The Power To Breathe

You probably take it for granted, something we all do unconsciously throughout our entire lifespan- breathing. Even more taken for granted is what you breathe- oxygen. Oxygen creates energy, helps you digest food, eliminates toxins from the body, fuels your muscles, metabolizes fat and carbohydrates, increases clarity, strengthens our immune system, manufactures hormones and proteins, removes viruses, parasites and harmful bacteria, keeps your heart pumping and allows the nerve system and all other body tissues to function normally. Increasing your oxygen levels can improve wound healing, vision, mental clarity and intelligence, boost your immune system, help fight cancer cells, reduces stress levels and helps you maintain a healthy weight.

Inhibiting breathing, especially in our youngest children, seems pretty ill-advised, doesn’t it?

In June 2021 the University of Florida released a study detailing which pathogens had been found on masks that had been worn an average of 5.7 hours per day by school children. Upon the results being released, the University of Florida promptly issued a statement appearing to cast doubt on the study, questioning the chain of custody for these masks and to what conditions they were exposed prior to the lab test. They went on to say that to draw any conclusions from these lab tests would be premature and that more research is warranted. But, more research has been done. There are plenty of other studies, though they may be hard to find.

Regardless of any attempts to refute the study, the facts are still there. The masks that were tested contained the pathogens that were found.

Besides the deadly pathogens that I have detailed below, there are psychological and social effects of masking. The levels of bullying of and by teachers and students alike has increased during this time of mandated masking in schools. Masking, one can argue, dehumanizes people. There are plenty of examples of children who have seen their teachers or peers without masks and not recognized them, or known how to interact with them sans mask. The levels of students now considered to have attention issues and trouble learning in schools has also increased, and it was already at record highs. Students who were at the top of their class in academics before the COVID-inspired school shutdowns and forced masking are now suddenly testing in the bottom one percent. It doesn’t add up, until you factor in the masks.

“They get used to it. Kids are adaptable.”

The rebreathing of our exhaled air creates an oxygen deficiency and a flooding of carbon dioxide. When you have chronic oxygen deprivation, you may not feel the symptoms of headaches, drowsiness, dizziness and issues with concentration – because your body has become accustomed to it. But the under supply of oxygen in your brain will continue to progress as well as the degenerative processes in your brain. This is especially harmful to children’s developing brains, as their brains are incredibly active. The nerve cells in the brain are unable to divide themselves normally with oxygen deprivation and they will never be regenerated. As neurologist Margarite Griesz-Brisson states, “What is gone is gone.”

Neurodegenerative diseases take years to decades to develop. We don’t even know yet the damage we are doing to our children by keeping them masked all day. But, by the time we do know, it will be too late and it won’t help our stifled younger generations for us to say that we did not, in fact, need the masks. The damage will be done.

Since this virus has never been significantly driven by spread between or from children, one wonders why the push for the forcible muzzling of our students in schools? Why are they being punished from the time they step on the school bus or arrive at school in the early morning until the time they get home in the afternoon?

A study done at Brown University has shown that masking actually does not work. Specifically, it found that in areas of high community transmission, masked school students saw a case rate 37 percent higher than non-masked school students, or 19 cases per 100,000 in ‘no masks required’ schools versus 26 in ‘masks required’ schools. Even worse, staff experienced a case rate 84 percent worse in masked schools. In areas of low or substantial community transmission, students experienced no difference in case rates while staff numbers in ‘masks required’ schools were slightly worse.

Parents should have the say over their children’s health. Let’s stop assuming every parent is an uneducated moron unable to make good decisions regarding the parenting of their own children. And parents, before you send your child to school in a mask for the entire day, please think about what is lurking on that mask.

The following is a list of the pathogens found during the University of Florida lab tests, and the effect each one can have on the human body:

Staphylococcus aureus or “staph” is a type of bacteria found on human skin, in the nose, armpit, groin, and other areas. While these germs don’t always cause harm, they can make you sick under the right circumstances. S. aureus is the leading cause of skin and soft tissue infections, such as abscesses, boils, furuncles, and cellulitis (red, swollen, painful, warm skin). S. aureus germs can also cause more serious infections, such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections, endocarditis (infection of the inner lining of the heart chambers and heart valves), and bone and joint infections.  Meningitis can result when Staphylococcus aureus develops as an infection that spreads through the blood from another site.  Meningitis can then lead to sepsis.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the layer of tissue that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord. The three types of meningitis most commonly heard of are bacterial, viral, and fungal.  Meningitis due to an infection can cause a serious condition called sepsis. Sometimes incorrectly called blood poisoning, sepsis is the body’s often deadly response to infection.

Per Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language: Bacteriol, any of several spherical bacteria of the genus Staphylococcus, occurring in pairs, tetrads, and irregular clusters, certain species of which, as S. aureus, can be pathogenic for man.

Staphylococcus pyogenes serotype M3. Serotype M3 strains are a common cause of severe invasive infections with unusually high rates of morbidity and mortality. The M3 Serotype of Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is one of the three most frequent serotypes associated with severe invasive GAS infections, such as necrotizing fasciitis, in the United States and other industrialized countries. Transmission via respiratory droplets, hand contact with nasal discharge and skin contact with impetigo lesions are the most important modes of transmission.  Life-threatening infections caused by Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus) include scarlet fever, bacteremia, pneumonia, necrotizing fasciitis, myonecrosis and Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome.

Per Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language: pyogenic, 1. producing or generating pus.  2. Attended with or pertaining to the formation of pus. Serology, the science dealing with the properties and actions of the serum of the blood.

Legionella pneumophila or Legionnaires’ disease is a severe type of pneumonia, or lung infection. Bacteria called Legionellacause this infection. The bacteria were discovered after an outbreak at a Philadelphia convention of the American Legion in 1976. Those who were affected developed a form of pneumonia that eventually became known as Legionnaires’ disease. People can get Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac fever when they breathe in small droplets of water in the air that contain the bacteria.

Per Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language: pneumonia, 1. Inflammation of the lungs. 2. Also called croupous pneumonia, lobar pneumonia, an acute affection of the lungs, regarded as due to the pneumococcus. Pneumonic, 1. Of, pertaining to, or affecting the lungs; pulmonary. 2. Pertaining to or affected with pneumonia.

Corynebacterium diphtheria (diphtheria). Diphtheria is a serious infection caused by strains of bacteria called Corynebacterium diphtheriae that make toxin (poison). It can lead to difficulty breathing, heart failure, paralysis, and even death. Corynebacterium diphtheriae is the pathogenic bacterium that causes diphtheria. It is also known as the Klebs–Löffler bacillus, because it was discovered in 1884 by German bacteriologists Edwin Klebs and Friedrich Löffler. Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection that usually affects the mucous membranes of your nose and throat. In advanced stages, diphtheria can damage your heart, kidneys and nervous system. Even with treatment, diphtheria can be deadly, especially in children.

Per Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language: Corynebacterium. Bacteriol. any of several rod-shaped aerobic or anaerobic bacteria of the genus Corynebacterium, pathogenic for man, animals, or plants. Diphtheria. Pathol. A febrile, infectious disease caused by the bacillus Corynebacterium diphtheria, and characterized by the formation of a false membrane in the air passages, esp. the throat.  

Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease). Lyme disease is caused by four main species of bacteria. Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii cause Lyme disease in the United States, while Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii are the leading causes in Europe and Asia. Symptoms include rash. From 3 to 30 days after an infected tick bite, an expanding red area might appear that sometimes clears in the center, forming a bull’s-eye pattern. The rash (erythema migrans) expands slowly over days and can spread to 12 inches (30 centimeters) across. It’s typically not itchy or painful but might feel warm to the touch. Erythema migrans is one of the hallmarks of Lyme disease, although not everyone with Lyme disease develops the rash. Some people develop this rash at more than one place on their bodies. Other symptoms include fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, headache, neck stiffness and swollen lymph nodes can accompany the rash. Later signs and symptoms: Erythema migrans. The rash may appear on other areas of your body. Joint pain. Bouts of severe joint pain and swelling are especially likely to affect your knees, but the pain can shift from one joint to another.  Neurological problems. Weeks, months or even years after infection, you might develop inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain (meningitis), temporary paralysis of one side of your face (Bell’s palsy), numbness or weakness in your limbs, and impaired muscle movement.

Per Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language: Borrelia. Bacteriol. Any of several spiral, parasitic bacteria of the genus Borrelia, certain species of which are pathogenic for man, other mammals, or birds. Named after Amedee Borrel.

Escherichia coli (food poisoning). Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria normally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals. Most types of E. coli are harmless or cause relatively brief diarrhea. But a few strains, such as E. coli O157:H7, can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

You may be exposed to E. coli from contaminated water or food — especially raw vegetables and under cooked ground beef. Healthy adults usually recover from infection with E. coli O157:H7 within a week. Young children and older adults have a greater risk of developing a life-threatening form of kidney failure. Signs and symptoms include: Diarrhea, which may range from mild and watery to severe and bloody, stomach cramping, pain or tenderness, nausea and vomiting in some people.

Per Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language: Food poisoning. 1. An acute gastrointestinal condition characterized by headache, fever, chills, abdominal and muscular pain, nausea, diarrhea, and prostration, caused by foods that are naturally toxic, as poisonous mushrooms, by vegetable foods that are chemically contaminated, as by insecticides, or by bacteria or their toxins, esp. of the genus salmonella.

Acinetobacter baumannii (resistant to antibiotics). Acinetobacter baumannii can cause infections in the blood, urinary tract, and lungs (pneumonia), or in wounds in other parts of the body. It can also “colonize” or live in a patient without causing infections or symptoms, especially in respiratory secretions (sputum) or open wounds. It is named after the bacteriologist Paul Baumann. It can be an opportunistic pathogen in humans, affecting people with compromised immune systems, and is becoming increasingly important as a hospital-derived infection.

Per Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language: resistant 1. Resisting. 2. One who or that which resists. Resistant to antibiotics: When bacteria become resistant, the original antibiotic can no longer kill them. These germs can grow and spread. They can cause infections that are hard to treat. Sometimes they can even spread the resistance to other bacteria that they meet.

Acanthamoeba polyphaga (keratitis). Acanthamoeba polyphaga is a free-living amoeba found in environments including soil, dust, air, seawater, tap water, and swimming pools. Acanthamoeba causes three main types of illness involving the eye (Acanthamoeba keratitis), the brain and spinal cord (Granulomatous Encephalitis), and infections that can spread throughout the entire body (disseminated infection).

Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea — the clear, dome-shaped tissue on the front of your eye that covers the pupil and iris. Keratitis may or may not be associated with an infection. The most common causes of keratitis are infection and injury. Bacterial, viral, parasitic and fungal infections can cause keratitis. An infectious keratitis can happen after an injury to the cornea. But an injury can inflame the cornea without a secondary infection occurring.

Per Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language: Acanthaceous. 1. Having prickly growths. 2. Belonging to the Acanthaceae, or acanthus family of plants. Amoeba. 1. A microscopic, one-celled animal consisting of a naked mass of protoplasm constantly changing in shape as it moves and engulfs food. 2. A protozoan of the genus Amoeba. Polyphagia. 1. Pathol. Excessive desire to eat. 2. Zool. The habit of subsisting on many different kinds of food. Keratitis. Pathol. Inflammation of the cornea.

Neisseria meningitidis (meningitis, sepsis). Meningococcal disease is caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. People with meningococcal disease spread the bacteria to others through close personal contact such as living together or kissing. A person with meningococcal disease needs immediate medical attention. The symptoms of meningococcal disease can vary based on the type of illness. Common symptoms of meningococcal meningitis include sudden fever, headache, and stiff neck. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light, and confusion. Children and infants may show different signs and symptoms, such as inactivity, irritability, vomiting, or poor reflexes. Bacteria that cause meningococcal disease can also infect the blood, causing septicemia. Symptoms of septicemia include tiredness, vomiting, chills, severe aches and pain, fast breathing, diarrhea, and a dark rash. Meningococcal disease can lead to death in as little as a few hours.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the layer of tissue that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord. The three types of meningitis most commonly heard of are bacterial, viral, and fungal.  Meningitis due to an infection can cause a serious condition called sepsis. Sometimes incorrectly called blood poisoning, sepsis is the body’s often deadly response to infection.

Per Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language: Neisseria. Bacteriol. Any of several spherical bacteria of the genus Neisseria, certain species of which, as N. gonorrhoeae, are pathogenic for man. Meninges. Anat. The three membranes investing the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis. Pathol. Inflammation of the meninges, esp. of the pia mater and arachnoid. Meningococcus. Bacteriol. A reniform or spherical bacterium, Neisseria meningitidis that causes cerebrospinal meningitis. Sepsis. Pathol. Local or generalized bacterial invasion of the body, esp. by pyogenic organisms: dental sepsis; wound sepsis.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis).  Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist: latent TB infection (LTBI) and TB disease. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal. Symptoms of TB disease depend on where in the body the TB bacteria are growing. TB bacteria usually grow in the lungs (pulmonary TB). TB disease in the lungs may cause symptoms such as a bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer, pain in the chest, coughing up blood or sputum (phlegm from deep inside the lungs).  People who have latent TB infection do not feel sick, do not have any symptoms, and cannot spread TB to others.

Per Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language: mycobacterium. Bacteriol. Any of several rod-shaped aerobic bacteria of the genus Mycobacterium, certain species of which, as M. tuberculosis, are pathogenic for man and animals. Tuberculosis. Pathol. 1. An infectious disease that may affect almost tissue of the body, esp. the lungs, caused by the organism Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and characterized by tubercles. 2. This disease when affecting the lungs; pulmonary phthisis; consumption. Also called TB.

Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumonia).  Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of middle ear infections, sepsis (blood infection) in children and pneumonia in immuno-compromised individuals and the elderly. It can also cause meningitis (inflammation of the coverings of the brain and spinal cord) or sinus infections. Pneumococcal disease is caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus). People with pneumococcal disease can spread the bacteria to others when they cough or sneeze. Pneumococcus bacteria can cause infections in many parts of the body, including Lungs (pneumonia), Ears (otitis), Sinuses (sinusitis), Brain and spinal cord tissue (meningitis), Blood (bacteremia).

Symptoms of pneumococcal infection depend on the part of the body affected. Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, stiff neck, confusion, increased sensitivity to light, joint pain, chills, ear pain, sleeplessness, and irritability. In severe cases, pneumococcal disease can cause hearing loss, brain damage, and death.

Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus (purulent material), causing cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing. A variety of organisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi, can cause pneumonia.

Per Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language: Streptococcus. Bacteriol. Any of several spherical or oval bacteria of the genus Streptococcus, occurring in pairs or chains, certain species of which are pathogenic for man, causing scarlet fever, tonsillitis, etc. Pneumonia. Pathol. 1. Inflammation of the lungs. 2. Also called croupous pneumonia, lobar pneumonia. An acute affection of the lungs, regarded as due to the pneumococcus.