Chris Schaefer is the Director of SafeCom Training Services Inc. in Edmonton. He has sent this letter to Dr. Deana Hinshaw. As an open letter it is also being circulated on social medias.
Open Letter to Physicians and the Public of Alberta
Dear Dr. Hinshaw,
Re: Alberta Health recommendation that Albertans wear N95, surgical or non-medical masks in public to reduce the likelihood of transmitting or developing a condition from the coronavirus known as COVID-19
I have been teaching and conducting respirator fit testing for over 20 years and now currently for my company SafeCom Training Services Inc. My clients include many government departments, our military, healthcare providers with Alberta Health Services, educational institutions and private industry. I am a published author and a recognized authority on this subject.
Filter respirator masks, especially N95, surgical and non-medical masks, provide negligible COVID-19 protection for the following reasons:
- Viruses in the fluid envelopes that surround them can be very small, so small in fact that you would need an electron microscope to see them. N95 masks filter 95% of particles with a diameter of 0.3 microns or larger. COVID-19 particles are .08 – .12 microns.
- Viruses don’t just enter us through our mouth and nose, but can also enter through our eyes and even the pores of our skin. The only effective barrier one can wear to protect against virus exposure would be a fully encapsulated hazmat suit with cuffs by ankles taped to boots and cuffs by wrists taped to gloves, while receiving breathing air from a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) This barrier is standard gear to protect against a biohazard (viruses) and would have to be worn in a possible virus hazard environment 24/7 and you wouldn’t be able to remove any part of it even to have a sip of water, eat or use the washroom while in the virus environment. If you did, you would become exposed and would negate all the prior precautions you had taken.
3. Not only are N95, surgical and non-medical masks useless as protection from COVID-19, but in addition, they also create very real risks and possible serious threats to a wearer’s health for the following reasons
A. Wearing these masks increases breathing resistance, making it more difficult to both inhale and exhale. According to our Alberta government regulations on respirator (mask) use, anyone that is required to wear a respirator mask should be screened to determine their ability to safely wear one.
Any covering of the mouth and nose increases breathing resistance, whether the mask is certified or not. Those individuals with pre-existing medical conditions of shortness of breath, lung disease, panic attacks, breathing difficulties, chest pain in exertion, cardiovascular disease, fainting spells, claustrophobia, chronic bronchitis, heart problems, asthma, allergies, diabetes, seizures, high blood pressure and pacemakers need to be pre-screened by a medical professional to be approved to be able to safely wear one. Wearing these masks could cause a medical emergency for anyone with any of these conditions.
Pregnancy-related high blood pressure is possible. More research is necessary to determine the impact of wearing a mask for extended periods of time on pregnancy.
It is dangerous to recommend, much less mandate anyone with medical conditions to wear a mask without educating them about the risks involved in wearing them without having been pre-screened and approved by a medical professional first.
B. In order for any respirator mask to offer protection to a specific user, that user must be individually fitted with the right type, right size, if male – face must be clean shaven (only short moustache allowed). Next, the user must be fit tested with that respirator by a trained professional to determine whether or not the respirator is providing the user with an air- tight seal – a requirement for any respirator mask.
C. N95 masks – N for not resistant to oil particles, 95 for the percentage of protection – the lowest level of all respirator masks.
These masks even when properly sized and fitted will not protect against virus exposure, however they are capable of adequate protection from larger particles such as pet dander, pollen and sawdust.
Surgical masks (the paper ones that loop around the ears) – do not seal to the face and do not filter anything.
Nonmedical and/or homemade masks are dangerous because:
- ● Not engineered for the efficient yet protective requirements of easy inhalation and effective purging of exhaled carbon dioxide
- ● Could cause an oxygen deficiency for the user
- ● Could cause an accumulation of carbon dioxide for the user
- ● Shouldn’t be recommended under any circumstance
D. They increase body temperature and physical stress – could cause a high temperature alert on a thermometer gun
E. They impede verbal communication
F. N95, surgical and nonmedical masks can create infections and possible disease all by themselves by causing exhaled warm, moist air to accumulate on the inside material of the mask, right in front of the user’s mouth and nose, which is the perfect environment for bacteria to form, grow and multiply. That is why N95 and other disposable masks were only designed to be short duration, specific task use and then immediately discarded.
So if masks are not effective in preventing illness, what is? How about the age-old tried, tested and proven method of protecting our health with a healthy diet, clean water, avoidance of processed, junk and fast foods, plenty of fresh air, sunshine, moderate exercise, adequate restful sleep and avoidance of stress?
We all have an immune system that can fight and overcome any COVID-19 threat if it is healthy and we nurture it.
Thank you for reading this open letter and letting me share my expertise. I ask that you share this with the public via media statement as we are all committed to promoting good health for all Albertans. If you or any of the public wish to contact me with a question or comment, I would love to hear from you. I can best be reached [email protected]
SafeCom Training Services Inc.
Markstrom’s 32-save shutout lifts Calgary Flames to 3-0 win over Vancouver Canucks
CALGARY — Jacob Markstrom’s 32-save shutout against his former club spurred the Calgary Flames to a 3-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.
Sean Monahan, Dillon Dube and Matthew Tkachuk scored power-play goals in Calgary’s home-opener, which was the first NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome since March 8, 2020 for a span of 10 months and eight days.
Canada’s NHL clubs are playing in empty arenas to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Vancouver goaltender Braden Holtby stopped 32 of 35 shots in the loss.
Flames off-season acquisitions Markstrom, defenceman Chris Tanev and forward Josh Leivo faced their former Canucks teammates Saturday.
Markstrom played a combined 243 regular-season and playoff games for Vancouver, while Tanev played 10 seasons and Leivo his last two for the Canuck.
Both Markstrom and Tanev made life difficult for their former club. Tanev led the Flames in blocked shots with seven including three when Calgary was short-handed.
Former Flames defenceman Travis Hamonic returned to the Saddledome wearing Canuck colours.
Tkachuk had time to go backhand to forehand on a Johnny Gaudreau rebound at beat Holtby’s outstretched right pad at 15:16 of the third period.
Andrew Mangiapane sent a behind-the-back backhanded feed across the high slot for Dube to rifle over Holtby’s shoulder at 16:22 of the second.
The hosts killed off a Canucks two-man advantage for 81 seconds in the opening period. Markstrom turned away three shots and Tanev blocked two attempts during it.
Tkachuk on Holtby’s left fed Monahan in the slot for a power-play goal at 8:31.
The Canucks (1-2-0) played their third road game in four nights to start the regular season. They play again Monday in Calgary before returning to Vancouver.
Calgary (1-0-1) has a more gentle start to its regular season with a five-day break following Monday’s rematch.
The Flames paid tribute to team president Ken King, who died March 11, and Calgary Police Service Sgt. Andrew Harnett who was killed while working New Year’s Eve.
Notes: Flames goaltender David Rittich dressed Saturday after sitting out the season-opener because of family issues . . . Off-season acquisition Dominik Simon made his Flames debut Saturday . . . Calgary is 9-8-3 in home openers since turn of the century.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2021.
Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press
Petry, Tatar each score a pair as Canadiens dominate Oilers 5-1
EDMONTON — Jeff Petry and Tomas Tatar each scored twice Saturday to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-1 victory over the Oilers in Edmonton.
Jake Evans also scored for the Canadiens (1-0-1), while Phillip Danault and Brendan Gallagher both tallied a pair of assists.
Carey Price was nearly perfect on the night making 34 saves to give Montreal its first win of the season.
Slater Koekkoek was the lone Oiler to sneak a shot past the Canadiens goalie midway through the third period.
Mikko Koskinen stopped 30-of-35 shots for Edmonton (1-1-1).
Montreal got on the board early and never relinquished the lead, though the Oilers attempted to claw their way back, outshooting the visitors 26-20 over the final two periods.
Petry’s first of the night came on a power play 6:50 into the game after Edmonton’s Caleb Jones was called for interference.
Koskinen stopped Petry’s initial shot but the rebound popped out to the other side of the net, where Petry fired the puck into the open goalmouth.
Nick Suzuki and Shea Weber were each credited with an assist.
Tatar widened Montreal’s lead just over two minutes into the second frame, ripping a shot slap shot from below the face off dot over Koskinen’s glove.
Petry added another tally midway through the second period with a long shot from below the blue line that hit Oilers defenceman Ethan Bear in the rear end and bounced into Edmonton net.
The Oilers nearly responded on a power play just minutes later thanks to a pristine shot by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but Price made the stop.
The Canadiens came up with the puck, leading to a short-handed two-on-one at the other end.
Evans waltzed in and took a shot that ricocheted off Koskinen’s pads and back to the centreman’s stick. His second attempt was a success, sailing in just below the crossbar to put Montreal up 4-0.
Gallagher sprang Tatar on a breakaway 9:47 into the third period and the Slovak winger slipped a shot through Koskinen’s legs to give the Canadiens their fifth goal of the night.
The Oilers finally got a puck past Price 12:59 into the third thanks to a sharp-angle shot by Koekkoek that hit the Montreal netminder’s mask and deflected in.
Despite the final score, Edmonton was first to put a puck in the net Saturday.
Three minutes into the first period, a collision between Leon Draisaitl and Montreal defenceman Ben Chiarot sent Price sprawling out of his crease.
Edmonton’s Dominik Kahun took advantage of the situation and shovelled the puck into the open net.
The goal was quickly called off, with officials on the ice ruling it was incidental contact on the Montreal netminder.
Oilers sensation Connor McDavid had an opportune chance near the end of the first frame, stealing the puck deep in Edmonton territory and using his infamous speed to streak down the ice on a breakaway. He unleashed a wrist shot but Price was ready and made the save.
Edmonton will have an chance for revenge Monday when they once again host the Canadiens in the second half of the back-to-back series.
NOTES: The Oilers claimed goalie Troy Grosenick off waivers from the L.A. Kings Saturday. Edmonton has also placed netminder Mike Smith on the long-term injury list. … Koskinen played in his 100th regular-season NHL game. … Edmonton right-winger Zack Kassian was out for the game following the birth of his second child, a daughter named Olivia.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2021.
The Canadian Press
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