COVID-19 update

Hi everyone,  I know that you are probably tired of hearing about COVID, especially since we are now on the 5th wave and new variants are popping up all the time.  Apparently the new Omicron variant is highly contagious,  however, with a much  lower fatality rate.   What can you do to protect yourself?   First and foremost–wear a mask,  which not only protects you, but also protects those around you, even if you do not have symptoms, you could be carrying the virus and spreading it to others.   But you do know that wearing a mask does cause some problems.   Some people get what is now coined as “maskne”   (acne on the face in the region of the edges of the mask).   Secondly , dentists are finding a higher percentage of dry mouth, with increase in cavities and gum disease all because of breathing through the mouth when a person wears a mask.   This information is from Marc Sclafani a dentist in NYC.    How do you counteract this problem?  Drink more water,  consider oil-pulling with coconut oil and essential oils,  avoid smoking, and in your home consider using a humidifier.   The other  aspect of mask wearing is to use a mask that provides adequate protection.  Masks that are loose around the face do not work as well as those that fit snugly around the mouth and nose.  Even if you are using a surgical mask,  the straps that go around the ears can be wrapped differently to provide a tighter fit.    Also it is important to wear a mask in a public bathroom.  The aerosol particles that are in the air from the automated hand dryers is phenomenal.   Studies have shown that the high speed hand dryers spread the particles even further.  So, in my opinion, it may be better to use the old-fashioned technique of paper towels to dry ones hands.

The second big area is washing your hands regularly.   This has been shown to reduce the spread of disease not just since the COVID pandemics, but has been known since the 1849′s when Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian physician, introduced regular handwashing between patients to prevent the spread of “childbed fever” or puerperal fever (an infectious disease caused by streptococcus)  and which caused a lot of maternal deaths prior to the mid 19th century.  Semmelweis’s peers did not accept his ideas at the time, but they have now become accepted knowledge.   This process of handwashing reduced the incidence of childbed fever.  However since the advent of antibiotics,  it occurs even less frequently.

Besides social distancing,  one can also roll down the car windows when  a person is in a car with someone else.  Particularly opening  the passenger-side front window and the driver-side rear window offers the best way to flush out unwanted particles in the air out of the car.  This idea comes from Dr. Varghese Mathai, a physics professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.    He and his colleagues published a study in “Science Advances”.

Just for your information, there are foods specifically that boost the immunity–garlic, onions, ginger, carrots and spinach are just a few.  Dr. Janet Brill, a dietician-nutritionist, recommends these foods  to   bolster the immune defense system in the body to prevent infections from invading and becoming full blown.

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