Regardless of the comparatively low lethality of Covid19 in the general population (see above), there is still no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of masks in healthy and asymptomatic people in everyday life.
A cross-country study by the University of East Anglia came to the conclusion that a mask requirement was of no benefit and could even increase the risk of infection.
Two US professors and experts in respiratory and infection protection from the University of Illinois explain in an essay that respiratory masks have no effect in everyday life, neither as self-protection nor to protect third parties (so-called source control). The widespread use of masks didn’t prevent the outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan, either.
A study from April 2020 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine came to the conclusion that neither fabric masks nor surgical masks can prevent the spread of the Covid19 virus by coughing.
An article in the New England Journal of Medicine from May 2020 also comes to the conclusion that respiratory masks offer little or no protection in everyday life. The call for a mask requirement is described as an “irrational fear reflex”.
A May 2020 meta-study on pandemic influenza published by the U.S. CDC also found that respirators had no effect.
The WHO moreover declared in June that truly “asymptomatic transmission” is in fact “very rare”, as data from numerous countries showed. Some of the few confirmed cases were due to direct body contact, i.e. shaking hands or kissing.
In Austria, the mask requirement in retail and catering will be lifted again from mid-June. A mask requirement was never introduced in Sweden because it “does not offer additional protection for the population”, as the health authority explained.
Numerous politicians, media people and police officers have already been caught putting on their respirators in a crowd especially for the television cameras or taking them off immediately when they believed that they were no longer being filmed.
In some cases there were brutal police attacks because a person allegedly “did not wear her mask properly”. In other cases, people with a disability who cannot and do not have to wear a mask, are not allowed to enter department stores .
Despite this evidence, a group called “masks4all”, which was founded by a “young leader” of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Davos, is advocating worldwide mask requirements. Several governments and the WHO appear to be responding to this campaign.
Many critics suspect that the masks are more likely to have a psychological or political function (“muzzle” or “visible sign of obedience”) and that wearing them frequently might even lead to additional health problems.
A study from Germany empirically showed that the introduction of face masks had no effect on infection rates (see graph). Only the city of Jena appeared to experience a strong decrease in infections, but Jena simultaneously introduced very strict quarantine regulations.