- BROWNSTONE INSTITUTE - CARLA PEETERS - AUG 12, 2022 -
A lingering disorder that can last for months or years is affecting an increasing proportion of the workforce. The symptoms that contribute to Long Covid could be a result of pandemic measures and masking in particular. Increased exposure to microplastics, nanoparticles, chemicals in masks and nasopharyngeal tests parallel many of the symptoms that define Long Covid.
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Surveys among thousands of people suggest 7% to 30% of people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 virus experienced one or more symptoms for a period longer than 12 weeks. Some people who got Covid-19 early in the pandemic still haven’t recovered.
The syndrome Long Covid is complex as symptoms may fluctuate and people go through different stages. Symptoms have been protracted by patients at ICU and those with organ damage, but also occurred in people with only a mild infection. A list of sixty -two different symptoms define the syndrome of Long Covid. Fatigue, brain fog, breathlessness, anxiety, depression and a loss of smell and taste are among the most frequently found symptoms.
Most scientists and medical doctors – including media – link Long Covid symptoms to the SARS-CoV-2 infection. This would be the first Coronavirus in history causing long-lasting chronic symptoms in a high percentage of the workforce. People with Long Covid can experience social isolation and stigma because of their inability to perform. The rise of Long Covid has created millions of new people with disabilities.
The root cause of the disease is still mysterious. In several case studies and an excellent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that investigated many diagnostic parameters in people with and without Long Covid, no biological change could explain a link to Long Covid. Some scientists relate the symptoms of Long Covid to other complex diseases of multidisciplinary origin like Alzheimer’s disease, Lyme disease, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or hyperventilation syndrome.
Many countries have started special clinics and funded research especially for studying lingering effects. A one-sizefits-all successful treatment has not been found yet. Thousands or maybe over a hundred million are frustrated at the lack of treatment available. Doctors and scientists prefer a holistic approach, but medical and social services are often understaffed.
Desperate patients with Long Covid symptoms are traveling abroad to private clinics for blood apheresis and the prescription of anti-coagulation drugs, though treatments are still experimental and evidence on effectiveness is still lacking. For some patients these treatments have been successful, for others not.
Covid-19 vaccination has been a hot topic in speeches of politicians and advertising in the media as a motivation for preventing Long Covid. However, a large study among 13 million people published in Nature Medicine could only demonstrate a small effect.
A study published in the Italian Journal of Pediatrics demonstrated that physical symptoms were restored much faster as compared to mental symptoms, suggesting Long Covid could be related to pandemic measures rather than a viral infection. The risks for Long Covid symptoms have shown to be increased for people with existing chronic diseases, increasing age, and lower income, women being more susceptible than men.
Fear, social isolation, depression and worries for education and decreased income are thought to be related to the symptoms of Long Covid in children with and without a positive PCR test. As the emergency of the pandemic continues a worrying spike in chronic diseases, suicide and excess mortality are noticed at the global level. This indicates the deprivation of a resilient immune system with an increased susceptibility for lingering symptoms of Long Covid.
Symptoms Long Covid link to MIES
At this point there has been limited attention for a possible relation of Long Covid and exposure to chemicals in masks, nasopharyngeal tests and disinfectants. In a meta-analysis by an interdisciplinary team of German physicians, a potential risk of Mask Induced Exhaustion Syndrome (MIES) has been found. The most frequently observed symptoms (fatigue, headaches, dizziness, lack of concentration) as described for MIES overlap with important symptoms for Long Covid syndrome.
The lack of smell and taste during Covid-19 seems to be different as compared to symptoms during the flu. A lack of taste and smell are frequently observed after chemotherapy in cancer treatments and has been linked to malnutrition, inflammation and depression. Also, brain fog is a symptom occurring after chemotherapy. It seems likely that harmful effects by long-term mask-wearing and frequent nasopharyngeal testing with increased exposure to chemicals (not naturally found products) can accelerate symptoms and contribute to Long Covid.
Up to now, the safety of long-term and frequent wearing of masks and taking nasal swab samples in a delicate area in the nose, often by hardly experienced persons, have been poorly investigated. Severe nose bleedings (epistaxis), cerebrospinal fluid leakage , vomiting, dizziness and fainting have been reported. Most frequently used masks and nasopharyngeal tests are derived from China with less strict controls and measures for the presence of hazardous materials.
In several countries masks and nasopharyngeal tests delivered by governments were taken from the market. Microplastics, nanoparticles (graphene oxide, titanium dioxide, silver, ethylene oxide, coloring compounds, fluorocarbon (PFAS) and heavy metals have been found in masks and nasopharyngeal tests. Unfortunately, not all masks and tests used during the pandemic are controlled. A report from the Dutch Public Health institute (RIVM) released in November 2021 stated “the safety of masks cannot be guaranteed.”
The short- and long-term impact of frequent exposure on the physiology and physical and mental functioning of the human body is unknown. Harmful effects for children, who are less able to detoxify, could result in a compromised immune and nervous system resulting in repeated and rare infections with more chronic diseases during aging and less healthy future generations.
Microplastics and nanoparticles withdraw proteins, vitamins and minerals forming bio- corona (microclots), accumulating in important organs (blood, liver, gut, lung tissue), and disturb important physiological and immunological processes
The liver, lungs and gut are important organs in energy metabolism, detoxification and surveillance by the innate immune system. Disrupting a delicate gut-liver-brain axis can relate to fatigue and exhaustion.
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