Face-masks and COVID-19 – scientific reality!

During the current pandemic crisis, use of face-masks has been promoted as a protective gear to halt or reduce the transfer of the virus (coronavirus such as SARS-CoV2) from individuals to individuals. Public has strong trust in experts and their organizations in particular government ones, hence assumes that the suggestions and claimed made by the experts and authorities must have merit and scientific basis. Unfortunately, this is not the reality. In addition, authorities claim and promote that they rely on science and factual data in providing their recommendations which is also not a correct statement either at least scientifically.

Considering the usefulness of wearing face masks, an extremely simple laboratory experiment can be conducted in support of authorities’ claim. For example, one can build and use a two-chamber container separated by mask holder (as shown in the picture) providing air flow with virus from one side to the other. By sampling both sides of the chamber and measuring the amounts of virus one can easily determine virus holding capability of the mask or any other filtering media. However, no such experiment has either been reported or planned to be conducted.

The reason being, such an experiment requires some quantity of actual virus and a test method to determine quantity of the virus. Note that there would not be any requirement of human subjects, i.e. no human toxicity or safety concerns. This would be a very simple high school or undergraduate level laboratory testing which could be done within days. However, this is where the problem is! Experts do not tell the public that both of these, i.e. actual virus and a valid test to monitor the virus, are NOT available. Obviously this will collapse the whole virus and pandemic issue because public will know or question that if there is no actual virus and/or its valid test available, then what are the basis of claiming existence of the virus and/or its associated disease (COVID19). There will not be any answers!

Similarly this simple laboratory experiment, potentially completed within days without human exposure to the virus, can be devised to establish sanitizers use, hand washing and social distancing. However, none of these experiments can be conducted either because they all require a valid test and/or reference virus sample.

In short scientists and experts should not promote the usefulness of wearing masks and other related trivial precautionary practices without having scientific evidence/support creating unwarranted fearfulness in public along with false sense of safety. On the other hand, certainly, scientists and experts may start losing their own professional credibility.

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