety. Updated August 2016. 32. Standard Test Method for Determining the Initial Efficiency of Materials Used in Medical Face Masks to Penetration by Particulates Using Latex Spheres. American Society of Testing and Materials, Active Standard ASTM F2299/F2299M. 33. Harrel SK. Airborne Spread of Disease-The Implications for Dentistry. CDA J 2004; 32(11); 901-906. 34. Harrel SK. Are Ultrasonic Aerosols an Infection Control Risk? Dimensions of Dental Hygiene 2008; 6(6):20-26. 35. Robinson L. Unmasking the evidence. New Zealand Nurses Organization. May 2015. Available at: https://nznoblog.org.nz/2015/05/15/unmasking-the-evidence 36. Chapin CV. The Sources and Modes of Transmission. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons; 1910.
Ladies and gents, I’m premiering a new show and SILVIEW.media 2.0 Huge production effort, considering the modest tech I can afford, almost gave up a couple of times, but here we are, worth it if you like it! Self-explanatory material, all I need is to remind you that it’s starving for your love, don’t forget to give it a like and a share if you do enjoy it Ah, well, also worth mentioning it’s made for phones, if you’re using one right now, keep it vertical and play full screen and full volume for full effect. It’s as fun as it’s serious, hope it makes your day a tad better!
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Empathy and social intelligence may have played a more important role in human evolution than any other type of intelligence or instincts. Much of what we’ve achieved in millennia has been eroded over the span of the past 2-3 decades, and especially in Covidiocracy.
Chapter One: “WE ARE HARDWIRED TO BE KIND”
“Human nature is often portrayed as selfish and power hungry, but research by Dacher Keltner finds that we are hard-wired to be kind.” – University of California
Chapter Two: “the neurons that shaped civilisation”
A neuroscientist from UC San Deigo, V.S. Ramachandran, recently spoke with the Greater Good Science Center about the relationship between empathy and mirror neurons. “the neurons that shaped civilisation”:
“For example, pretend somebody pokes my left thumb with a needle. We know that the insular cortex fires cells and we experience a painful sensation. The agony of pain is probably experienced in a region called the anterior cingulate, where there are cells that respond to pain. The next stage in pain processing, we experience the agony, the painfulness, the affective quality of pain.
It turns out these anterior cingulate neurons that respond to my thumb being poked will also fire when I watch you being poked—but only a subset of them. There are non-mirror neuron pain neurons and there are mirror neuron pain neurons.
So these [mirror] neurons are probably involved in empathy for pain. If I really and truly empathize with your pain, I need to experience it myself. That’s what the mirror neurons are doing, allowing me to empathize with your pain—saying, in effect, that person is experiencing the same agony and excruciating pain as you would if somebody were to poke you with a needle directly. That’s the basis of all empathy.”
V.S. Ramachandran, UC San Deigo neuroscientist
In an interview for a Berkeley University magazine, the scientist makes an interesting note that we must remember for further reference:
Mirror neurons enable me to see you as an intentional being, with purpose and intention. In fact, we suggested nearly a decade ago that mirror neuron dysfunction may be involved in autism. People with autism, ironically sometimes they mimic constantly what you’re doing, but it’s also true that they’re bad at imitation and they don’t have empathy, they don’t have a theory of mind, they can’t infer your intentions, they don’t engage in pretend play. In pretend play, what I do is temporarily say, “I’m going to be this superhero,” so you do role play. That requires a theory of mind. So take all the properties of mirror neurons, make a list of them, and list all the things that are going wrong in autism—there’s a very good match. Not every symptom, but many of the symptoms match beautifully. And it’s controversial: There are about seven papers claiming that it’s true, using brain imaging, and maybe one or two claiming that there’s no correlation [between mirror neurons and autism].
“The importance of the face is best understood, it is suggested, from the effects of visible facial difference in people. Their experience reflects the ways in which the face may be necessary for the interpersonal relatedness underlying such ‘sharing’ mind states as empathy. It is proposed that the face evolved as a result of several evolutionary pressures but that it is well placed to assume the role of an embodied representation of the increasingly refined inner states of mind that developed as primates became more social, and required more complex social intelligence. The consequences of various forms of facial disfigurement on interpersonal relatedness and intersubjectivity are then discussed. These narratives reveal the importance of the face in the development of the self-esteem that seems a prerequisite of being able to initiate, and enter, relationships between people. Such experiences are beyond normal experience and, as such, require an extended understanding of the other: to understand facial difference requires empathy. But, in addition, it is also suggested that empathy itself is supported by, and requires, the embodied expression and communication of emotion that the face provides.”
Another study, this time coming from Italian universities, cites:
“Prefrontal virtual perturbation may have induced a less empathic responsiveness toward the emotional faces, with significant effect on the attributional functions. The suggested interpretation of these results is supported by the fact that prefrontal area includes specific processing modules for emotional information processing, and it is able to integrate input from various sources, including motivation and representations from cognitive (such as ToM) and emotional (such as emotional expressions) networks. Thus, the role of dMPFC to empathy-related response was elucidated, with possible circular effect on both monitoring ability (cue detection) and empathy responsiveness (trait empathy).”
Now imagine being unable to recognize your own mother’s face. You may know your mother’ voice, her smell, her size, and shape, but her face means nothing to you. This is face blindness, or prosopagnosia, a disorder that may be congenital or caused by brain injury. While it can occur in many people who are not autistic, it is quite common among people with autism.
Whether you call it prosopagnosia, facial agnosia, or face blindness, the disorder may be mild (inability to remember familiar faces) or severe (inability to recognize a face as being different from an object).
According to the National Institutes for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “Prosopagnosia is not related to memory dysfunction, memory loss, impaired vision, or learning disabilities. Prosopagnosia is thought to be the result of abnormalities, damage, or impairment in the right fusiform gyrus, a fold in the brain that appears to coordinate the neural systems that control facial perception and memory. Congenital prosopagnosia appears to run in families, which makes it likely to be the result of a genetic mutation or deletion.” (Source)
While face blindness is not a “core symptom” of autism, it is not uncommon for autistic people. In some cases, face blindness may be at the root of the apparent lack of empathy or very real difficulties with non-verbal communication. How can you read a face when you can’t distinguish a face from an object, or recognize the person speaking to you?
While face blindness may be an issue for your loved one with autism, it is easy to confuse face blindness with typical autistic symptoms. For example, many children with autism fail to respond to non-verbal cues such as smiles, frowns, or other facial “language” – even though they are able to recognize the face they are looking at. Their lack of response may relate to social communication deficits rather than to prosopagnosia.
Can they recognize the face of a favorite character on television or a photograph of a relative with no auditory clues? If so, they are recognizing a face – and most likely are not suffering from face blindness.
There is no cure for face blindness. Children with face blindness can be taught some compensatory techniques such as listening for emotional meaning or using mnemonic devices to remember names without necessarily recognizing faces. Before beginning such training, however, it’s important to distinguish face-blindness from other autistic symptoms that can have similar appearances, such as difficulties with eye contact.
Other specialists argue that autists can be empathic, and by doing so they further accentuate the strong interdependence between empathy and facial recognition:
“Autism is associated with other emotional difficulties, such as recognizing another person’s emotions. Although this trait is almost universally accepted as being part of autism, there’s little scientific evidence to back up this notion.
In 2013, we tested the ability of people with alexithymia, autism, both conditions or neither to recognize emotions from facial expressions. Again, we found that alexithymia is associated with problems in emotion recognition, but autism is not5. In a 2012 study, researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London found exactly the same results when they tested emotion recognition using voices rather than faces6.
Recognizing an emotion in a face depends in part on information from the eyes and mouth. People with autism often avoid looking into other people’s eyes, which could contribute to their difficulty detecting emotions.
But again, we wanted to know: Which is driving gaze avoidance — autism or alexithymia? We showed movies to the same four groups described above and used eye-tracking technology to determine what each person was looking at in the movie.
We found that people with autism, whether with or without alexithymia, spend less time looking at faces than do people without autism. But when individuals who have autism but not alexithymia look at faces, they scan the eyes and mouth in a pattern similar to those without autism.
By contrast, people with alexithymia, regardless of their autism status, look at faces for a typical amount of time, but show altered patterns of scanning the eyes and mouth. This altered pattern might underlie their difficulties with emotion recognition” – Scientific American
Face recognition differences may reflect processing or structural differences in the brain. For example, people with prosopagnosia may have reduced connectivity between brain regions in the face processing network.
Another idea is that face recognition ability is related to other more general cognitive abilities, like memory or visual processing. Here, though, findings are mixed. Some research supports a link between face recognition and specific abilities like visual processing. But other research has discounted this idea.
Yet another possibility is that individual differences in face recognition reflect a person’s personality or their social and emotional functioning. Interestingly, face recognition ability has been linked to measures of empathy and anxiety.
Empathy reflects a person’s ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. In 2010, researchers asked volunteers to try and remember the identity of a number of faces presented one at a time. They were later presented with the same faces mixed together with new faces and were asked to state whether each face was “old” (learnt) or “new”. The performance was measured by the number of learnt faces correctly identified as being familiar. The researchers found that those who rated themselves as high in empathy performed significantly better at a face recognition memory task than those with low empathy skills.
Research has also found that people who report significantly lower levels of general anxiety have better face recognition skills than those who are have higher anxiety.
Situational anxiety may also play a role. For example, face recognition may be impaired when an eyewitness is asked to try and identify the face of a suspect viewed in a stressful situation. Read more on hoe facial recognition impacts personality from Karen Lander, Senior Lecturer in Experimental Psychology, University of Manchester, who published a very interesting article on the topic in The Conversation.
Everything above proves how much masks are robbing from us individually, but also from the very fabric of societal cohesion. This information is not new and not fringe, actually the attack on about empathy has been going on for ages and noted by many specialists and scholars, such as Psychology Today, eg.
So the science we’ve presented here can’t be unknown to our decision-makers, it can only be wilfully ignored.
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! Articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them
Besides the huge differences in efficacy and necessity, there’s a hundred more reasons why comparing covid masks with automotive seatbelts is fraudulent. But there are indeed some real resemblances, all obscured: they’re both anti-constitutional or illegal in most countries, they are a scam and a revenue generator for the state, car-crashes sometimes went up after seatbelts becoming mandatory and so forth.
One of the best introductions to the topic was published in 2002 by the Foundation for Economic Education, under the title “The Fraud of Seat-Belt Laws “:
Seat-Belt Laws Infringe a Person’s Constitutional Rights
On the promise of reducing highway fatalities and auto insurance rates, seat-belt laws began to pass in state legislatures throughout the United States beginning in 1985.
While such laws had been proposed before 1985, they were rejected by most state legislators since they knew the vast majority of the people opposed them. “The Gallup Opinion Index,” report no. 146, October 1977, stated: “In the latest survey, a huge majority, 78 percent, opposes a law that would fine a person $25 for failure to use a seat belt. This represents an increase of resistance since 1973 to such a law. At that time 71 percent opposed a seat belt use law.” “The Gallup Report” (formerly “The Gallup Opinion Index”), no. 205, October 1982, report showed that a still-high 75 percent queried in June of that year opposed such a law.
Given the massive, obvious opposition to seat-belt laws, why did state legislators suddenly change their minds and begin to pass them in 1985? Simple–money and federal blackmail. According to the Associated Press, Brian O’Neill, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said, “People have been talking about seatbelt laws and there have been attempts to pass them for well over 10 years. It’s been a snowball effect, once the money poured in.”1
That sudden flow of money began in 1984, when then-Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole promised to rescind the rule that required automakers to install passive restraints by 1990 if states representing two-thirds of the U.S. population passed seat-belt laws by April 1, 1989.2 Passive restraints included air bags, which automakers bitterly opposed because, they claimed, the high expense to develop and install them would raise the price of autos way beyond what the average auto buyer would pay. Dole’s promise amounted to an invitation to the automakers to use their financial resources to lobby states for seat-belt laws, something the Department of Transportation (DOT) was forbidden to do by law, in exchange for the government’s not forcing them to install air bags. In effect, the DOT surreptitiously used the financial resources of the private sector to further the political agenda of the federal government through blackmail.
In response to Dole’s promise, the automakers created the lobby Traffic Safety Now (TSN) and began spending millions of dollars to pass seat-belt laws. That caught the attention of state legislators, and suddenly the “will of the people,” void of financial backing, gave way to the “will of the seat-belt law lobbyists,” who had millions of dollars to spend.
Besides the millions of dollars spent by TSN, the federal government added millions more by, for example, giving grants to states for achieving a certain percentage of seat-belt use and to pay the police to enforce the seat-belt law.3 And with increased seat-belt law enforcement, ticket income increased, another source of easy revenue for the state.
While TSN championed passage of seat-belt laws under the banner of reducing highway fatalities and auto insurance rates, no mention was made that the real purpose was to avoid installation of air bags.
As of 1992, TSN had spent $93 million to buy passage of seat-belt laws in almost all states.4 Popular opposition to the laws sometimes made passage difficult. In most states the only way the law could be passed was to make enforcement secondary; that is, the police could not stop a motorist for not using a seat belt unless the officer witnessed another traffic violation. Some laws applied only to front-seat occupants. Exemptions were also added to help reduce opposition. In three states, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and Wyoming, the laws were passed without any penalty.
Once seat-belt laws were passed in any form, supporters returned each legislative session to lobby for amendments, such as including all occupants, increasing fines, eliminating exemptions, and changing to primary enforcement, so that the police could stop a motorist merely under suspicion of not using a seat belt.
Such action by seat-belt law supporters shows the insidious nature of such laws, and supporters continue to lobby for stricter enforcement and heavier penalties. Even the U.S. Supreme Court in 2001 added its own flavor of tyranny by ruling it was legal for a Texas police officer to arrest, handcuff, and jail a woman, and impound her car, for not buckling up herself and her children.5 Our nation, founded on freedom, certainly has come a long way from Patrick Henry’s cry, “Give me liberty or give me death,” to “Click it or ticket.”
After the automakers did the DOT’s bidding, the government went back on its word and mandated installation of air bags anyway. Also, the very law the automakers worked for, supposedly to save people’s lives, turned on them. While using seat belts saves some lives, doing so can injure and kill others. That got the attention of lawyers. Moreover, some seat-belt systems were defective.6 As a result, since 1985 the automakers have faced hundreds of millions of dollars in damages in hundreds of lawsuits.
Loss of Freedom
While the hundreds of millions of dollars spent in support of seat-belt laws has been a horrendous financial burden to society, the greatest cost is really not money. It’s the loss of freedom. Seat-belt laws infringe a person’s rights as guaranteed in the Fourth, Fifth, and the Ninth Amendments, and the civil rights section of the Fourteenth Amendment. Such laws are an unwarranted intrusion by government into the personal lives of citizens; they deny through prior restraint the right to determine one’s own individual personal health-care standard.
While seat-belt use might save some people in certain kinds of traffic accidents, there is ample evidence that in other kinds, people have been more seriously injured and even killed only because they used seat belts. Some people have been saved from death in certain kinds of accidents only because a seat belt was not used. In those cases, the malicious nature of seat-belt laws is further revealed: such persons are subject to fines for not dying in the accident while using a so-called safety device arbitrarily chosen by politicians.
The state has no authority to subject people to death and injury in certain kinds of traffic accidents just because it hopes others will be saved in other kinds of accidents merely by chance. The state has no authority to take chances with a person’s body, the ultimate private property.
As for the promise that seat-belt laws would reduce auto insurance rates, there is no record of any insurance company ever reducing its rates because a seat-belt law was passed. A study released in August 1988 by the Highway Loss Data Institute compared auto-accident injury claims before and after the enactment of seat-belt laws in eight states and could find no clear-cut evidence that belt-use laws reduced the number of injuries. “These results are disappointing,” the report added.7
Seat-belt laws have also failed to reduce highway fatalities in the numbers promised by supporters to get such laws passed.8 According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 51,093 highway fatalities in 1979.9 Five years later, 1984, the year before seat-belt laws began to pass, there were 44,257 fatalities. That is a net decrease of 6,836 deaths in five years, which represents a 13.4 percent decline with no seat-belt laws and only voluntary seat-belt use. In 1999, there were 41,611 fatalities. That is a net decrease of 2,646 deaths, a 6 percent decrease over 15 years of rigid seat-belt law enforcement, with some states claiming 80 percent seat-belt use. If the passage of seat-belt laws did anything, it slowed the downward trend in highway fatalities started years before the passage of such laws.
Right to Refuse
Besides such facts, a person has the right to refuse any health-care recommendation. No nonpsychiatric doctor would dare attempt to force a person to use a medical device or take a drug or have surgery or other medical treatment without full consent. Yet politicians force motorists to use a health-care device, a seat belt, against their will under threat of punishment that could include jail.
The hundreds of millions of dollars spent in support of seat-belt laws have been wasted. Not one penny of that money has ever prevented even a single traffic accident, the real cause of highway fatalities. We don’t need millions of dollars for stricter seat-belt law enforcement. Instead, we need more responsibly educated drivers, safer vehicles, and better roads to prevent traffic accidents.
Individual freedom is the very foundation of our country. The American people should not accept legislators who pass laws that take liberty away while claiming to do good. History has shown this to be the easy road to power for tyrants.
There is certainly nothing wrong with voluntary seat-belt use; however, there is a great deal wrong with all seat-belt laws. As Benjamin Franklin said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – William Holdorf is a writer in Chicago.
The Seatbelt Mentality
This above is the title of an article published in Rense by a race car driver and a former driver/pilot instructor – J. B. Campbell. Read it entirely because it’s written with talent:
“Apparently, most Americans have it. Most Americans ought to wear their seatbelts because A), they’re willing to be told what to do by their employees and B), they don’t know how to drive. Of course, if I’m a passenger and the driver makes me nervous, I’ll buckle up to protect myself. But that’s not what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is you need to learn how to drive safely and defensively, and cops using “safety” as an excuse to arrest you. We had a tragedy here recently. A seventeen-year-old acquaintance of my son was a passenger in a car driven by another kid the same age. The driver lost control in a corner and the passenger was ejected and killed. “Oh, he should have been wearing his seatbelt!” Yes, because he was being driven by someone who had no training, who had no idea how to go around a corner a little too fast. Which thing was responsible for his death, no seatbelt or no driver training? The reason the kid wasn’t properly trained was because Big Brother doesn’t want us properly trained. The Establishment (insurance companies, banks, government) has no interest in real safety only in using the word Safety as a weapon to keep us under control. I just got my second seatbelt ticket in a couple of weeks. I’ll fight it in court and will probably win using court rules and technicalities, or maybe because the cop won’t show for a seatbelt ticket. But then, this cop was pretty lame, so he might show up. I win virtually all my court fights here in California, using their own rules of conduct, which they hate to have to obey. If we all did that, the whole traffic ticket revenue scam would dry up because it wouldn’t be profitable. The traffic ticket scam, when there’s no property damage or injury and no victim, is a form of extortion, and the California Highway Patrol is in the business of extortion. These guys are a combination of terrorists and tax collectors, cruising around in hot rods with paint schemes psychologically designed to cause fear, scheming on ways to cheat you out of your cash. Seatbelts are designed for people who can’t drive. I don’t mean you don’t know how to parallel park. I mean, almost no people know how to avoid an accident no matter what gets thrown at you. Buckling up is an indicator of inability to be in total control of your vehicle. When you click that belt, your brain is un-clicking. Clicking that belt puts you in a slightly helpless state of mind, which is actually preparing you for a crash. Clicking that belt is a signal to yourself that some things are just beyond your control and well, if the worst should happen, at least you won’t be going over the dashboard and through the windshield. As far as I’m concerned, clicking your seatbelt is a sign of lack of responsibility. Here’s why: I used to teach people how to drive. I mean, really drive. I had a thing called “The School of Slide Control.” It was part of the University of Nevada’s extension program, and they gave me some acreage outside of Reno. I had a big asphalt skidpan with pop-up lawn sprinklers and a very slippery seal coat on top. I taught would-be racing drivers, cops, normal people, old ladies, kids and even some curious California Highway Patrol instructors how to slide cars and not slide cars. I used VWs, Corvairs and BMWs. To me, there’s no excuse for an accident. I accept full responsibility, no matter what. I don’t care how bad or ornery the other driver is, he’s not going to hit me, unless I’m parked and can’t get out of his way. But that’s not exactly seatbelt country, sitting there parked. If my car’s moving, and he hits me, I’ll count it as my fault. So far, since 1958, it hasn’t happened. A lot of guys can slide cars at low speeds. They usually don’t know what they’re doing and probably can’t do the same maneuver twice, exactly the same way. I can drive sideways at 120, 130, 140 mph. The faster, the better. There are no mysteries for me in the sliding of cars, or the control of slides. One-eighties, three-sixties, parking it backwards I can teach you anything. I learned the hard way, driving single-seater formula racing cars in Australia and England back in the mid 1960s, starting at age 18. Lotus, Cooper, Brabham, etc. In 1970, Road & Track magazine, Popular Mechanics and others pronounced my school and my teaching method the best they’d seen. Mercedes-Benz introduced their new 1970 V-8 engines to the USA at my driving school, represented by the legendary chief racing engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut. This was an extraordinary honor for me. Eng. Uhlenhaut brought eight new sedans with the big engines. All the automotive magazine guys were there and we raced the cars around my skidpan. Then, Herr Uhlenhaut, age 64, got in one and proceeded to blow our doors off. Even my doors, on my own skidpan. (I have since learned that, in test sessions for the 1954 MB Grand Prix racer, he posted times that were faster than those of the even more legendary works driver, Juan Manuel Fangio, the ultimate Formula 1 master of the 1950s.) Then we went out onto the Nevada highways for a high-speed run, since there was no speed limit in those days. Uhlenhaut’s blowing my doors off aside, I’m still a pretty fair speaker on the subject. People today are shocked to learn that road racers, the Grand Prix drivers, from the early days right up to the 1970s, did not wear seatbelts. I never did in Australia or England. The American drivers always did, at least since the 1940s. And those seatbelts got a lot of American drivers killed. The deadliest aspect of racing, everywhere, was fire and when those screaming gas cans crashed or rolled, they invariably caught fire. The stunned driver was trapped and either couldn’t extricate himself from his seatbelt or rescuers couldn’t unhook him and drag him out of the flames and he fried. The road racers preferred an easy exit to being strapped in and barbecued, with the exception of Phil Hill, who tied himself in so he wouldn’t have to hang onto the wheel. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about being told what to do by a bunch of stinking cops and bureaucrats who think they own the place, and this “it’s for your own good” excuse for stopping you and checking you for warrants and contraband. But if seatbelts are so wonderful, and if our children’s lives are so precious (which they are), then why aren’t children required to wear seatbelts on school buses? Do school buses never crash? “If it can save ONE child’s life?” Why aren’t you forced to click it on Greyhounds, which are definitely known to crash? Because safety isn’t the point of the seatbelt law. The point of the seatbelt law is mind control and separating us from our money. In other words, it’s about power. Now, I will concede that wearing seatbelts in racing cars today, now that crash fires are not so common, is a good idea, because you’re really being slammed around by some very high G-forces when cornering and breaking. But motor racing has almost nothing in common with normal driving, believe me. The average driver cannot imagine the brutal acceleration, cornering and impossible breaking that’s done when racing. The tires are at the very limits of contact with the road, and often just beyond, and it is quite common to see racing drivers, even the best, lose control and spin out. But racing is a blood sport in which drivers frequently lose their lives it is that extreme. The speeds at Indianapolis, etc., are insane, for example. My pilot friends insist that seatbelts are good because, by God, if they’re good enough for airplanes then they’re good for cars. People in airplanes are subject to some very unpredictable forces but even in airplanes you’re usually free to move around the cabin until the pilot asks you to buckle up. Then he tells you you’re free to move around once more. And I’ve found that pilots live in their own special world and generally, however brilliant they are in the sky, aren’t as good at controlling cars. They spend their time breaking the Law of Gravity and they’re good at it, but when it comes to breaking Newton’s Laws of Motion, most of them don’t get it. Again, if you don’t know how to drive and you like being told what to do by people you pay, then by all means, buckle up. Seatbelts represent to me the Police State. Then there’s the helmet law, here in the Golden Police State. Did you know that in California, it’s against the law to wear a helmet while driving your car? Why do you suppose that is? Because helmets limit your vision and hearing! Don’t you think helmets have the same effect on motorcycle riders? All it’s about is telling us what to do, getting us in the habit of obeying. A heavy, high-priced full-face helmet may prevent a cracked skull but it can also snap your neck, which is not designed to support all that weight. Which do you think is more survivable? I survived a compound skull fracture (horses), but the great Jimmy Clark couldn’t survive his broken neck at Hockenheim. How about those ultimate safety devices the airbags? How many children have been killed by these explosive safety devices? Have you seen the warnings of death and destruction on all new cars from airbags? Children under 12 can’t ride up front because they might be killed by airbags. Same with small adults. What happened to the “If it saves ONE child’s life”? It’s not about safety, it’s about power over our minds, and it’s about taking away our responsibility for our own safety, same as the TSA (Thugs Standing Around) in the airports. Have these abusive, armed morons prevented one hijacking or “terrorist event?” They can’t even identify bombs and guns when their instructors stick them in luggage as tests. Now, I’m all for automotive safety. I devoted my life to it for years. I’m also big on gun safety and have been since around 1954. But safety with machinery cannot be mandated by law, with gimmicks. Safety comes from good training and the right state of mind. The way to keep from crashing a car and needing a seatbelt is by learning car control and accepting total responsibility for preventing accidents. If that’s too much trouble, then buckle up and get ready to crash. The equivalent in the gun world is another gimmick called a “trigger lock.” Anyone who would put a trigger lock on a gun shouldn’t even have a gun. What, are we afraid the thing is going to go off by itself if that trigger is left exposed? Oh I forgot: the children. Trigger locks might save ONE child’s life. But my old man handed me a snub-nose .38 when I was nine years old, only after I’d shown him since age seven that he couldn’t get in front of any gun in my hands. He had a couple of dozen guns around the house, on the walls, in cabinets, on his nightstand. None of them ever went off by itself. Some of them did go off down in the basement, where he had a shooting range. We shot guns down there quite a bit, and we had to make them go off. No, you say, I’m not afraid it’s going to go off by itself I’m forced to do it by law where I live. Really? So what? Imagine needing your gun at three in the morning or any time at all and right now you, with shaking hands, have to locate the key to unlock the stupid thing, in the dark, so you can wrap your finger around the trigger and save your life. What’s more important obeying the law or defending yourself? You decide. It’s all part of the same program to turn us into Canadians. I guess they figure if we obey them on the seatbelt scam we probably won’t be carrying guns in our cars, to defend ourselves from hijackers, muggers, cops and other low-lifes. And many of us do keep our guns at home but, because it’s The Law, don’t carry them with us where we also need them in our cars and on our persons. But as a friend once said, if your life’s worth protecting part of the time, it’s worth protecting all the time. Regarding kids, just follow Stephen Stills’ advice: teach your children. So, we all need to learn how to drive defensively, being ready for any eventuality, and get out of this mind-control and behavior modification syndrome of automatically reaching back and pulling your safety-blanket over your shoulder. I want to make the case for achieving total control of your vehicle and accepting full responsibility in your mind for preventing accidents. No excuses, such as, Oh, this drunk pulled right out in front of me! Tough. Deal with it and don’t hit him, no matter what. But I just couldn’t stop in time! Really? Then steer around him, or fling the car sideways and catch the slide but don’t hit him! To be able to do this requires a clear mind, constant checking around you and always looking for an escape from the worst thing that could happen where you are right now. Don’t just cruise along, daydreaming. Think about the worst case scenario all the time. What if that big rig coming at you on the two-lane at 75 mph has a blowout and veers right into you? Are you thinking of a place to go to keep him from hitting you? You should be. How fast could you change direction from straight ahead to going suddenly right (or left) to avoid a wreck and stay in control? How long does it take you to get your foot on the brake? What if you’re going through a fast turn on a cold day and right in the middle of the turn is a patch of ice? Could you deal with it and not spin off the road, maybe sideways into a tree or over an embankment? Probably not, but I used to teach people exactly how to deal with it, in eight hours of training. The insurance companies, the government and the cops want you to deal with it by buckling up. All that does is maybe help you survive the crash. But your real job is to prevent the crash, and nobody in the above groups has any plan for doing that. This is America and Americans aren’t supposed to be able to drive, or think or defend themselves. They’re supposed to shut up and do as they’re told, by armed parasites that live on our tax money.”
“What kills you matters — not numbers.”
A piece from Time Magazine 2006 titled “The Hidden Danger of Seat Belts” also shows how narrow-minded is the seatbelt mentality and how many factors came into play but are not accounted for by proponents of state regulations for everything, from thinking to breathing.
“If there’s one thing we know about our risky world, it’s that seat belts save lives, right? And they do, of course. But reality, as usual, is messier and more complicated than that. John Adams, risk expert and emeritus professor of geography at University College London, was an early skeptic of the seat belt safety mantra. Adams first began to look at the numbers more than 25 years ago. What he found was that contrary to conventional wisdom, mandating the use of seat belts in 18 countries resulted in either no change or actually a net increase in road accident deaths.
How can that be? Adams’ interpretation of the data rests on the notion of risk compensation, the idea that individuals tend to adjust their behavior in response to what they perceive as changes in the level of risk. Imagine, explains Adams, a driver negotiating a curve in the road. Let’s make him a young male. He is going to be influenced by his perceptions of both the risks and rewards of driving a car. The considerations could include getting to work or meeting a friend for dinner on time, impressing a companion with his driving skills, bolstering his image of himself as an accomplished driver. They could also include his concern for his own safety and desire to live to a ripe old age, his feelings of responsibility for a toddler with him in a car seat, the cost of banging up his shiny new car or losing his license. Nor will these possible concerns exist in a vacuum. He will be taking into account the weather and the condition of the road, the amount of traffic and the capabilities of the car he is driving. But crucially, says Adams, this driver will also be adjusting his behavior in response to what he perceives are changes in risks. If he is wearing a seat belt and his car has front and side air bags and anti-skid brakes to boot, he may in turn drive a bit more daringly.
The point, stresses Adams, is that drivers who feel safe may actually increase the risk that they pose to other drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians and their own passengers (while an average of 80% of drivers buckle up, only 68% of their rear-seat passengers do). And risk compensation is hardly confined to the act of driving a car. Think of a trapeze artist, suggests Adams, or a rock climber, motorcyclist or college kid on a hot date. Add some safety equipment to the equation — a net, rope, helmet or a condom respectively — and the person may try maneuvers that he or she would otherwise consider foolish. In the case of seat belts, instead of a simple, straightforward reduction in deaths, the end result is actually a more complicated redistribution of risk and fatalities. For the sake of argument, offers Adams, imagine how it might affect the behavior of drivers if a sharp stake were mounted in the middle of the steering wheel? Or if the bumper were packed with explosives. Perverse, yes, but it certainly provides a vivid example of how a perception of risk could modify behavior.
In everyday life, risk is a moving target, not a set number as statistics might suggest. In addition to external factors, each individual has his or her own internal comfort level with risk-taking. Some are daring while others are cautious by nature. And still others are fatalists who may believe that a higher power devises mortality schedules that fix a predetermined time when our number is up. Consequently, any single measurement assigned to the risk of driving a car is bound to be only the roughest sort of benchmark. Adams cites as an example the statistical fact that a young man is 100 times more likely to be involved in a severe crash than is a middle-aged woman. Similarly, someone driving at 3:00 a.m. Sunday is more than 100 times more likely to die than someone driving at 10:00 a.m. Sunday. Someone with a personality disorder is 10 times more likely to die. And let’s say he’s also drunk. Tally up all these factors and consider them independently, says Adams, and you could arrive at a statistical prediction that a disturbed, drunken young man driving in the middle of the night is 2.7 million times more likely to be involved in a serious accident than would a sober, middle-aged woman driving to church seven hours later.
The bottom line is that risk doesn’t exist in a vacuum and that there are a host of factors that come into play, including the rewards of risk, whether they are financial, physical or emotional. It is this very human context in which risk exists that is key, says Adams, who titled one of his recent blogs: “What kills you matters — not numbers.” Our reactions to risk very much depend on the degree to which it is voluntary (scuba diving), unavoidable (public transit) or imposed (air quality), the degree to which we feel we are in control (driving) or at the mercy of others (plane travel), and the degree to which the source of possible danger is benign (doctor’s orders), indifferent (nature) or malign (murder and terrorism). We make dozens of risk calculations daily, but you can book odds that most of them are so automatic—or visceral—that we barely notice them.” – By DAVID BJERKLIE Thursday, Nov. 30, 2006
Risk assessment anyone?
Finally, rounding the “what kills you matters” concept, let’s analyse the logic of missing seatbelts in school buses. As the regulated-wanna-be’s show in the video below, the main reason for that lack is the low fatality in buses. Which is a bit higher than Covid’s fatality, much higher than fatality in children, which is officially the closest thing to 0 . So higher risk justifies lack of protection in school buses, while almost no risks justifies mandating masks everywhere, even in your own home. Right.
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! Articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them