Category Archives: Coronavirus

Mask-Wearing By Children Is Not Benign

face mask, young woman
She’s at little risk of serious illness if she’s generally healthy

Children can indeed contract COVID-19. But it is rarely deadly. The infection fatality rate in children between ages 5 and 14 is 0.001%. This means that of every 100,000 children that age who get infected, one will die.

Most schools in the U.S. start back up in about a month. Some school systems will be mandating that children wear face masks, hoping to reduce infections, but not realizing the adverse effects. See the end of this post for the list of bothersome effects. Here’s a study that advises against forced mask-wearing in children:

Many governments have made nose and mouth covering or face masks compulsory for schoolchildren. The evidence base for this is weak.1,2 The question whether nose and mouth covering increases carbon dioxide in inhaled air is crucial. A large-scale survey3 in Germany of adverse effects in parents and children using data of 25 930 children has shown that 68% of the participating children had problems when wearing nose and mouth coverings.

The normal content of carbon dioxide in the open is about 0.04% by volume (ie, 400 ppm). A level of 0.2% by volume or 2000 ppm is the limit for closed rooms according to the German Federal Environmental Office, and everything beyond this level is unacceptable.4Methods

We measured carbon dioxide content in inhaled air with and without 2 types of nose and mouth coverings in a well-controlled, counterbalanced, short-term experimental study in volunteer children in good health (details are in the eMethods in Supplement 1). The study was conducted according to the Declaration of Helsinki and submitted to the ethics committee of the University Witten/Herdecke. All children gave written informed consent, and parents also gave written informed consent for children younger than 16 years. A 3-minute continuous measurement was taken for baseline carbon dioxide levels without a face mask. A 9-minute measurement for each type of mask was allowed: 3 minutes for measuring the carbon dioxide content in joint inhaled and exhaled air, 3 minutes for measuring the carbon dioxide content during inhalation, and 3 minutes for measuring the carbon dioxide content during exhalation. The carbon dioxide content of ambient air was always kept well under 0.1% by volume through multiple ventilations. The sequence of masks was randomized, and randomization was blinded and stratified by age of children. We analyzed data using a linear model for repeated measurements with P < .05 as the significance threshold. The measurement protocol (trial protocol in Supplement 2) is available online.5 Data were collected on April 9 and 10, 2021, and analyzed using Statistica version 13.3 (TIBCO).Results

The mean (SD) age of the children was 10.7 (2.6) years (range, 6-17 years), and there were 20 girls and 25 boys. Measurement results are presented in the Table. We checked potential associations with outcome. Only age was associated with carbon dioxide content in inhaled air (y = 1.9867 – 0.0555 × x; r = –0.39; P = .008; Figure). Hence, we added age as a continuous covariate to the model. This revealed an association (partial η2 = 0.43; P < .001). Contrasts showed that this was attributable to the difference between the baseline value and the values of both masks jointly. Contrasts between the 2 types of masks were not significant. We measured means (SDs) between 13 120 (384) and 13 910 (374) ppm of carbon dioxide in inhaled air under surgical and filtering facepiece 2 (FFP2) masks, which is higher than what is already deemed unacceptable by the German Federal Environmental Office by a factor of 6. This was a value reached after 3 minutes of measurement. Children under normal conditions in schools wear such masks for a mean of 270 (interquartile range, 120-390) minutes.3 The Figure shows that the value of the child with the lowest carbon dioxide level was 3-fold greater than the limit of 0.2 % by volume.4 The youngest children had the highest values, with one 7-year-old child’s carbon dioxide level measured at 25 000 ppm.Discussion

The limitations of the study were its short-term nature in a laboratory-like setting and the fact that children were not occupied during measurements and might have been apprehensive. Most of the complaints reported by children3 can be understood as consequences of elevated carbon dioxide levels in inhaled air. This is because of the dead-space volume of the masks, which collects exhaled carbon dioxide quickly after a short time. This carbon dioxide mixes with fresh air and elevates the carbon dioxide content of inhaled air under the mask, and this was more pronounced in this study for younger children.

This leads in turn to impairments attributable to hypercapnia. A recent review6 concluded that there was ample evidence for adverse effects of wearing such masks. We suggest that decision-makers weigh the hard evidence produced by these experimental measurements accordingly, which suggest that children should not be forced to wear face masks.

What are the adverse effects of prolonged mask-wearing in children?

Impairments caused by wearing the mask were reported by 68% of the parents. These included irritability (60%), headache (53%), difficulty concentrating (50%), less happiness (49%), reluctance to go to school/kindergarten (44%), malaise (42%) impaired learning (38%) and drowsiness or fatigue (37%).

I hope this is effective ammunition for you when you go the the school board meeting to protest forced masking of your child.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Dr Gorsi Debunks Ivermectin’s Effectiveness Against COVID-19

Cancer surgeon David Gorski writes at Science-Based Medicine:

intubation, mechanical ventilation, ventilator
Lives are at stake

A couple of months ago Scott Gavura explained why the veterinary deworming drug ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, a repurposed drug touted as a “miracle cure” for COVID-19 despite evidence that is, at best, very weak and, at worst, supportive of the conclusion that ivermectin is ineffective against COVID-19. Then, two weeks ago, I posted a typically lengthy, detailed, and snarky article about how ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine. What I meant was that, just as 12-15 months ago the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine was the repurposed drug touted as a “miracle cure” for COVID-19 that fizzled when tested with rigorous clinical trials, over the first half of 2021 ivermectin has become the repurposed drug touted as a “miracle cure” for COVID-19. Like hydroxychloroquine, which by the end of last summer I was describing as the Black Knight of COVID-19 treatments, an homage to (of course) the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, belief in ivermectin as a highly effective treatment for COVID-19—that will eliminate the need for vaccines, too!—seems similarly immune to having its limbs hacked off by science, the way that they were for hydroxychloroquine. This post won’t be as long—although it might be as snarky—and will deal more with the conspiracy theories that have cropped up around ivermectin. Unsurprisingly, they’re very similar to the conspiracy theories that cropped up around hydroxychloroquine. Many of these conspiracy theories are being promoted by a group of doctors who bill themselves as the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC).

I don’t recall Gorski in the article addressing the reasons that physicians and scientists would be promoting ivermectin if it doesn’t work. Dr Joseph Mercola’s in it for the money. Probably Mike Adams, too. But for legitimate practicing physicians and scientists, I can’t see any financial pay-off. Could they be motivated simply by fame, notoriety, or drama? How about a straightforward difference of opinion on how to interpret the data, which happens routinely among scientists and physicians?

Steve Parker, M.D.

QOTD: Kathleen Sebelius on Restricting the Un-Vaccinated

We’re in a situation where we have a wildly effective vaccine, multiple choices, lots available, free of charge, and we have folks who are just saying I won’t do it. I think that it’s time to say to those folks, it’s fine if you don’t choose to get vaccinated. You may not come to work. You may not have access to a situation where you’re going to put my grandchildren in jeopardy. Where you might kill them, or you might put them in a situation where they’re going to carry the virus to someone in a high-risk position.

– July 2021: Former Obama administration Secretary of Health and Human Services Administration

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Linked to Paralysis

according to the FDA as reported by Business Insider and others.

The paralytic disorder is Guillain-Barre Syndrome. The 1976 swine flu vaccine was also linked to GBS.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Woman in Ireland Earns Three-Month Jail Term for Refusing to Wear a Mask

according to Dave of Computing Forever.

I was skeptical, so confirmed it at The Irish Times. The 66-year-old “criminal” was a repeat offender. The article never said she was infected with COVID-19 and spewing germs like a fire hose.

“Don’t you dare get near me!”

I doubt this type of action is coming to the U.S. but you never know. Here, we have enough civil disobedience that the jails would be overwhelmed. And rightfully so.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: If she’s not taken the vaccine, will they hold her down and force it on her?

COVID-19: Don’t Fear the Delta

The delta variant of covid-19 was previously called the Indian variant. I guess some of the latter were triggered, so the name was changed to delta. It’s the predominant variant in the U.K. now, and is 15-20% of the cases in Arizona, where I live.

Ivor Cummins says the delta variant is not a big deal:

Steve Parker, M.D.

COVID-19: Fluvoxamine Dose and Side Effects

Photo by on

A couple studies in the medical literature tend to support the use of fluvoxamine for early treatment of COVID-19. Click the links below for specific results of the research.

Fluvoxamine is available as a generic and is also sold in the the U.S. as brand name Luvox. It is FDA-approved for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It’s also used off-label for several other psychiatric disorders. The usual starting dose for OCD is 50 mg/day, increasing gradually to 100-300 mg/day if needed. The most common side effects are headache (30% of users), insomnia (30%), drowsiness (25%), nausea (35%), and weakness (20%). It is significantly less well-tolerated than ivermectin.

The Lenze study of fluvoxamine for COVID-19 was published in JAMA Network in November 2020. It used this dosing protocol:

Participants received a dose of 50 mg of fluvoxamine (or matching placebo) in the evening immediately after the baseline assessment and confirmation of eligibility, then for 2 days at a dose of 100 mg twice daily as tolerated, and then increasing to a dose of 100 mg 3 times daily as tolerated through day 15 then stopped. That’s a much more rapid dose escalation than the manufacturer recommends for OCD.

Click for the Seftel study of fluvoxamine if interested. This research was less cleanly-designed compared to Lenze. For instance, a fair number of study subjects didn’t even have symptoms at the time of “diagnosis,” just a positive SARS-CoV-2 antigen test (PCR?). The dose of fluvoxamine was a 50-100 mg loading dose on day 1 followed by 50 mg twice daily for 14 days.

Emergency Use Authorization

All the available U.S. vaccines against COVID-19 are under Emergency Use Authorization. What does this mean? From the FDA:

An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) is a mechanism to facilitate the availability and use of medical countermeasures, including vaccines, during public health emergencies, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Under an EUA, FDA may allow the use of unapproved medical products, or unapproved uses of approved medical products in an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions when certain statutory criteria have been met, including that there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.

So if there are adequate, approved, and available alternatives to the vaccines, the vaccinations must halt for now. Until they pass the usual multi-year tests that prove adequate safety.

If you think the FDA is immune to pressure from politicians and Big Pharma, think again.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Steve Kirsch: NIH and WHO COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Are Too Restrictive

artist's rendition of coronavirus
Artist’s rendition of Coronavirus

A June (2021) article by Steve Kirsch at (who’s that?) is critical of NIH and WHO COVID-19 treatment guidelines. Steve argues, and I must say fairly persuasively, that early treatment should include ivermectin and fluvoxamine. Parts of the world don’t have time to wait for results of large randomized double-blind controlled trials of these drugs. RTWT and decide for yourself if Steve’s right. Warning: It’s a long article but worth it if you’re a healthcare professional.

Who is Steve Kirsch? In his article, Steve mentions that he’s an MIT-trained engineer. From

Steve Kirsch is a high-tech serial entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He has been a medical philanthropist for more than 20 years. When the pandemic started, he left his day job at M10 and started the COVID-19 Early Treatment Fund (CETF), which funds researchers from all over the world running outpatient clinical trials on repurposed drugs. CETF funded David Boulware’s trials on hydroxychloroquine and the Phase 2 and Phase 3 fluvoxamine trials, among many other research projects. He was recently featured on 60 Minutes, which highlighted his work with fluvoxamine. He has no conflicts of interest; his objective is to help save lives. In 2003, Hillary Clinton presented him with a National Caring Award. He wrote this article to share some of what he has learned over the past year about the failure of evidence-based medicine during a pandemic in the hopes that people will realize their mistakes and change their views.

Steve Parker, M.D.

COVID-19: Vaccination-Induced Antibodies Fade After 3 Months

face mask, young woman
She’s at little risk of serious illness if she’s generally healthy, so why take the risk of experimental vaccination?

From KTLA Channel 5:

Booster shots will likely be necessary as antibodies from both COVID-19 vaccines and infections wane at the same rate, according to a new UCLA study published Wednesday.

The study published in ACS Nano looked at the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, finding that after the second jab, antibody levels decreased an average of 90% within 85 days. That’s the same relatively rapid antibody loss that comes after a natural infection, according to the study. 

Senior author of the study, Dr. Otto Yang, said that while more research is needed on the response of the immune system’s long-lasting “memory” T cells to the vaccines, the sharp drop in antibodies suggests that booster vaccinations will likely be needed to maintain protection against the potentially deadly virus.

There has been evidence that immunity from the mRNA vaccines doesn’t just depend on antibodies that dwindle over time, with some experts saying booster shots may only be needed every few years, the Associated Press reported.


Steve Parker, M.D.

COVID-19: Are the Conspiracy Theorists Right?

elderly man, face mask
“Why can’t we discuss all the options? Why can’t I get ivermection or hydroxychloroquine if my doctor prescribes it? Why are politicians so intimately involved with this disease?”

The social media monopolists (e.g., Twitter, YouTube, Facebook) and mainstream media are censoring news about the coronavirus pandemic that doesn’t fit the approved narrative. Why are they so afraid of open discussion and freedom of speech? You’d almost think they’re trying to hide something. For your consideration, an article excerpt from American Greatness:

In an extraordinary interview last week, Dr. Peter McCullough, an American professor of Medicine and Vice Chief of Internal Medicine at Baylor University, declared that the world has been subjected to a form of bioterrorism, and that the suppression of early treatments for COVID-19—such as hydroxychloroquine—“was tightly linked to the development of a vaccine.”

Dr. McCullough made the explosive comments during a webinar on June 11, with  Dr. Reiner Fuellmich, a German trial lawyer, who believes the pandemic was planned, and is “a crime against humanity.”

McCullough said he believes the bioterrorism has come in two stages—the first wave being the rollout of the coronavirus, and the second, the rollout of the dangerous vaccines, which he said may already be responsible for the deaths of up to 50,000 Americans.

Dr. McCullough practices internal medicine and cardiology, is the editor of Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine, senior editor of the American Journal of Cardiology, editor of the textbook Cardiorenal Medicine, and president of the Cardiorenal Society.


I watched the video in the link above, and Dr McCullough seems like an honest, compassionate, ernest fellow. It doesn’t bother me that he’s a cardiologist. I’m sure his IQ’s higher than mine. Is he right? I don’t know.

In a video (made in November, 2020?), Dr. McCullough outlines his recommended outpatient COVID-19 treatment protocol. On the other hand, Dr David Gorski pooh-poohs Dr McCullough’s ideas and implies that he’s a grifter.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons also produced a guide to home-based COVID-19 treatment probably based largely on Dr McCullough’s protocol.

Anonymous “PhD researchers and scientists” have attempted to collate all the available studies of various proposed early treatments and preventatives for COVID-19 at Why anonymous? From the website’s FAQs: “We are PhD researchers, scientists, people who hope to make a contribution, even if it is only very minor. You can find our research in journals like Science and Nature. For examples of why we can’t be more specific search for “raoult death threats” or “simone gold fired”. We have little interest in adding to our publication lists, being in the news, or being on TV (we have done all of these things before but feel there are more important things in life now).”

The Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC Alliance) published their own home-based treatment and prevention protocols. FLCCC is composed of various medical school professors and other physicians, the most famous of whom is probably Dr. Paul E. Marik, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. FLCCC also produced a hospital treatment protocol called MATH+. MATH is methylprednisolone (a corticosteroid), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), thiamine, and heparin, + others (ivermectin was the last major addition). The MATH major components are all “off patent” and relatively cheap. What motivates the FLCCC docs? I don’t see any money in it. A quest for fame? I tend to think they’re trying to do what’s best for the patients who have an illness we didn’t know much about. Dr Gorski would probably call them grifters.

I considered the evidence in favor of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in the early months of the pandemic, and was not favorably impressed. Now, after 18 months, do we have good clinical studies that have considered it for prevention or early treatment? I don’t know since I haven’t looked lately. Both HCG and ivermectin are “off patent” so the research won’t be paid for by a pharmaceutical company; it would have to be funded by an un-corrupt government that cares about its citizens.

Compared to HCQ, I’m more favorably predisposed toward ivermectin.

Most community-based non-research physicians working full-time in the trenches, like me, don’t have the time or resources (or intelligence and skepticism?) to figure out the best way to prevent and treat COVID-19. We tend to depend on authoritative sources to teach us. The authorities have disappointed us too many times with this illness, whether through ignorance, corruption, or ineptitude. There have been too many suspicious occurrences. For instance:

  • Why do we still not know the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the pandemic?
  • Why did the CDC assure us early-on that masks were ineffective, then they were effective, then we needed two masks, not one?
  • If the vaccines are so effective, why do the vaccinated still need to wear a mask?
  • Why did some politicians, bureaucrats, and pharmacies proscribe the use of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, even early-on before we had much data?
  • Why do social media monopolists and the mainstream media censor and de-platform voices who question the official narrative?
  • If this disease was so deadly, why did contact-tracing fall by the wayside so soon?
  • Why did NY governor Cuomo send sick patients back to nursing homes, infecting the high-risk population there?
  • Why didn’t the CDC understand the adverse effects of the lockdowns, which ended up not saving lives?
  • Why are health authorities recommending the experimental coronavirus vaccines for healthy people aged 12 to 55 when we know the risks of the virus are low for that population?
  • By what authority did federal and state governments violate civil rights and shut down and destroy thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of small businesses?
  • Why did the general public allow themselves to be fear-stricken by the mainstream media?
  • How does the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) have authority to set a moratorium on evictions, rent payments, and mortgage payments?
  • Why have I not even heard of fluvoxamine as and early treatment for COVIVD-19 until now?

The degree of censorship and de-platforming we’ve seen with this illness are unprecedented, adding fuel to the fire of conspiracy theorists.

With luck, we’re in the last days of the pandemic now. The virus may well become endemic at low or seasonally high levels, like the flu and head colds. There will undoubtedly be other pandemics in the future. Let’s learn as much as we can from this one to mitigate the effects of the next.

Steve Parker, M.D.