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Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, is taking far more stringent precautions than most of his global counterparts to prevent getting the coronavirus as per latest World News.
Kremlin spokesmen Dmitry Peskov this week confirmed that anyone wanting to see the Russian president has to walk through a futuristic “disinfection tunnel,” where they’re sprayed with an aerosol mist. In April, it was confirmed that anyone wanting to see Putin has to undergo a test for the virus beforehand.
The chamber, manufactured by a company in the Russian town of Penza, was installed in Putin’s country dacha in the town of Novo-Ogaryovo, west of Moscow, where the Russian leader retreated virtually full time after some of his officials tested positive for the coronavirus, including Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Peskov. Putin made a brief public appearance last week — the first in weeks.
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The efficacy of the tunnel, which also emits ultraviolet light, is doubtful, though, according to the World Health Organization. There are media reports that similar disinfection chambers are being used in Beijing.
The WHO says such tunnels or chambers are potentially dangerous, as users may inhale cleaning solutions in aerosol form. The global body says anyone who goes through the tunnel can still transmit the virus as “soon as they start speaking, coughing or sneezing.”
Nonetheless, Peskov told reporters Wednesday, “Extra precautions are justifiable and understandable where the president is concerned.”
But some commentators note the Russian president has always appeared overly sensitive about his health — a contradiction to the derring-do physical feats Putin likes to be filmed doing.
Even before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, he was once filmed hectoring ministers for coughing, demanding to know why they had come when sick. Last November, he upbraided his entire cabinet when discovering only three had been vaccinated against flu.
“Three people, or four if you count me,” he said. “Getting the flu is self-harm. You could have prevented it, but you didn’t,” the Russian leader snapped.
‘Need to control everything’
Taking precautions — from frequent handwashing to maintaining social distance — is one thing, retreating behind a futuristic disinfection tunnel another, said psychologist Frederick Coolidge, a professor at the University of Colorado who has studied the personality traits of autocratic leaders.
“They tend to have an excessive fear of death or infection,” he said. “They fear losing control, they fear losing everything and have a need to control everything,” he added. “And they are not always rational about it.”
It is not unusual to be worried about germs and to do what one can to stave off infections, but the lengths the germaphobe Russian president has been taking to avoid contracting the virus prompt comparisons with past autocrats, Coolidge said.
Including one of Putin’s predecessors, Josef Stalin.
In his 2003 book Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, historian Simon Sebag Montefiore described the communist dictator among other things as “a fidgety hypochondriac suffering from chronic tonsillitis, psoriasis, rheumatic aches from his deformed arm and the iciness of his Siberian exile.” His hypochondria and fear of death — whether from natural causes or otherwise — drove in part the infamous 1952 “Doctors’ Plot” the year before his death, when a group of Jewish Moscow doctors were rounded up and accused of plotting to kill him.
Germany’s 19th-century strongman, Otto von Bismarck, was also excessively worried about his health and suffered from hypochondria — opposition to his “sovereign will,” whether in human form or in the form of germs, he found intolerable, according to his biographer, Jonathan Steinberg.
Blaming malevolent powers
When ill health does strike, some autocrats have reflexively blamed malevolent powers — human or otherwise.
Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan strongman, believed the cancer that eventually killed him wasn’t due to bad luck or poor genes, but was engineered by the CIA.
“It’s very difficult to explain, even with the law of probabilities, what has been happening to some of us in Latin America,” he said in a speech before his death. “Would it be so strange that they’ve invented technology to spread cancer and we won’t know about it for 50 years? I’m just sharing my thoughts, but it’s very, very, very strange.”
Ugandan autocrat Idi Amin reacted with fury when a son fell ill with a stomach ailment. His immediate thought was the boy had been poisoned. Storming into the palace kitchens, he put a gun to the head of the first chef he saw and threatened, “If the kid dies, I’m going to kill all of you,” according to a cook interviewed by Polish journalist Witold Szablowski for his recently published book, How to Feed a Dictator.
One former Kremlin official dismisses the comparisons and says as head of state, all means should be employed to protect Putin. “Better that,” he said, than following the example of Britain’s Boris Johnson. “He was blasé, shaking hands with everyone, and look what nearly befell him.”
In April, Johnson said he nearly died after developing COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. (VOA)
Social media is an umbrella term that encompasses all apps, websites, and blogs that allow people from all over the world to interact through the internet. Anyone who wishes to use any social media platform must first sign up and then sign in to view content and communicate with other members of that social media platform. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, and Snapchat are commonly used social media platforms. Social media, like all technological advancements, has both advantages and disadvantages.
Social media has become an essential aspect of life for many youths in today's society. Numerous young people carry on involving themselves with social media without even bothering to consider its effect on them. The consequences may be both good and bad at times. When it comes to the negative impact of social media on teenagers, the majority of the time, they are unfavourable if the activity is not linked with a commercial or professional objective.
Social media has taken on such significance in today's society that it has overtaken other concerns. | Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash
Social media has taken on such significance in today's society that it has overtaken other concerns. People, especially teens, are addicted to social media and have lost sight of the essential things in their lives like family, friends, physical activities, social interaction, sports, education and much more.
One manner in which social media harms our mental health is through the use of unfavourable social comparisons. Teenagers or even grown-ups who use social media spend a significant amount of time examining the lives and activities of their friends. Continuous comparisons lead to low self-esteem and negative body image in adolescents, increasing depression and anxiety in such people; this includes stalking their achievements, events, their pictures or the events they have attended. On comparing, it makes oneself feel worse about their life.
Teenagers or even grown-ups who use social media spend a significant amount of time examining the lives and activities of their friends. | Photo by Ángel López on Unsplash
We can only see the virtual aspect of a person while we are on social media sites. This means that we can only see the side of the situation that they want us to see. Many people make an effort to present themselves in a way that they are not. Bullying among peers is a common practice, which is acceptable to a certain level. However, when it comes to cyberbullying, it has a significant impact on a person's mental health, as the comments or posts may appear on the newsfeed of any individual and spread quickly. Depression and suicidal behaviour can occur as a result of such things.
Particular teenagers are highly prone to be manipulated. Such teenagers may feel the urge to alter their physical appearance as they begin to compare themselves with every other person they come across on social media. This can result in low-self esteem; also, there is a tremendous temptation to overindulge on social media. Hence, it can become an addiction for adolescents and cause them to get distracted, as already mentioned.
Several studies have found that excessive social media use is frequently associated with underlying problems such as depression, chronic stress, anxiety, or low self-esteem. | Photo by AH NP on Unsplash
Several studies have found that excessive social media use is frequently associated with underlying problems such as depression, chronic stress, anxiety, or low self-esteem. Hence, it becomes a social responsibility for us to keep a check on our and our friends' mental well-being by unplugging our devices, building solid friendships and beginning the search to find our true inner self by meditation, exploring nature and organizing offline get together.
Keywords: negative, unfavourable, friends, depression, teenagers, people, social, mental health
During festivals like Diwali, one shouldn't only pay pay attention to dressing up, shopping and meeting family members; an integral part of festivities includes cleaning and decorating our homes, neighbourhood and spreading joy. But while anybody can clean their homes, designing new spaces can be a tad bit cumbersome. With a restricted budget and high-priced decor products in the market, everyone is always looking out for new ideas that are both cost-effective and can transform your home to welcome Maa Laxmi and the New Year. Don't worry though, the following five budget-friendly ways shared by Niraj Johri, founder & CEO at Casa Decor, help you decorate your home in a manner that makes it unforgettable.
Adding metal accents
Adding brass, silver, or copper accessories in the tiny little spaces inside your home can elevate its overall design aesthetics. Metals are the epitome of elegance and luxury -- they can be moulded to lend an eccentric and dynamic fusion of colours. Due to their unpredictable nature, artisans can find numerous ways in which they can help accentuate every corner in your home.
Folded into intricate forms with beautiful solid colours, metals are an undeniably fascinating material to use in home decor. In fact, they are known for their polished and refined looks that bring together edgy, contemporary, and Victorian styles to the forefront. Such designs can usually be found in handcrafted decor pieces such as metal trays that are perfect centrepieces on wooden tables.
Adding brass, silver, or copper accessories in the tiny little spaces inside your home can elevate its overall design aesthetics. | Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Flowers, flowers everywhere!
This Diwali one should endeavor to shift to organic decor pieces that make use of fresh flowers elevate spaces like doorways, balconies, stairs, or even put them in vases and let the flowers be the centre of attention. Houseplants and flowers not only brighten your surroundings but also boost your mood immediately. Since Diwali calls for parties at home, flowers can function as a catalyst for good vibes.
You can also make use of metal planters enchanted by unexpected colors and veins. Through their unique characteristics and diverse sets of textures, metal planters enable the preservation of charm and value unique to Indian handicraft traditions and cultures.
Since Diwali calls for parties at home, flowers can function as a catalyst for good vibes. | Photo by Roberta Sorge on Unsplash
Light lights! Tea lights
Tea lights are perhaps best used when they are placed inside intricately handcrafted ceramic casings that combine various traditional techniques practised through time. Each piece exudes a sense of muted culture that find a new life in the nuances of the design work.
Each piece exudes a sense of muted culture that find a new life in the nuances of the design work. | Photo by Sven Hornburg on Unsplash
How about some lanterns?
Lanterns with fairy lights is a very popular idea that can be found in most households today. All you must do is fill the jar with fairy lights and hang them in any corner of a room. They offer an inspiring firefly effect that lends a unique and inimitable look to spaces within homes.
Lanterns offer an inspiring firefly effect that lends a unique and inimitable look to spaces within homes. | Photo by Vladimir Fedotov on Unsplash
Mirror Mirror on the wall
Wall mirrors are another way of adding an aesthetic and elegant touch to homes. One can add different sizes of mirrors on empty walls and change the look of the entire area. A classic mirror will add richness to your home and function as a reflective piece to shed light in each corner. (IANS/ MBI)
Wall mirrors are another way of adding an aesthetic and elegant touch to homes. | Photo by Tuva Mathilde Løland on Unsplash
Following a huge growth in his personal fortune, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has renewed his promise to "extend life to Mars". According to The Star, Musk's wealth has swelled to an astonishing $230 billion. Or a whopping 861 billion Dodgecoin, a cryptocurrency backed by the entrepreneur after he was reported to have invested millions.
Musk is now richer than Bill Gates and Warren Buffett combined, both individuals who had previously held the rich list title. "Elon Musk (with a net worth equal to 861 billion #Dogecoin) is now richer than Bill Gates and Warren Buffett COMBINED!" popular crypto YouTuber Matt Wallace's tweeted.
To which Musk said: "Hopefully enough to extend life to Mars". "Have no doubt you will make it happen," Wallace responded. CEO investments, the creators of Dogecoin, also responded backing Musk's plans every step of the way. The SpaceX Mars programme was initiated by Musk to colonize Mars after he first conceptualized the project back in 2001. SpaceX's aspirational goal has been to land the first humans on Mars by 2024, but in October 2020 Musk named 2024 as the goal for an uncrewed mission. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: investments, combined, SpaceX, billion, Elon musk, tesla