Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], January 4 (ANI/NewsVoir): The Governments in several countries have made it clear that failure to wear face masks will result in the public being faced with hefty fines. The concept that a mask can prevent the spread of COVID-19 continues to remain debatable. Despite the curtailment of droplets in crowded places, there are disadvantages to wearing a face mask, especially for long periods.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, there has been ambiguity with how effectual masks could contain the spread but in recent light of the evidence, several international experts have unanimously admitted that the face mask cannot completely eliminate the threat of COVID-19. Initially, it was gloving that health professionals deemed as potentially hazardous, now, masks also face the same critique posing severe risks for the wearers.
As we started to navigate life beyond the stay-at-home orders, masks have made their way to numerous closets as more of a fashion accessory in comparison to being used as a necessity. The benefits of using masks to prevent contraction of the virus should be weighed against possible respiratory consequences linked with extended use of the aforementioned. Under the right circumstances, face masks are helpful to reduce infection transmission and they are recommended especially for healthcare workers. On the contrary, wearing a mask to walk down the street while social distancing has no benefit at all and simply wastes resources, as there is no evidence that the virus could or would exist in infectious amounts in outside air. In fact, it would cause a decreased airflow and worsen breathlessness. Moreover, a fraction of carbon dioxide previously exhaled is inhaled at each respiratory cycle causing increased breathing frequency and deepness, particularly while exercising. Not only this but re-inhalation of exhaled air creates oxygen deficiency and flooding of carbon-dioxide resulting in severe brain damages.
Comprehending from a normal human perspective, what exactly happens when someone initiates a cough or sneeze? Especially while they are wearing the mask on the face, do you think that the deadly virus or bacteria would be eliminated from our body? No, these contagious particles continue to remain on the surface of the mask while we resume our breathing process. Ultimately this affects our body's in-house mechanism to remove the harmful foreign particles and further creates more stress on the body, leading to various other infections and medical issues.
If one has or is under the assumption of having contracted the COVID-19, one should self-quarantine and remove the mask, as it will worsen the clinical condition of infected people if the enhanced breathing pushes the viral load down into their lungs. By wearing a mask, the exhaled infectious viruses, not limited only to coronavirus, will not be given a chance to escape and will further penetrate into the nasal passages.
Face masks can foster a false sense of security and prolonged contact has to be balanced with one's need for a real breath of fresh air.
Sanitizers: The Dirty Truth
Good hand hygiene is paramount to good health and is one of the simplest ways to reduce one's risk of getting sick. Ever since the inception of the pandemic, hand sanitizers have become all the rage. It is a convenient alternative to washing hands with soap and water. It is quick and portable, especially when there is no running water nearby.
The active ingredient in hand sanitizers is often a form of alcohol, such as ethyl alcohol working as an antiseptic. Although antibiotics are effective against bacteria, using hand sanitizers only significantly lowers one's resistance to diseases by killing good bacteria, which helps protect against pathogens.
Excess usage of sanitizers not only leads to alcohol poisoning but also induces intoxication when it comes in contact with eyes and mouth, which in turn weakens the immune system. As companies are not required to disclose the ingredients that make up their secret fragrances, scented sanitizers are highly likely to be loaded with toxic chemicals. Synthetic fragrances contain phthalates, which are endocrine disrupters that mimic hormones and could also alter genital development.
Alcohol is a skin irritant, which disrupts one's natural oil production causing both dry and flaky skin. Over time, alcohols disrupt the natural barrier function, reducing the skin's ability to protect itself, and leading to accelerated aging as a result of increased dehydration.
Washing hands is traditionally superior to using hand sanitizer since soap lifts dirt, germs, and oil off grimy hands to provide a better, overall cleansing, unlike sanitizers, which do not eliminate pesticides and other chemical residues. Hand sanitizers only offer a short-term solution and quickly smearing an ethanol-based liquid would not kill cold and flu bugs either. They are a good temporary stand-in, in case of unavailability of soap and water.
As a complementary habit, sanitizers are most effective when used alongside frequent hand-washing and physical distancing measures. While hand sanitizers can be the saviors on-the-go and prevent the spread of many pathogens, they cannot be considered as a frontline defense.
Coronavirus Vaccines: The Hidden Facts
As per CNBC, participants who underwent vaccine trials of two reputed biotechnology companies reportedly experienced high fever, body and headaches, daylong exhaustion, and other symptoms upon receiving the shots. On this account, several doctors have urged CDC to be transparent with the public regarding the side effects following their first shot of the coronavirus vaccine. While both the companies have acknowledged that their vaccines could induce side effects that are mildly equivalent with COVID-19 symptoms, there have been worries if the patient will return for the second dose because of potentially unpleasant aftermath.
Since a fixed dose of vaccine is given to every individual irrespective of age, gender, nutritional status or other co-morbidities the response may vary, the vaccine may not work because it does not induce enough antibodies; if it produces antibodies but the antibodies do not kill the virus; if it kills the virus but the antibodies only last for a short time; there are bothersome side effects. When the advancement in the development of a vaccine occurs and the information is made public, invariably laxity sets in at various levels. The people will have the sense that we are soon to vanquish COVID and the general public would start to ignore the standard preventive methods like masking and social distancing and governments would also relax the official guidelines.
Most of the times the vaccine is tested on healthy adult individuals, whereas the protection is needed for more vulnerable, older and especially with co-morbidities population. Allergic or anaphylactic reaction to the components of the vaccine especially adjuvants is a real possibility. More so the long-term adverse effects cannot be gauged in short term studies like what has been done in development of COVID vaccine.
Furthermore, developing the vaccine within a short stretch of time impels its own challenges. While the efficacy of the trial in terms of eliciting a response to the virus can be tested, the safety and adverse effects caused by the vaccines in the long term remains questionable. As many people globally, India in particular, are building up immunity to COVID-19, the purpose of vaccines will turn out to be redundant by the time they are being mass-produced in the country, as it is highly likely for herd immunity to have occurred by then.
Although the measured exposure to the virus used in the preparation of a vaccine might be suitable to a few, the potency might either result in an overdose or underdose for the others, as each individual responds uniquely. In its truest form, the human body is composed of and works in tandem with the five elements of nature. The human body is capable of generating vaccines on its own as and when required based on the training and practices. Injecting it with a foreign component only deranges the native functioning of the immune system. As Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India said that everyone should be self-reliant i.e., Aatmanirbhar, similarly the human body is capable of being self-reliant/aatmanirbhar subject to right training being provided to the body. Therefore, instead of promoting some vaccine companies for their benefit and blindly following it, we must train our own body to become self-reliant/aatmanirbhar. Hence, naturopathy amplifies the significance of supporting the body's capacity to treat and heal itself with the appropriate combination of food and yoga, as the vaccines which were developed within a brief span are not only feasible for rapid mass production but with minimal trial runs, they might not be the ideal lifelong solution for the entire population exhibiting varied symptoms.
Rajesh S Jain, CEO of JG Group (est. 1909) is an entrepreneur and an ardent follower and preacher of wellness. He carries out his philanthropic activities towards wellness through Prajna Institue of Yoga & Allied Sciences (PIYAS), an initiative of Surajbai Sardarmull Navyas Trust.
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