Posts tagged with "COVID-19 mask"

Covid-19 Reaches Dangerous Levels in the U.S.

By Hannah DiPilato 

As summer turns to fall, many cases of Coronavirus in The United States are beginning to spike. Fourteen states have set hospitalization records due to the virus and officials are concerned about how the virus will progress. 

According to the Covid Tracking Project, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin, all reported their highest number of hospitalizations this past week. 

The director for the National Institutes for Health, Dr. Francis Collins, told National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” on Tuesday that his family would not be gathering for Thanksgiving. 

“It is just not safe to take that kind of chance with people coming from different parts of the country of uncertain status,” said Collins. “The problem with this disease is it is so easy for people to be infected and not know it, and then spread it to the ones next to them without realizing it.”

“All of this, I’m afraid, happens because we have not succeeded in this country in introducing really effective public health measures,” he continued.

Deaths in the U.S. have now reached over 220,000 and experts are concerned this number will continue to escalate. The average of new daily cases was over 58,300, the highest the average has been since August.

It seems the most spikes are happening in the “Midwest, Great Plains and parts of the West,” according to CNN. Pennsylvania is on its 15th consecutive day of reporting over 1,000 coronavirus cases. Although, New York City, which got hit harder at the beginning of the pandemic, has not seen a marked increase in deaths. 

“We are not seeing an increase in overall deaths and that’s been true over the last several weeks to several months,” said Dave Chokshi commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Human Services. “The total number of deaths per day is averaging in the single digits.” 

New York City’s rate of positive tests is 2.52% and in open schools, the rate is only 0.17%. In other states, the positive rates are not so promising. According to the Florida Department of Health, Florida has reported 3,662 new cases of the virus and 86 additional deaths on Tuesday. 

Experts are warning that things regarding coronavirus are only going to get worse, predicting a bleak fall and winter. Vaccine scientist, Peter Hotez, reported that the next few months will be the worst of the pandemic. 

“The key is now hanging on now for the next four or five months, where we’re going to enter what may be the worst period during this epidemic,” said Hotez. “As bad as it’s been, it’s about to get worse.”

Air Travel COVID Glitches

Air Travel COVID Glitches

360 Magazine Culture Editor, Tom Wilmer reports on the numerous glitches in the process of traveling safe in the air.

The day before I checked in for an early morning flight to Austin, Texas via SFO and Houston, United Airlines was advertising their promise to maintain empty middle-seat flights. But something went haywire at United overnight, as two of my three flights to Austin were packed to the gills with most middle seats occupied—it would have been all three flights, but I was upgraded to first on one leg.

When I checked in for my flight, a notice popped up on my phone from United informing me that it would be a fairly full flight and they offered alternative flights as an option. Nice gesture but rerouting would have entailed a delay until the following day to get to my destination—with no guarantee that the alternate flight option would have blocked middle seats.

As of this writing, virtually all airlines proudly tout mandatory mask requirements for all passengers—but while en route onboard my flights, the dutiful masked passengers dropped their face coverings as flight attendants dispensed beverages (water) and cookies. So there I was, mere inches from my seat mate, both of us doing our duty, wearing our masks – but now protecting only our chins, from the evil, invisible germ. And throughout the cabin it was the same, basically mask-less, scene.

Arriving at Austin/Bergstrom’s TSA cattle chutes, Social-Distancing sticker reminders adorned the concrete floor, every six feet…and the queued-up passengers were actually compliant in their attempts to maintain their distance — that is until we were flagged past the TSA ticket/identification checker. As passengers queued up to take shoes off, extract make-up bags, computers etc., they suddenly, randomly squished frantically up to within three or four inches from one another.

Throughout this collapse of proper social distancing, TSA workers ignored the traffic jamb and continued barking out reminders to remove laptops etc., from bags—but zero, zippo, nada, commands were interjected to maintain proper social distancing as the jumbled-up passengers squished toward the x-ray bag tunnel and body scanner.

Transiting through Denver’s DIA Airport, gaggles of Boulderites, and Denverians dutifully and proudly wore their masks. However, salted in to the hord of obedient, transiting passengers were the all-too-frequent mask less rogues with chins held high and chests puffed out proudly.

The reality of traveling by air today is akin to rush hour commuting by automobile. One moment you’re flowing along at a comfortably safe, even clip while maintaining a proper distance between you and the car ahead. A split second later the flow of traffic snarls up and you jamb on the brakes—Traveling by air is much the same, it’s a continual battle to protect yourself and maintain a bubble of safety.

COVID Mask Care illustration by Mina Tocalini

Mask Care

Board-Certified Dermatologist Elizabeth Mullans, M.D., from Uptown Dermatology in Houston, TX discusses the best ways to adapt your skincare routine when wearing a mask, ways to avoid ‘mask-ne’ and her top tips to help avoid skin irritation caused by masks.

How can a mask potentially cause irritation on the skin? Masks trap sweat and moisture which along with friction from the fabric can disrupt the skin’s protective barrier. This can result in irritation of the skin. Residue from laundry detergent can also become embedded in the fabric and cause further irritation. It is best to use a hypoallergenic detergent such as Arm and Hammer Free and Clear Sensitive Skin.

What kind of masks is best to wear right now? The best masks will contain several layers of fabric. Cotton is the best fabric on the inner lining touching the skin because it is less irritating than synthetic materials. Masks should be washed every day in hot water with laundry detergent and white vinegar (has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties) and dried on higher heat settings in the dryer. Detergents with fragrances can leave residue in the fabric, which can also cause a rash in people with sensitive skin.

What skincare routines should one pick up in order to keep their skin healthy? Wearing too many products under the mask, which can cause build up on the skin. Make sure to keep a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid gel to spot treat pimples and also try to cut down on carbohydrate and sugar intake which can also cause breakouts. Wash face twice a day, before and after wearing the mask. Acne prone individuals may benefit from cleansers that contain salicylic acid. Avoid heavy moisturizers and makeup in the areas covered by the mask. Assuming skin is not too sensitive, if not already using one, this is a good time to start a retinol cream or gel – start several nights a week with a pea sized amount, and gradually increase the frequency.