All about face masks

sunday
TOI masthead on Sunday

After all the controversy about face masks (you can read about the WHO point of view in April 2020 here, that says that healthy people need not wear masks), it is quite clear that face masks play a major role in reducing the spread of Covid-19, for everyone.

The masks do not have to be fancy or complex or expensive. Just functional. If they are washable and reusable, it’s a welcome bonus for the municipality’s waste management machinery that has been overly burdened these past few months.

Most importantly, the masks should be worn properly for maximum utility. Masks that hang around the neck are akin to helmets that hang on the riders’ arms.

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The importance of urban wildlife

From a distance, they look like a whole lot of black plastic garbage bags blown into the trees by a strong gust of wind. As darkness falls, one can see their arms unfold and they take off, flying between the multi-storied buildings in our Lokhandwala Township. As you have probably gathered, I’ve spent quite a few hours over the last few years watching these bats, amazed at their human-like mannerisms. Or maybe it’s the other way, where human vampires mimic bats.

Bats
Like black plastic garbage bags on the trees (Pic taken in Feb 2013)

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Electricity bill shocks

scared of light

Electricity bills have been soaring. With many of us staying home 24×7, it is quite expected that electricity consumption would be more compared to when we were going to work, going to school and going out in general.

Electricity distribution companies were unable to take meter readings during lockdown, so they were issuing estimated bills. The result was that people got shocks when they started receiving their bills after meter readings. Wrong readings? Unfair calculations?

I’ve tried to explain why the bills seem overtly high, how you can raise grievances and tips to minimise power usage. Read my post on mumbai.citizenmatters.in here.

Immune response

Ever since Covid-19 took over our lives, we have all been looking for ways by which we can save ourselves from getting the virus. Face masks and shields, hand hygiene – washing and sanitising, social distancing – avoiding people and staying home.

A COVID-19 Viewpoint report by the University of Minnesota (30th April 2020) says that we must be prepared for at least another 18 to 24 months of significant COVID-19 activity, with hot spots popping up periodically in diverse geographic areas. The report also says that given the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2, 60% to 70% of the population may need to be immune to reach a critical threshold of herd immunity to halt the pandemic.

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The last 100 days

Half of 2020 gone, and over half of this under lockdown/unlock with restrictions. Yesterday July 2, was the 100th day of lockdown that started nation-wide on March 25 in India. how lockdown feels now

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Our very own doctor hero

dctors day 2020

July 1 is commemorated as National Doctor’s Day in India. It is the birth and death anniversary of the physician Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy (1882-1962), who also served as the second Chief Minister of West Bengal till his death.

Anyone who has a doctor in the family knows the comfort and assurance that it brings. My father-in-law, Dr Nagarajan has been our very own doctor on call, way before remote consultation became the norm during Covid-19. No matter where we live, he is just a call away, not only for family, but also for friends, neighbours and acquaintances who need a medical opinion. Continue reading