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Arrow Question / Issue:

"Why might a Catholic oppose wearing a face mask during a pandemic?"

 

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IMPORTANT NOTE: We are not intending to give – or qualified to give – medical advice. Utilize all information herein at your own risk. For medical assistance, consult a good doctor(s).

There are a variety of reasons Catholics may oppose wearing face masks during a pandemic. For example...

* Masks may depersonalize people and cover up faces of those made in God's image

* Forced mask wearing violates one's God-given right to autonomy over one's own body AND one's God-given right to breathe freely

* Masks may cause wearers to breathe in their own toxins that are trapped in masks

* Healthy people should have the right to 'breathe freely as God intended', relying on their God-given immune system and other preventive measures rather than being forced to wear masks against their will

* Masks may deprive people of oxygen to unhealthy levels and make breathing more difficult (although we cannot vouch for any particular study, we have seen various videos online purporting to prove a sudden drop in oxygen after a mask is placed over the nose & mouth, some even utilizing monitoring equipment to make their point)

* Masks on the general public collect bacteria and can be extremely unhygienic

* Studies have claimed that masks may pose serious health risks to wearers – for example...

Although we cannot personally vouch for the study (we do NOT have medical training), it is interesting to note that a late 2020 study reportedly by a doctor associated with Stanford University claims that the following may be potential consequences of mask wearing: hypoxemia, hypercapnia, acidosis, toxicity, immunosupression, cancer, diabetes, exacerbation of existing conditions, etc. (see table below) [Note: If images herein appear too small, try zooming up the display in your browser.]

Table

Again, we cannot personally vouch for the study, but the same study (which credits nearly 70 references and which at one time had been published under the nih.gov website) concluded that data suggest that masks are "ineffective" and can have "substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects" (emphasis added)...

Study Conclusion

Even if studies against masks such as this one were ever shown to be false, shouldn't this at least be proven beyond doubt (by groups of medical experts entirely free from any agenda or personal interest) before certain individuals take it on themselves to force other people to cover their breathing apparatus?

* Mask wearing can be very uncomfortable, and may potentially result in various unpleasant side effects (e.g. note that the above study lists headaches, fatigue, insomnia, compromised cognitive performance, etc. as potential effects of mask wearing)

* Masks may cause wearers to touch their face frequently (didn't your mother teach you this is a 'no no'?)

* Masks may result in adverse psychological effects to wearers and others

* There may be 'little to no' benefits of wearing a mask (for example, besides the openings all around masks that are not sealed to the face, the particle size of viruses may be much smaller than openings in a mask - like trying to block a fly with a chain link fence). Even face mask packaging admits masks are not effective!

* Masks may give wearers a false sense of security and therefore lead wearers to take more risks

* Many non-medical(!) establishments apparently feel they have the right to force employees & patrons to cover up their breathing apparatus without considering potential harm to such persons or honoring their medical exceptions. Since when do people have a right to restrict others' air supply? Since when do we have an obligation to cede control of face & our essential bodily functions (i.e. breathing!) to anyone, especially someone we are not related to and who may not actually care for us? To 'oxygen thieves' who may lack sound medical knowledge and who may not even be held responsible for any harm they cause us? To someone that (falsely!) thinks they have authority over or bodies and fails to acknowledge our God-given right to breathe without hindrance? To misguided persons who can't even seem to understand that it is IMPOSSIBLE for healthy people to infect others? To authoritarian people who fail to respect others' right to take risks they deem appropriate?

* Masks may be tied to submission/control by government, employers, fellow shoppers, etc. (If persons are empowered to force other people to cover their God-given & life-sustaining breathing apparatus when they are not even sick, what can they not force?)

* Mask wearing may present a great threat to freedom (e.g. due to force / pressure / refusal of service). Since when do elected officials (and others) have the right to dictate how healthy people breathe? Since when are politicians allowed to tell others what they must wear over their faces? What gives them the right to turn into dictatorial 'facial fascists'? What gives them the legal right to restrict our oxygen? Especially without proving any substantial benefit or considering any consequences? Remember that our inherent freedoms (like breathing freely without hindrance) come from God, not from politicians or others. Others have no right to take such freedoms from us.

* Mask 'mandates' may be forced on the population by a single group / organization / person (with or without a medical background) in supposed emergencies as if they were 'laws', thereby potentially leading to an 'authoritarian state' (as an emergency can 'always' be asserted)

* Mask wearing may disproportionately harm certain groups (e.g. disabled persons who have greater difficulty breathing with a mask on, ill persons whose conditions might be exacerbated by wearing a mask, weaker persons who may be abused by others concerning mask wearing, etc.)

* Mask 'mandates' may harm small businesses as customers who have difficulty covering their breathing apparatus while shopping may choose to instead shop online

* Mask 'mandates' may allow others to 'legally', but wrongfully, discriminate against you if you can't/won't wear a mask

* Actual 'real world' results have suggested that mask wearing is not effective (e.g. cases climbing after mask mandates imposed, cases declining after mandates lifted)

* Masks may symbolize fear, submission, depersonalization, etc.

* People with agendas may prevent others from discussing potential harm associated with masks as social media and others have suppressed opinions (and even medical studies) of those who question masks

* Billions of discarded masks have become an 'environmental disaster', or a 'pandemic of pollution'

* Mask wearing may have political rather than medical roots

Note that masks worn by the general public who are not trained to properly don and doff masks may be breeding grounds for bacteria. In medical settings, masks are to be donned & doffed properly, disposed of frequently, and rooms may be fitted with special ventilation so as to offset lack of oxygen caused by mask wearing. In contrast, the general public may frequently touch masks with bacteria-laden hands, fail to clean or replace them at regular intervals (some even re-use disposable masks!), and the general public 'entirely lacks' any suitable means of offsetting oxygen deprivation that may be caused by mask wearing.

Masks worn by the general population may be associated with a variety of pejorative terms (e.g. 'communist muzzle', breathing obstruction instrument, Petri dish, oxygen deprivation device, face diaper, bacteria collection device, dirty face rags, forced breathing barrier, bacteria trap, smile blocker, 'face chains', identity deprivation device, bacteria incubator, self-smothering device, etc.)

FINAL NOTE: We are not intending to give – or qualified to give – medical advice. Utilize all information herein at your own risk. For medical assistance, consult a good doctor(s). We are also not intending to be critical of any well-informed persons who voluntarily wish to wear a mask.


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