• Jun Park

WHO and Masks - WHO is wrong

Today in CNN a repeated news subject showed up again:

WHO stands by recommendation to not wear masks if you are not sick or not caring for someone who is sick

We have heard it many times before, Masks do not work to stop you from getting infected by the disease. Except, if you are working with or caring for the sick.

Wait, what's the logic?

Basically, healthcare workers are always surrounded by the risk of infection due to the nature of their work, therefore personal protection devices are absolutely necessary. Today's supply of N95 masks and respirators are scarce due to the public's demand.

I can see and support this logic, and I can live with the WHO requesting people not to buy masks due to the scarcity we are creating for our health workers.

But when you tell the public that there is no scientific evidence that face masks, protective elements used by healthcare services, but somehow it is not effective for the public? Sorry, but that's not right .

According to Masks Save Lives, there is enough quantitative data to see a correlation between cultures that have mask wearing culture for diverse reasons show that these countries have managed to slow down the rate of infections. Country with heavy use of face masks due to customary practices, like China, South Korea, and Japan, which have seen very effective reduction However, all this data is anecdotal at best.

So let's look at the science.

Dr. Sui Huang, a molecular and cell biologist did a study which are looking at the physics and mechanics behind the efficiency of masks. The science is sound, and is the same science behind why healthcare workers use this protective devices. The science is no different, but here is where we see where the WHO is wrong, why it protects healthcare workers but not the regular public?

The excuse: the public is untrained. Misuse could cause increased risk of exposure.

If only there was a way to show the world how to use a face mask properly massively. Some sort of platform, where you could provide visually, graphically, with sound, in multiple languages, the proper way to use masks.

One of the recommendations of the usage of masks is to avoid the spread of the virus as a carrier. There is a significant percentage of infected people which are asymptomatic but can spread the virus.

If you do not know who is sick or not, and you can't test everyone at once, what is the confidence rate of a member of the public is a carrier or not.

The answer is, there isn't. Until you test, you don't know. But what you do know, is that you need to flatten the curve.

Instead of trying to recommend something with questionable science at best, the WHO should change it strategy. They should tell people the truth, not to wear N95 masks because of scarcity for our healthcare workers that really need N95 masks, but wear masks that will reduce the droplets from spreading the virus to others.

The science is in, Masks work, we just don't have enough, too many use them wrongly, and we do not need N95 masks, as partial filtering is enough to not be a spreader. As a reminder, the virus is spread through droplets when we speak or cough.

The science is clear regarding N95 masks, partial protection versus no protection. More formal research is needed to find the quantifiable impact of face masks in a country. But, the argument that personal protective gear is not protective, is causing a controversial logic.

WHO, you need to revise your position on this.