Should You Wear Masks? Find it Out Here

To Mask or Not to Mask? In COVID-19, That Is the Question

0
masks
Masks may help by blocking at least some of those droplets. Pixabay

By Steve Baragona

Experts seem to agree: If you are not a health care worker, do not buy N95 masks, long considered the Cadillac of protective masks.

They will not help you much, and they are in extremely short supply for the people who need them most: front-line health care workers trying to protect themselves from COVID-19 while they save lives.

That said, there is still debate over whether everyone should wear some kind of face covering when they go outside.

Staying home and limiting contact with groups of people remains the best way to stop the pandemic.

Please follow NewsGram on Twitter to get updates on the latest news

But some experts are starting to suggest that some kind of face covering may help, not by protecting the wearer from infection, but by protecting others from the wearer.

masks
If you are not a health care worker, do not buy N95 masks, long considered the Cadillac of protective masks. Pixabay

There’s growing evidence that people can spread the disease without having symptoms themselves, though it’s not the biggest factor driving the pandemic. Two studies have linked 6 percent to 13 percent of infections to people who weren’t showing symptoms.

Masks “may help protect people who are infectious from transmitting (the disease),” said Harvard University epidemiology professor Bill Hanage. “And if there is a large proportion of people who are mostly asymptomatic, then they could have an outsized role.”

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, spreads mostly through droplets that infected people expel from their mouths. That happens when people cough or sneeze — which you should always do into your sleeve — but also when they talk or sing.

If virus-laden droplets land on surfaces, people can pick them up on their hands. From the hands, it’s a short trip to the eyes, nose or mouth, and from there to infection.

Masks may help by blocking at least some of those droplets.

“I don’t think it’s going to be the most effective tool in our toolbox, but I think it might help,” said Tim Schacker, vice dean for research at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

However, he added, “this is a tough question because like all things COVID, we lack data.”

Please follow NewsGram on Instagram to get updates on the latest news

There’s not much definitive research on how well face masks of any kind work to prevent any disease, and even less for brand-new COVID-19.

N95 masks generally are best for preventing someone from catching the virus because, when used properly, they fit tightly across the face and block the most particles.

However, many people don’t use them properly. They often don’t get a tight fit, which largely defeats the purpose.

Dr. Chongfei Jin, a staff physician at Patient First in Alexandria and Gainesville, Virginia, said that when talking to patients, he always corrected how they were wearing their masks. He said there are many videos available online that show how to wear the mask correctly.

“I just want to remind the public three things: Avoid inside out. Avoid upside down. And cover your nose as well,” he said.

Health care workers are facing serious shortages in part because the panicked public has cleared the shelves.

“If they run out of masks, then it’s very difficult for them to stay healthy to take care of you and me when we get sick,” said George Washington University global health professor Jon Andrus.

Also, “we know the people who wear masks tend to touch their faces more,” Harvard’s Bill Hanage said, “and given that touching your face is a potential route of transmission, we would have to figure out” whether the benefits outweighs the risks.

masks
Youths wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus walk on a street in Taipei, Taiwan. VOA

Surgical masks are another popular choice. But experts say they provide limited protection from the coronavirus since they do not fit tightly.  They may help prevent you from infecting others, but health workers should get first priority.

The same goes for fabric masks. But it’s not clear how much protection different kinds of fabric provide.

Some efforts have aimed to enlist the public to sew fabric masks for health care workers facing extreme shortages.

These masks don’t provide the usual level of protection.

“A homemade mask should only be considered as a last resort to prevent droplet transmission from infected individuals,” concluded one study, “but it would be better than no protection.”

Jin, the Virginia doctor, said a “homemade mask, I believe that is the last resort. If you have a surgical mask, please use the surgical mask [as] that’s much better. But if you don’t, the homemade mask” can be helpful in protecting the wearer from virus-laden droplets.

Please follow NewsGram on Facebook to get updates on the latest news

And those masks could themselves spread disease if they aren’t handled properly.

“My mother used to wash our clothes after we went backpacking,” Andrus said. “She always got poison oak [an itchy rash caused by oil from a plant] but never went backpacking with us.”

Also Read- Benefits of Practising Yoga Everyday

Andrus is worried that masks will give wearers a false sense of security. It’s no substitute for social distancing, he said.

But, “This is a war,” he said. “Anything we can do to minimize risk is critically important.”  (VOA)

Next Story

Above 51% Women Believe Indian Schools Don’t Have Menstrual Awareness Programme: Survey

Approximately 60 percent women believe that Indian schools do not have adequate facilities for girls to dispose off sanitary napkins

0
strip
Ways to make menstrual periods process sustainable and hygenic. Pixabay

More than 51 percent of women respondents say that Indian schools do not have a proper system to prepare teen and adolescent girls regarding the onset of menstrual periods. Nearly 60 percent women feel schools lack adequate facilities for girls to change and dispose of sanitary pads off, says a survey.

Today is Menstrual Hygiene Day 2020 falling , and feminine hygiene brand Everteen had conducted the fifth edition of its annual Menstrual Hygiene Survey.

The survey was conducted among nearly 7000 Indian women participating from various cities of India including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Kolkata.

Over 51 percent women respondents claimed that Indian schools do not have adequate systems to educate or mentally prepare teen and adolescent girls regarding the onset of menstrual periods. More than 95 percent women asserted that Indian school system should have some awareness programs to prepare girls on the subject. The survey also revealed that during adolescence, nearly 60 percent women did not have any prior knowledge about menstrual periods. In fact, as many as 38 percent women had first misinterpreted it as an injury or disease.

critical-days-Menstrual
Nearly 60 percent women did not have any prior knowledge about menstrual periods. Pixabay

In terms of infrastructure, almost 59 percent women felt that schools do not have adequate cleanliness of public toilets or facilities for girls to change and dispose sanitary pads off.

Chirag Pan, CEO, PAN Healthcare, says, “Menstrual hygiene and wellness have been known issues in the Indian context. While there has been progress in recent years, it is imperative that we leverage our strength in the Indian value-based systems and inculcate the importance of good menstrual hygiene from the onset of puberty itself. Schools can and must play a pivotal role in bringing this paradigm shift through classroom education, awareness programs and focused infrastructure development.”

In workspaces too, 41 percent women felt their office needed better cleanliness and facilities to change and dispose sanitary pads off in toilets.

The survey also suggests that the role that doctors can play in preventing gynecological problems is significantly downplayed due to the shame and guilt associated with menstrual cycles in Indian context. More than 50 percent women said they have had some gynecological infection or problem such as UTI, rashes, foul smell or itching during or after menstrual cycle in the past one year. Among these, 20 percent of women had such issues more than 3 times during the year. More than 64 percent women have faced irregularities in their period dates, out of which half have had to deal with it more than 3 times in a year. Ironically, only 37 percent of women said they consult a doctor in case or irregular periods, whereas 32 percent prefer to discuss it within the family and 30 percent just ignore it. Similarly, more than 54 percent women have had white discharge, but only 25 percent prefer to consult a doctor.

As many as 56 percent women believe that menstruation is still perceived as a taboo in Indian society. Not surprisingly, then, more than 42 percent of women felt uncomfortable buying sanitary essentials from a shop or a chemist, especially when there were several other customers. Because of the guilt associated with menstrual cycle, 87 percent women admitted that they had to hide or secretly take their sanitary product for changing. Interestingly, more than three-fourth of the respondents said that menstruation would not have been such a taboo subject in the society if men had it too!

Menstrual cup
87 percent women admitted that they had to hide or secretly take their sanitary product for changing. Pixabay

Also Read: Imperative For Heart failure Patients To Be Health Literate: Study

Another key revelation from the survey shows that 53 percent women have used a public toilet more than 3 times at an office, mall or cinema hall to change sanitary product. Hariom Tyagi, CEO, Wet and Dry Personal Care,says, “Our survey shows that 75 percent women feel uncomfortable having to use public toilets to change sanitary products. Yet, more than 93 percent women still use sanitary napkins. By switching to better, modern-age menstrual hygiene methods (MHM) such as menstrual cups, women can reduce the number of times they have to change their sanitary product in a day. Many women have told us that using menstrual cups has greatly reduced their daily discomfort due to periods.” The survey revealed that menstrual cups are now being used by 4 percent of the women, and their adoption has overtaken tampons by almost double.

One of the alarming trends that emerged from the survey shows that more than one-third women said they have used a pill or some other method to delay periods in case of an important occasion. (IANS)

Next Story

COVID ‘Just the Tip of The Iceberg’ Warns Virologist known as ‘Bat Woman’

Top Chinese virologist, has warned that new viruses being discovered are "actually just the tip of the iceberg"

0
Coronavirus
COVID is only the beginning says virologist. Pixabay

A top virologist from China, famous for her work on researching coronavirus in bats, has warned that new viruses being discovered are “actually just the tip of the iceberg”. In an interview on Chinese state television, Shi Zhengli, known as the ‘Bat Woman’ for her research about bats and the viruses associated with them, also called for greater international cooperation in the fight against epidemics such as Covid-19.

Zhengli, the Deputy Director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, said research undertaken in viruses needs governments and scientists to be transparent with their findings, and cooperative, reports dailymail.co.uk.

She also said that it is ‘very regrettable’ when science is politicised. Speaking to Chinese state television CCTN, Zhengli said: “The unknown viruses that we have discovered are actually just the tip of the iceberg. If we want to prevent human beings from suffering from the next infectious disease outbreak, we must go in advance to learn of these unknown viruses carried by wild animals in nature and give early warnings,” Zhengli was quoted as saying to CCTN.

Coronavirus
COVID and other viruses need more research says an expert. Pixabay

“If we don’t study them, there will possibly be another outbreak,” she added.

Also Read: Scientists Identify 29 New Genes Linked To Drinking Problems

Her interview comes after, both US President Donald Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have suggested that the Covid-19 originated in a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the pandemic erupted last December last month. Earlier, Zhengli had also said that even after the world finds a way to combat the virus responsible for Covid-19, it should prepare for more outbreaks caused by bat-borne coronaviruses. (IANS)

Next Story

McDonald’s Reveals Plan to Open More Drive-Thru Restaurants in UK

McDonald's reopened 39 restaurants in England and Ireland last week

0
McDonald's
McDonald's plans to open more number of UK branches. Pixabay

Fast-food giant McDonald’s revealed a plan to open all of its drive-thru restaurants in the UK in the coming weeks and has”not forgotten” about people in the north of England, it was reported on Monday to World and International News.

The company reopened 39 restaurants in England and Ireland last week as it prepared to get back up and running with new safety measures in place, but all of the English locations were in the south east, reports the Metro nwespaper.

In a message to customers, McDonald’s Chief Executive Paul Pomroy said: “To help us test the new procedures and to slowly restart our supply chain, the pilot restaurants in the UK are all located close to our head office and to one of our distribution centres in the south east.

“I promise I have not forgotten about any part of the UK or Ireland. We are taking our time to test the new ways of working in our restaurants, ensuring that we can continue to help our teams to work safely, and to get back to the communities we have proudly served for so many years.”

Pomroy further said that McDonald’s will make a further announcement this week about reopening more restaurants and expanding its delivery service.

McDonald's
The workers on each site will be reduced to ensure safety, McDonald’s has said. Pixabay

Last week, Police were called to a drive-thru McDonald’s in Peterborough on the first day it reopened after easing of the COVID-19 lockdown because the queue at the outlet went out of hand.

Also Read: COVID-19 Restrictions Cause Disruption in Vaccination Programs: WHO, Other Organisations

Six of the 30 new drive-thrus that have opened across the country were in Peterborough.

The fast-food giant has brought in social distancing measures to keep workers safe, with staff receiving temperature checks before each shift.

The number of workers on each site will be reduced to ensure safety, the company has said. (IANS)