Friday, May 1, 2020

The Safest DIY Facemasks May Need This

The current SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic has brought many people to a place they thought they'd never be: wearing a facemask as part of their daily routine. The shortage of medical masks has sparked a movement to create do-it-yourself masks. Volunteers and entrepreneurs have sprung up on social media sites offering to sew masks for medical facilities and the general public.

Homemade masks vary greatly in style and construction. According to Reuters Health, the best facemasks may require layers of different fabrics. Results of a recently published study indicated that the most effective masks are those constructed of a high-thread-count cotton combined with layers of natural silk or chiffon. Those masks were found to be 80% to 99% effective in blocking particles.

Research scientist Supratik Guha and his colleagues found that cotton combined with polyester spandex chiffon created static electricity that might help stop aerosolized particles from reaching the nose. Researchers also discovered that quilted material also was an effective material for masks, perhaps due to the tangled nature of the batting fibers.

Guha stressed that the best fabric isn't good enough if the fit of the mask is poor. It's important to ensure that the gaps around the face are minimized, although still allowing for the release of exhaled air.

Ideal DIY Facemask May Require Multiple Layers of Different Fabrics - Medscape - Apr 27, 2020.

Monday, March 16, 2020

God's Rest for Uncertain Days

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has now blown America from complacency into full-blown panic. At special risk are senior citizens and those with medical conditions that compromise their immunity.

Like many caregiving families, we have struggled to keep ourselves and loved ones safe without giving in to the fear. Our household consists of a vulnerable adult who is being cared for by two at-risk seniors. We recognized the risks early on and quickly ensured that we were as ready as possible for a serious outbreak of this virus.

No, we didn't hoard toilet paper.

Yes, we bought the proper medical supplies and household needs for a few weeks of possible isolation. We already had most of this in place before the crisis hit.

At this time, we are instituting our own policy of social isolation that we will evaluate on a week-by-week basis until the course of the virus appears to be waning. We use stringent infection control measures in our home. We've done all we can for now.

Still, the uncertainty has cast a pall upon our home as the seriousness of this pandemic is commanding the airwaves. We worry about our loved ones around the country. Our beloved granddaughter is facing the very real possibility of having to postpone her much-anticipated wedding. From serious illness to financial strain to personal loss, people are experiencing trials on many levels.

In the midst of anxiety, there is one place we can run.

When I read this Psalm, the image that comes to my mind is that of a hen sheltering her chicks under her wings. I remember fondly the little banty hens we had when I was growing up. The chicks always knew to run to their mamas if they were threatened. The hens spread their wings over their babies and pecked anyone who got near. There was something so comforting in watching the little ones sleeping under their mothers' wings.

In some Bible versions, the word abide in verse one is translated as "rest." When trouble descends upon us, we can rest in God's shelter. It's supposed to be the place we live. God is strong and mighty and a loving Father. He is our deliverer and the keeper of our souls.

So as we live out a long, hard winter, we can do two things:
Exercise infection control  
Live in rest.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”

For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;

Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.

A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you.

You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.

For you have made the Lordmy refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.

10 No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your [c]tent.
11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.

12 They will bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.
14 Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.

15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.

16 “With a long life I will satisfy him
And let him see My salvation.”

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

15 Scriptures that Inspire Us to Live Boldly for God

When our days are gray, there's nothing like God's Word to remind us of God's strength and comfort. When we remember all He is and all He does for us, we are inspired to trust Him and to live boldly for Christ. Refresh and embolden your day with these fifteen verses from the Bible. (All Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible.)

The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
This is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will extol Him.

-Exodus 15:2

I have set the Lord continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

-Psalm 16:8

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 18:2

taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

-Psalm 34:8

Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

-Psalm 55:22

In my trouble I cried to the Lord,
And He answered me.

-Psalm 120:1

On the day I called, You answered me;
You made me bold with strength in my soul.

-Psalm 138:3

The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and is safe.

-Proverbs 18:10

Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the Lord God is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.

-Isaiah 12:2

The Lord is good,
A stronghold in the day of trouble,
And He knows those who take refuge in Him.

-Nahum 1:7

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
-Matthew 11:28

Looking at them, Jesus said, With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”
-Mark 10:27

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
-John 14:27

Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
-1 Peter 5:7

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
-James 1:2-4

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Thai Government Reports Possible Treatment for 2019-nCoV Coronavirus

A recent report out of Thailand claims that an anti-viral cocktail administered to a Thai patient infected with the 2019-nCoV coronavirus has resulted in a dramatic improvement in symptoms. reports that Dr. Kriengsak Attipornwanich of Thailand’s Health Ministry announced the news on Sunday, February 2, 2020. According to him, the patient initially tested positive for the new coronavirus. The anti-influenza drug oseltamivir, along with and lopinavir and ritonavir, was administered to the patient. Lopinavir and ritonavir are both anti-viral drugs used to treat HIV.

Forty-eight hours later, lab tests on the patient for the coronavirus were negative, and the patient appeared much improved.

Research is continuing to replicate these results and confirm the drugs’ effectiveness in other patients.
This report comes as worldwide infection has now surpassed 20,000 cases in at least twenty-five nations. Experts are predicting this strain of coronavirus will become pandemic, or global. The U.S. administration has declared a public health emergency. Eleven people are now confirmed with the disease in the U.S., with no deaths to date. The World Health Organization has declared a global emergency, and the Centers for Disease Control has issued an advisory against nonessential travel to China.

Although frightening because of its high contagion, the 2019-nCoV coronavirus is still much less deadly than this year’s influenza. It’s important to keep from panicking, use common sense in general caregiving tasks, and practice standard infection control to lessen the chances of acquiring either disease.


Monday, January 27, 2020

What You Need to Know about the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

A new (novel) virus, called the coronavirus (2019-nCoV), has alarmed the public and health care providers alike in recent weeks. It emerged from Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, and has rapidly spread to Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Nepal, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States. The first cases were reported on December 31, 2019, according to 

Early indications are that the virus may have come from the Huanan seafood market. It was initially thought to be connected to human infection from animals sold at the market who carried the coronavirus. But continued infection in people with no connection to the market has pointed to human-to-human infection. At this point, it is unknown how the virus is being spread. It appears to be spreading during the incubation period, before a person begins to develop symptoms, making it especially dangerous.

Symptoms are believed to appear from 2-14 days after exposure. Common symptoms are fever, cough, and fatigue. Some less common symptoms are coughing up blood or sputum that may be blood-tinged, headache, and diarrhea. Complications have included acute respiratory distress syndrome, anemia, acute cardiac injury, and secondary infection. 

Treatment for now consists of supporting the patient's systems while the body fights the disease. No antiviral treatment has been effective against 2019-nCoV. Corticosteroids have been administered in some cases, but it is unknown whether these treatments were beneficial. Trials are now being conducted to find effective treatments and a vaccine against the disease.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that those who either have the disease or are being tested for it wear a mask. This may prevent the transmission of disease through larger fluid droplets. But according to Fox News, Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University, and the medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, has warned that wearing surgical face masks won't prevent the spread of the disease.

A respirator may be more effective if worn correctly. But for now, conscientious hand-washing is recommended. The CDC has listed the following ways to minimize exposure to this virus:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.