Unmasking protective mask types to prevent coronavirus and more

You can bitch, moan, or debate about PPP and PPE. Wearing a protective mask and pair of gloves during a horrible disease pandemic is a necessary prophylactic, both courteous and wise. What were once used as options in factories, medical and science offices are now more essential wearables in a world where tiny microbes coexist with us through an invisible masks.

People tend to shy from using prophylactics such as a protective mask. Another form of prophylactic is use of a condom. The global rate of unintended pregnancy was estimated at 44% of all pregnancies between 2010 and 2014, corresponding to approximately 62 unintended pregnancies per 1000 women between the ages of 15–44 years old. One in two sexually active persons will contract an STI by age 25. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 20 million new STIs occur every year in this country, half of those among young people aged 15–24. Yet the use of condoms as a prophylactic measure remains constant.

We take our breathing and our respiratory health for granted, but the lung is a vital organ that is vulnerable to airborne infection and injury. Respiratory diseases are leading causes of death and disability in the world. Coronavirus-19 barely comes close to those numbers but ranks high among infectious, contagious diseases. Virus based colds are varied. Flu is a common, common cold. Discovery and use of flu vaccines help make incidence less common. Each year new viruses develop and attack unprotected immune systems. According to CDC, about 400,000 patents were hospitalized with a viral infection, each year, over the past decade. Many of those patients died because of respiratory issues that occured prior to flu.

Wearing a protective mask and gloves, especially in dense populations, may prevent these “colds” from spreading to others. Or prevent their colds spreading to you. Sneezes and coughs spread droplets of microbes and some are infectious. Using a hand or sleeve to cover a sneeze is no sure way of filtering spread to others or to items they carry. Viruses are tiny microbes. They are about 1/3 of 1 micron in size. If you lined them on a ruler, there might be over 100,000 to an inch. A protective mask helps filter viruses from entering nose and mouth. What was optional in the 20th century seems more reasonable in the 21st. Microscopes that discovered tiny microbes (electron microscopes) were more accessible to labs in the 1960’s. Perhaps there’s a lesson we should learn during this pandemic. A protective mask, gloves, and some proportionate social distancing may help humans survive better into the 22nd century. Scientists have only been glimpsing into sub-micron sized particles for the past 50 years and their behaviors.

There are many protective masks. Let’s explore a few. There are basics: homemade cloth face mask, surgical mask {procedure and respirator), N95/N98/N99?N100 respirator.Many are made of paper and are disposable. Some are plastic and N100 is notably metallic. On those masks there are filters (often carbon) that are replaceable.

A surgical/procedure mask is a 3-layer to 5-layers protective sheet, rectangular, with ear loops or head-straps. The are usually common and affordable. Most masks worn during routine medical exams are also found in nail salons. This mask is a loose-fitting disposable mask that protects the wearer’s nose and mouth from contact with droplets, splashes and sprays that may contain germs. A surgical mask also filters out large particles in the air. Surgical masks may protect others by reducing exposure to the saliva and respiratory secretions of the mask wearer. These generally do not have FDA approval for surgical use. They are fine for l;leisure walking, short periods, with social distancing. Protection might be 70 to 90% and are comfortable.

There are fabric masks, usually handmade or fashionable, that function like procedure masks. They tend to protect from colder weather. They are seen as bandanas and scarves as well. Fabrics must be very tightly woven to offer protective mask protection. Mesh won’t do. So inappropriate for summer wear.

Cloth masks may be custom designed and laundered. Cloth masks are cheap and simple to make. Must be tightly stitched as microns get through. CDC offers designs for no-sew that may provide very near to N95 efficiency.

More appropriate for surgery, N95 mask offers more protection than a surgical mask does because it can filter out both large and small particles. The name indicates that the mask is designed to block 95% of very small particles. Like surgical masks, N95 masks are intended to be disposable. However, researchers are testing ways to disinfect N95 masks so they can be reused. These are costlier than procedure masks. Essential oil sprays (tea tree, oregano, eucalyptus) may be antiviral for longer durability but studies are thin. I’dd feel better if surgeon disposes of old masks. For tightest protection, the N95 protective mask manufacturers advise head-straps over ear-loops, clean-shaven instead of beards.

You may have heard of N98, N99, and N100 as a protective mask label. Often respirators with added filters, these may be used by doctors but are more common for use in areas of extreme toxic chemicals. The difference between N95, N99 and N100 masks is simply the filter’s efficiency level. N95 filters 95% of particulates and N99 filters 99% of particulates on the air. The higher the efficiency, the more particulates respirator will filter out. That means microns are virtually filtered.

N100 masks are designed to protect the wearer from inhaling non-oil-based particulates, and according to OSHA standards, they must prevent 99.97 percent of those particulates from getting in when properly worn. The larger, bulky N100 protective mask is designed to block dangerous hazards like lead, cadmium, arsenic and methylenedianiline, commonly referred to as MDA. All the N100 masks usually are NIOSH-approved.

There are also P100 respirator protective mask types. P100 respirators are effective at blocking 99.97 percent of oil-based particulates when properly worn. They can protect wearers from exposure to dust, fumes and hazardous mists. P100 masks are ideal for construction environments, food processing plants, agricultural applications and pharmaceutical manufacturing. They also provide complete protection against non-oil-based particulates, like lead, arsenic and cadmium. P100 respirators are often used during welding, as well.

A protective mask may be created anywhere. Many are manufactured in Asia. The ways to help a consumer find the best protective mask is by regulating standards. You’ve probably heard of OSHA before, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. NIOSH and OSHA are two sides of the same coin; they are different organizations, but they were both founded with the same act, and they work together to tackle the problem of workplace hazards. Yet, it’s likely that most of the masks used during the Coronavirus-19 pandemic were not manufactured to these standards.

NIOSH is a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. They tend to work more on the research and health side of things. That’s why they’re relevant for masks and respirators; they care about things like air pollution and environmental hazards and safety. So, expect NIOSHA to be recommended by the CDC.

So…many of the disposable procedure and N95 masks may NOT be as efficient as claimed. It’s possible they were designed for cosmetic applications and food preparation instead of medical use. Theoretically, use of a protective mask and a pair of gloves, along with reasonable social distance may help keep some infectious flu microns away.

There are man points and counterpoints about how to live in a world with coronavirus. Habitually wearing a protective mask and pair of gloves when outdoors is your first shield against microbial infections. During a pandemic, epidemic, or “cold” seasons these are prophylactic measures to improve wellness. Yes, you can gamble your health with many things other than microbes. I think wearing a suitable protective mask is a safety net with degrees of assurance.

Coronavirus-19 means there were previous coronaviral sources of the flu. Vaccines contain protection from those. The current microbe is a recmutation. It may not be in every breath you take or in any breath you take or anything you touch but can be encountered, especially among crowds of people. Some, only few have flu-like symptoms and, of those, may be unaware that they are carriers. Using a protective mask and gloves might help reduce the spread of infection.

I think that beyond wearing masks and gloves routinely, social distancing and quarantines may not be necessary. People need liberty to socialize and go places. In cold seasons, I’d advise wearing masks and gloves as a health and fashion ethic. Yet, we see that people don’t use condoms, don’t diet, don’t exercise. Mutual reciprocity in relationships must proximally overcome social barriers. A protective mask needs to become an ethical part of your wardrobe. You are not over-reacting if you use a protective mask within a vetting process. It is mutual protection of the other. Wearing a protective mask and gloves are not punishments. They help prevent disease spread for you and for others.

Respiratory illnesses cost the U.S. economy roughly $40 billion a year — substantially more than other conditions like asthma, heart failure, and emphysema. There are larger numbers when you add non-viral and viral expenses and sick days. Yet group dynamics prove that people don’t follow rules or ethics. You shouldn’t be forced to wear a protective mask if you’re willing to sin against harming others and/or self. Infectious diseases are humanity’s bane. A protective mask and responsible distancing help keep societies and businesses in balance. Let debaters continue to debate with or without masks. Viruses will mutate further. Left futures decide and predict whether these masks may be more necessary than now.

NOMID and COVID multisystem inflammatory disease

Can there be a relationship to the coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) that affects young children? People are talking about it. It’s called NOMID or Neonatal onset multisystem inflammatory disease. Other than both being inflammatory diseases. Are they siblings or distant cousins? They may not be in the same family! What’s the link?

It’s rare. As we immerse ourselves at coronavirus prevention, a disease emerged that affects kids from 2-15. Neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease is a rare genetic periodic fever syndrome which causes uncontrolled inflammation in multiple parts of the body starting in the newborn period. Symptoms include skin rashes, severe arthritis, and chronic meningitis leading to neurologic damage. It’s there since birth but symptoms can show anytime. Is YOUR child safe from multisystem inflammatory disease?

Neonatal onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID) is a disorder that causes persistent inflammation and tissue damage primarily affecting the nervous system, skin, and joints. Recurrent episodes of mild fever may also occur in this disorder. People with NOMID have a skin rash that is usually present from birth.

NOMID is also known as chronic infantile neurologic cutaneous articular (CINCA) syndrome. As a syndrome, it encompasses many neurological diseases and symptoms. While NOMID is a very rare disorder. Only about 100 affected individuals with different ethnic backgrounds have been widely reported. Males and females are equally affected. Yet, within the coronavirus pandemic. NOMID tips the scales to focus on children’s susceptibilities. Some believe there are genetic mutations, much like DDX3, Muscular Dystrophy, and Multiple Sclerosis…among many.

While there are some standard therapies and some under investigation, NOMID
has no cures, much like other diseases from genetic mutations.

NOMID is an American term for CINCA. Statistics of possible CINCA prevalence has been done elsewhere. The exact prevalence of chronic infantile neurological, cutaneous, and articular (CINCA) syndrome is unknown, it is estimated that the whole spectrum of CAPS has a prevalence of 1/360,000 in France, CINCA being the less common form. In the Eurofever registry, collecting information on over 250 patients with NLRP3 mutation, about 25% of the patients present the most severe CINCA phenotype.

Symptoms noted, may confuse parents and pediatricians:

Chronic aseptic meningitis

Progressive profound sensorineural hearing loss in >70%

Increased intracranial pressure

Papilledema – Papilledema is a serious medical condition where the optic nerve at the back of the eye becomes swollen. Symptoms can include visual disturbances, headaches, and nausea.

Headache

Ventriculomegaly – Ventriculomegaly, also known as hydrocephalus, is a condition in which the CSF-filled structures within the brain become larger than normal. As a result, the large ventricles can inhibit the proper development of the brain.

Cerebral atrophy

Seizures

Significant developmental delay

Where 3 or 4 symptoms are chronically present, genetic testing would be required. Advice is to see a pediatric neurologist.

Bringing NOMID/CINCA into the spotlight is that some therapies used seem to also work on COVID-19 patients. This is dissimilar as COVID-19 is viral and NOMID/CINCA is genetic. Whether this loose relationship is better for NOMID patients or COVID patients is like grasping at straws.

Parenting is difficult. Comparing NOMID to COVID-19 leads to overwhelming concerns. Both are actively still seeking treatmets, cures, vaccines. Symptomatically COVID is more respiratory and NOMID relates to irregular brain pressures. I don’t see how one relates to the other.

Sex workers and coronavirus

There’s coronavirus. Then there’s political coronavirus. Stress runs rampant in important election years. Politics and sex are always political. This pandemic is giving bona-fide sex workers the shaft as they and their frustrated clients are worlds apart.

Googling over small businesses effected by the coronavirus pandemic, I was surprised to find sex trade among them. Sex trade!! Sex trade implies human trafficking, runaways, and drug addicts forced into street waling prostitution. Sex workers aren’t necessarily selling sex. Above board they are escorts or role-play workers. On 4/20/2020,CNN posted that Japan will provide financial aid to sex workers. In the USA, salaried, tax-paying sex workers with the Adult Performer Actors Guild (APAG) are protesting their ineligibility for the tax stimulus. Later, it was noted that street walkers were not eligible but if you worked at an agency, you might be paid. Oddly enough, there are about 4,000 escort services under names such as Leisure Time incorporated. Accepting credit cards, escort and role-play service income is taxable.

While people are dying from coronavirus, and front helpers are feeling stressed. other front runners are trying to remain employed and working as dancers, escorts, and…. well you know. Tourism is down. Theaters and trade shows are closed. Believe it or not, people in the sex trade are feeling the effects of safety for themselves and for customers.

It seems trivial but sex workers brace for losses from coronavirus quarantines during pandemic. According to BBC news, like the rest of the world, sex workers are shifting from offline personal work to online virtual work.

Those employed (or leased) as escorts or role-play agents have been concerned about safety standards, including dancers, since March. Most prohibited more intimate lap-dancing as it went against social distancing. Both stated preference of working with regular clients than accepting new ones. Most use masks and gloves as protective gear. Sex workers are facing dire financial and personal circumstances as fear of the coronavirus extends into every corner of life, with some under pressure to work in increasingly risky conditions. Most sex workers say “No” to any sexual contact and expect clients to follow strict safe, sane, and consensual standards before meeting.

Many sex workers are male and female, former models, medical/law students, unemployed dancers and actors. They seek part-time, high paying work that’s safe. According to Newsweek 4/17 sex workers are using internet and social media sites such as twitter and Instagram to sell services.

Can escorts work? A male escort must wear a face mask (N95) and gloves./ A female might dress modern Islamic with glove and mouth cover. Role Play? Think full body suits. Otherwise… stick to online.

Of course what makes this line of work sexual is the optional negotiation of adding sex. Herein lies potential for possible sexual transmitted diseases.

Coronavirus is very serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Any interaction at closer distances should be tested. Speed and efficiency of testing may not be suitable as yet. The clue is if theaters, clubs, restaurants, museums are closed, people are less likely to pay over a thousand dollars to be seen with a beautiful escort.

During this pandemic uncertainty is dangerous and there’s no concept of love for sale. After coronavirus passes, sex workers return to new normal.Online is the wisest choice… flirt, tease, edge. All with the safety of anti-virus PC protection. Then, afterwards, your clients (political reps, pundits, PACs, and others return. Just influence that salaried sex workers deserve federal stimulus and unemployment benefits. Among your wealthy, stressed clients, as upper-crust sex workers you certainly have influence.

Coronavirus and food access for mobility challenge

This coronavirus flu pandemic is among the worst flu crises in the past 200 years. Able-body people are forced into quarantine lock downs at home, protective gear, social distancing, and closures of schools and businesses. USA was caught unaware. It was shocking. That includes access to supermarkets. It’s a hysterical situation. Imagine having motor and other disabilities. When those microbes flee and vaccines develop. Most people will gradually normalize. For many people with chronic disability challenges, many challenges that were once somewhat manageable are above and beyond possible.

Quarantines, social distancing, wearing (and finding) protective masks and gloves are large and bitter pills to swallow, even in this digital age. But compared to congestive flu, pneumonia symptoms and death, you deal with it.

When supplies run low, shopping online provides basics but if you have special, dietary needs or seek taste preferences, you may be out of luck. Most people can get to supermarkets and pharmacies that are better supplied and even wait on restrictive lines. People with visual, mobility, emotional, mentally, or otherwise impaired, those challenges are virtually impossible for adaptation.

The global lockdown and social distance is shocking to most people. This Coronavirus pandemic is impacting many lives. For the disabled and for those with chronic mobility challenges, this is even more devastating. Having myotonic muscular dystrophy, lack of accessibility is a permanent condition. Corona virus pandemic attacks the disabled and human civilization with greater than military impunity.

According to statistics gathered by the World Bank, One billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability, and disability prevalence is higher for developing countries. One-fifth of the estimated global total, or between 110 million and 190 million people, experience significant disabilities. Of course disabilities cover wide ranges and few have been addressed as seriously as coronavirus-19 over the past 4 months.

Confronting dilemmas of coronavirus and disabilities is that disabilities are chronic with no treatments or cures. Acute diseases are the diseases that affects an individual for short span of time. Chronic diseases are the diseases that persist for a long period of time. They develop over a time and does not appear suddenly. For example, Heart disease, kidney disease, neuro-muscular diseases, among others are chronic. Coronavirus is a flu and is acute.

Although acute, and seeming temporary, each year flu can possibly kill many. CDC estimates that influenza was associated with more than 48.8 million illnesses, more than 22.7 million medical visits, 959,000 hospitalizations, and 79,400 deaths during the 2017–2018 influenza season. The coronavirus-19 (SARS-Cov2) of 2020 far exceeds that. Will microbes eventually be the end of human civilization through repeated attacks from infectious microbes? Each year there is a flu season. Some are prevented with researched vaccines. Each year, though, people around the world die from flu diseases. They may be brief but deadly to some. Coronavirus has demonstrated death tolls around the world. And science research is slow in finding weapons.

In the USA, scientific research is usually neglected. Many studies are small, short, and not representative samples of the population. When we debate health care, thorough research usually isn’t factored.

Viruses, bacteria, and fungi are contagious by contact with air, boards, and other materials. Chronic disabilities are likely in genetic or in-utero. Chronic disabilities are not contagious, other than family blood lines.

Both coronavirus and disabilities can shorten lifespan, depending on severity. Living in a quarantine-like environment such as coronavirus restrictions isn’t unique for those with chronic mobile disabilities. Doing things is just more challenging.

People with chronic disabilities need to adapt to the environment. In New York, I don’t go to stores. I shop online or by phone. The store delivers. Under the coronavirus pandemic, shopping is even more challenging because traveling to stores may be extremely difficult. More online stores have established restrictive policies.

People with disabilities aren’t seniors although many seniors have congestive diseases that can confound or amplify coronavirus symptoms. While death might have been accelerated by coronavirus, there may have been others that suppressed the body’s immune system. Generally, proper nutrition is supportive but not medically accepted.

As an acute disease, Coronavirus and lockdowns restrict access to laundries, barbers, hair salons, nail spas and other personal services that people with disabilities make use of. Yes, people on lockdowns are coping with all these services closed.

COVID stress gets worse as lockdowns become longer. People are required to think out-of-the-box to take care of needs they’ve always taken for granted. They must adapt to new and harsher realities as cases and deaths grow higher each day. They must adapt as soldiers without legitimate authority through lockdowns and mandatory social distancing for an undetermined time. Thank heavens for Internet and unemployment!

But this coronavirus pandemic will pass. Human civilizations will normalize. Economies will surge and lives will become better with achievements and joy.

Yet, for people with chronic disabilities who use wheelchairs, walkers, braces and other accessories for different challenges, restrictions will remain with prayers for some ease with access to foods and services. Of course we’ve adapted to problems with maneuvering and travelling in a world full of obstacles. These challenges are permanent (or can get worse). I am motivated to confront my challenges although many days I succumb to failure. Then try to re-adapt. Thinking out-of-the-box and supportive relationships help.

In a world of bullets and bombs, human civilization must appreciate this coronavirus pandemic as evidence that science research against infectious microbes must not be suppressed. The bible talked about breaking swords and making plowshares. Science, responsible lifestyles, and mutual respect may make a better garden grow, amidst climate change and world pollution.

The endgame, as this coronavirus pandemic passes, is that no lessons were learned. Better, more infectious microbes will evolve and attack every few years. Human civilization and our future generations must learn the chronic war against these infectious microbes and furtherance of overall human wellness. Or face extinction like the Aztecs.

The Biblical Book of Isaiah sheds a utopic view of the world. The famous “swords to plowshares” quote (Isaiah 2:4) is but one of its famous proclamations:

And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4).

This goes back nearly 3,000 years. Reference to this or essences appear in the Old Testament, New Testament, and Koran. What is the plowshare we need?

Methodical microbial research will help human civilization span evolution better. Our economy must rely on research for our selves and future generations. This recent pandemic is far more destructive than bullets and bombs.. We must rethink and examine the prophets and create those plowshares to aid global civilizations on an ever-changing planet. Just because you can’t see the attack coming, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. That’s how coronavirus worked this time around.

While climate change and environment are important, generations are best served by research to help prevent pandemics and help the disabled meet challenges with greater dignity and understanding.