California is Still Masking Children Despite Proven Physical and Psychological Danger
By Beth Giuffre
California remains one of the only states requiring a school mask mandate despite evidence that the long-term use of facemasks is harmful to children.
Supporters of masks claim they save lives and stop the COVID-19 virus. Yet thousands of scientists, medical professionals, and epidemiologists have been accumulating data that masks can be harmful both short-term and long-term.
Many parents are speaking up and writing letters, claiming that their children are suffering from not being able to breathe freely under face masks, headaches, bad acne, cognitive fog, and depression. California parents who reach a school board member have been told, “My hands are tied. We have to follow the CDPH guidelines.”
Parents in California are becoming aware of the studies proving masks are harmful, and therefore feel the government should not mandate that their children wear them, especially since the risk of children suffering from severe COVID-19 are extremely low. As parents continue to follow the rules and mask their children, many wonder if the masking will ever end. It’s fair to ask if a mask that covers the mouth and nose is free from undesirable side effects in everyday use.
According to dozens of studies, including meta-analyses compiled by Children’s Health Defense, masks do have harmful side effects. Los Angeles based PERK group has compiled a comprehensive page of information on the adverse effects of mask wearing in children. Let’s take a closer look at some of the worst side effects of mask-wearing in children.
California parents are using the word ‘despair’ when describing the mental state of their children. According to Psychiatrist Dr. Stefani Reinold, on the Highwire with Del Bigtree, parents have been complaining their younger children feel like they are full of germs and everyone else is full of germs. Extended mask wearing has shown detrimental psychological harms tied to lack of facial and emotional signaling according to a 1986 study on face recognition in children. Another report found wearing a mask longer than four hours a day decreases cognitive precision, increases headaches and sweating, and encourages dehydration, increasing bacterial infection risk. The same study noted a loss of sound quality from face-shield use and distorted verbal speech from masks.
Medical masks raise carbon dioxide levels in the blood. California adults are having trouble working with masks all day, and parents are able to empathize with their children. According to a highly-referenced paper by Dr. Jim Meehan, an ophthalmologist and preventive medicine specialist, the main symptoms of carbon dioxide toxicity include headaches and confusion, sweating, increased heart rate and blood pressure, tremors, shortness of breath, reduced hearing, and dimmed sight. Studies found face masks cause carbon dioxide rebreathing and hypercapnia (excessive carbon dioxide in the bloodstream) trapping CO2 rich respiratory exhalations at the mask-mouth interface, forcing rebreathing of CO2 rich exhalations, and raising CO2 levels. This is most pronounced in young children.
Medical masks lower children’s oxygen levels in the blood. Most parents know oxygen is important for their children’s bodies to function properly. When oxygen enters the body and passes through the lungs to the bloodstream, it helps replace cells that wear out and provides energy for our bodies. Among countless other benefits, it supports our children’s immune systems. California parents are feeding their children good food and trying to keep them active, yet the mask wearing seems counterintuitive, because without enough oxygen, their kids are vulnerable to illness. PERK cited seven studies on masks inhibiting air flow, decreasing arterial oxygen, changing blood flow, increasing hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) risk, and creating microbial challenges.
Lowering arterial oxygen suppresses the immune system. Among key factors weakening the immune system, scientists are finding the lower oxygen saturation and reduction in blood oxygenation as the the largest insult to the immune system. Scientists found the hypoxia increases the level of a compound called ‘hypoxia inducible factor-1,’ which inhibits T-lymphocytes and stimulates a powerful immune inhibitor cell called TREG.
Physical activity makes it worse. In California, parents are learning that coaches and teachers have failed to warn children that they should remove their face mask while participating in sports and P.E. One Oregon high school track runner passed out during an 800-meter race. She was required to wear a mask for this race and had never had any issues during previous, unmasked races. Then are the two cases of masked Chinese boys, aged 15 and 14, who died tragically from cardiac arrest during P.E. class and a running exam. We’ve heard reports of young people whose lungs have collapsed, and other avoidable mishaps. One NIH study called exercise with a facemask, “Handling a devil’s sword,” noting the masks “reduce available oxygen and increase air trapping, preventing substantial carbon dioxide exchange, therefore increasing the acidic environment, cardiac overload, anaerobic metabolism and renal overload.” The study found masking during exercise “can aggravate the underlying pathology of established chronic diseases.”
Chemicals found in face masks are toxic to children. California parents are catching on that most masks and face coverings, including cloth printed with cute kittens or SpongeBob SquarePants, are made with toxic and carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals and harmful microplastics. Studies have found fire retardant, fiberglass, lead, phthalates, polyfluorinated chemicals, and formaldehyde are being inhaled into our children’s lungs. Professor Michael Baungart, director of the Hamburg Environmental Institute warns of the toxins in surgical masks in one paper, but added cloth masks have their own problems, “Textile masks do not begin to pass this most basic hazard test for kids,” he said, “for whom the risks of COVID have been categorically demonstrated to be miniscule.” Meanwhile Health Canada’s risk assessment for masks found evidence of potential long-term lung damage from inhalation of microscopic graphene particles in schools and daycares.
Increased Disease Risk
Masks collect and colonize viruses, bacteria, microbes and mold. We’re not talking about coronavirus, here. We’re talking about all those other germs that would normally be allowed to float away, dry out, and die. One group of Florida parents sent their children’s used masks to a university laboratory to be tested and found the masks had trapped 11 different dangerous pathogens. Shepherd Public School in Michigan closed due to a strep throat outbreak that happened despite COVID masking, noting that “not washing masks enough could be helping to spread the bacteria and that putting masks on different surfaces could spread it, too.” Some scientists are pointing to moisture retention as the culprit, and caution the use of cloth masks due to poor filtration and risk of infection. Scientists have found influenza virus on the outer surface of used medical masks, which can result in self-contamination, and surgical masks have been studied to be a repository of bacterial contamination.
Masks increase viral load and increase severity of disease. California parents see their children’s horrible acne from wearing masks, and they may have a hunch that their children are more vulnerable to viral illness by trapping viral particles that should be removed by the airways, but where’s the proof? Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock said early on in the pandemic that masks cannot prevent illness because they trap exhaled viral particles in the mouth/mask interspace. In other words, when the mask becomes contaminated with viruses, the trapping, re-breathing, and increasing pathogen load delivered to the lungs becomes dangerous. Further, masks increase the incidences of dental cavities, inflamed gums, and bad breath, otherwise known as ‘Mask Mouth.’
Why are we still masking our children, teachers, and caregivers?
Despite evidence that schools and childcare settings are not spreaders of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, teachers unions throughout California have pressured school boards and legislators alike to require masking, social distancing, and invasive medical checks. The argument they make is that children can be asymptomatic spreaders of COVID, endangering teachers, caregivers, and elderly family members. Since California’s system of health orders is state-controlled, individual counties and school districts are not allowed to have less restrictive measures in place. They can, of course, put in more restrictive measures as LAUSD has.
This is only the beginning.
The masking requirements are coming back in other areas as well. The California Legislature is requiring all who enter the Capitol to wear masks indefinitely, “even as Dr. Fauci himself testifies in Congress without one,” according to State Assemblymember Kevin Kiley. In Los Angeles, the Public Health Department has re-instated an indoor mask mandate in fear of new SARS-CoV-2 variants. The CDC is reportedly considering making their mask guidance broader.
What can you do?
- Write to your legislators to advocate for no more masks in school.
- Go straight to those in charge of your child’s education and make an appointment with the principal about your concerns over masking. Bring copies of relevant studies that support the health risks of masks.
- Contact your local school board. Write a letter to each board member. Go to the next school board meeting. During the school board meeting, members are required by law to have a certain amount of time (usually three minutes per person) for the public to speak on any topic, even if it is not on the agenda.
Update July 9, 2021
As this article was being published, the CDC issued new guidelines for K-12 masking. These guidelines include allowing vaccinated children to attend school maskless in some situations, which could lead to some very serious social problems that will be addressed in another article.
Later the same day, Governor Gavin Newsom spoke at a school in Napa County. He suggested that he expects California to issue updated guidance on Monday, July 12, 2021. California Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr Mark Ghaly, also spoke and indicated that California will continue to require masks for all children indoors as described above.