Blog
05 Mar 2020

The fallacy of Mask for Corona Virus prevention.

Corona virus is finally here after a lot of wait like Monsoon!

Corona virus is finally here after a lot of wait like Monsoon! El Nino ! err El Chino effect.

But finally if it has arrived, like floods in rains, we sure are apprehensive of the damage it may do.

More often than sometimes, we start seeing the forest so closely that we see trees, alas, not the forest! So lets not be myopic on our vision in the testing times. The outbreak is already a Pandamic, ie, spead all through out the globe. So obviously, it had to come to India sooner or later in the small world that is today.

In the persuit to control it, the government will do its best like screeining at the airports and other check in points, it will try its best to isolate confirmed cases, it will issue guidelines.

But we must remember that we in india are deficient in Health care . That includes hospitals as well as doctors, nurses and paramedics. But no point cribbing now as to why the national health expenditure is so less! Hope the government will learn it's lessons.

So it will be upto us to help ourselves. And how do we actually do that. First it is important to know that the symptoms of Corona virus infection are like Influenza and fever. The virus also spreads like Influenza, i.e. by cough or sneeze droplets or nasal secretions.

Here are a few measures we can take from our end , in my opinion, to help the society fight the virus better.

  • Please make sure that you dont spread any rumors. Rumors spread faster than the virus. Do not forward anything and just anything you recieve on whatsapp or any social media Please verify with any doctor before forwarding any post.
  • Try leading an healthylife. I mean eat healthy, do exrecises, sleep well, avoid crowded places and take adequate rest and try to destress yourself. All these are likely to increase your immunity.
  • Spread awareness about precautionary measures for those who are having even Influenza. Everyone having any type of cold should try and confine himself/ herself in theirhomes, till they are better.
  • Try and maintain a distance of about 2 to3 meters from anyone who has symptoms of cold.
  • Keep your surroundings clean and clean ur tables, chairs etc with disinfectants like phenol.
  • Keep a sanitizer around you. Clean your hands frequently with sanitizer. But here is a catch! One sanitizer in the office will not be useful, because everyone touches the bottle. so the sanitizer should be personal and you should sanitize the bottle also with the same liquid intermittently.
  • I would rather use soap and water instead of sanitizer if possible and wash properly and clean the tap as well.
  • Try and avoid touching your face or eyes with your own hand unless they are clean.
  • Eat citrus food like fruits like oranges, lemon, mausambi, Amla etc. Have plenty of fluids. Dont get dehydrated.
  • Take multivitamins and antioxidants for a few weeks. Check your hemoglobin, keep it normal, keep your blood sugar under control.
  • TAKE A FEW STEPS BACKWARDS: Lead a simplistic life. Learn to curb your restlessness. Avoid unnecessary travels by air, rail or bus. Avoid shopping in malls. In general avoid unnecessary movement. Save hard cash. It may come handy.

MASKS!

It is to discuss this issue, that I started to write. Lets dissect it further.

  • Using mask to fight pollution and virus are 2 different things. Air pollution doesnt spread by touching the mask and touching your eyes, or removing your mask by holding it and then wiping your pirspiring face. But a Virus will spread. A mask has 2 sides. Outer ( exposed to the outside) and Inner side ( towards your face). Now imagine you come acoss an infected person and thus the outer side of the mask has virus on it. Plentiful. But you are unaware. You feel thirsty or u sweat, or you feel suffocated or just uneasy. What do you do? The normal reaction is to hold the mask from outside and pull it down and again pull it up after you are done with your activity. Now the virus is in ur hand. May be u have wiped ur face, or held the glass of water. The virus has already spread to you, without you realising. Such is the nature, that it is almost impossible to have 100% protection through any means except being not exposed to the virus at all.
  • The correct method of use of mask is to take it out using the ear support and disinfect it immediately in a disinfectant or boiling water. In both the cases, the mask will mostly not be fit for wearing again!! If you are thowing the mask in the dustbin, you are keeping the trigger on!
  • Not all masks offer good protection. only N 95 masks and above, offer protection. And these are in limited supply. Going by the above logic, the whole of India's lot may get exhausted in a few days!!
  • If many people start using masks, it will result in Panic and exhaustion of all the masks and rumor mongering. So in my opinion, the use of masks should be restricted only to diagnosed cases and health workers wirking in high risk enviornment.

Some of my knowledgeable friends are hopeful that things will stabilize given the low mortality of 0.2% of corona virus( Non Wuhan varient) compared to SARS ( about 10%). Influenza has a mortality rate of 0.1%.

Vaccines should be hopefully available within a few months or may be some combination of anti viral durgs turns out to be effective. With the Summer season approaching, the virus may die its natural death!

Lets be optimistic & responsible and fight the virus with equal resiliance.

Best wishes.

Dr. Anshuman Manaswi
Plastic Surgeon,
La Transformatione' Plastic Surgery Center.
Mumbai
9004022151
dramanaswi@yahoo.com

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