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News

Chemical cocktail found in face masks – Professor Michael Braungart, Ecotextile News

Top German scientists have found that wearing certain types of face masks for long periods of time could result in potentially hazardous chemicals and harmful microplastics being inhaled deep into human lungs.

Professor Michael Braungart, director at the Hamburg Environmental Institute and co-founder of the world-renowned Cradle to Cradle environmental standard has told Ecotextile News that mask wearers unwittingly run the risk of breathing in carcinogens, allergens and tiny synthetic microfibres by wearing both textile and nonwoven surgical masks for long periods of time.

His recent findings have been backed up by another leading industry textile chemist Dr. Dieter Sedlak, managing director and co-founder of Modern Testing Services Augsburg, Germany in partnership with Modern Testing Services Global, Hong Kong who found elevated concentrations of hazardous fluorocarbons, formaldehyde and other potentially carcinogenic substances on surgical face masks: “I can only say 100 per cent that I have similar concerns to Prof. Braungart.”

https://www.ecotextile.com/2021040127603/dyes-chemicals-news/exclusive-chemical-cocktail-found-in-face-masks.html

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Opinion

In 2020, 47 Countries Witness Surge in Civil Unrest – Security Magazine

From Security Magazine, 29 January 2020, citing the Maplecroft Civil Unrest Index.

A quarterly Civil Unrest Index reveals that over the past year 47 jurisdictions have witnessed a significant uptick in protests, which intensified during the last quarter of 2019.

This includes locations as diverse as Hong Kong, Chile, Nigeria, Sudan, Haiti and Lebanon.During this period, Chile and Hong Kong have plummeted in the ranking of 198 countries, from 91st to 6th and 117th to 26th highest risk respectively, says the Maplecroft Civil Unrest Index. Other hotspots, including Nigeria (ranked 8th), Lebanon (13th) and Bolivia (21st), have also recorded some of the biggest negative swings in the index.

https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/91622-in-2020-47-countries-witness-surge-in-civil-unrest

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News

Inside Hong Kong’s lockdown prison – UnHerd

There has been much political opportunism all over the world in response to the pandemic. In Hong Kong, though, the prioritisation of politics over medicine has been breathtaking. From the earliest stages of the outbreak, the government here, reeling and battered after the surge of unprecedented pro-democracy protests in 2019, seized upon the spread of Covid as a major tool for quelling dissent. In February 2020, a secret report sent by the Hong Kong government to its bosses in Beijing was leaked. It allegedly contained statements by Lam describing the outbreak of the coronavirus as a “rare opportunity to reverse the situation”, her administration having been “attacked on all fronts” during the protests. She added that with the central government’s help the pandemic could be the means of ending the unrest.

https://unherd.com/2021/03/inside-hong-kongs-lockdown-prison/

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News

Bacteria in your GUT affects your immune response to Covid-19 and could influence how severely you suffer symptoms, study finds – Dail Mail

  • South Korean study reviewed pre-existing research on role of gut microbiome  
  • Hong Kong-based scientists examined blood and stool samples from patients 
  • Both studies indicate a gut microbe imbalance is key in severe Covid-19

The study concludes the gut microbiome may be involved in the ‘magnitude of Covid-19 severity possibly via modulating host immune responses’.

The authors found that patients with Covid-19 had depleted levels of several gut bacteria known to modify a person’s immune response.

https://web.archive.org/web/20210112140105/https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9137823/Bacteria-GUT-affects-Covid-19-severity.html

Categories
Opinion

The Covid Physician’s true coronavirus timeline – The Critic

Our mission: save the NHS by neglecting ourselves and the NHS. I received numerous CCG advice and flow-charts on the coronavirus-centric mass processing of patients. Most of it was about whom not to see, and who could pass the pearly gates of the hospitals. Then there was the advice on the parallel IT and video-consultation medical industrial revolution: our new NHS normal.

…For clarity, the “D” in coronavirus means “disease”, the second “S” in SARS-CoV-2 means “syndrome”. In a sense, the WHO had already decided Covid-19 was a distinct disease entity caused by a novel coronavirus before characterising it as a syndrome called SARS-2, and before the naming of the virus as SARS-CoV-2. The importance of scientific syntax and semantics cannot be overemphasised. Such cognitive slip-ups trickle unnoticed into general parlance and may have fatal consequences for us as a species.

Without a definite cause, one cannot definitively conclude to treat anything in particular. Is Covid-19 a syndrome, a mixed bag of symptoms and signs that has been negligently and politically globally fast-tracked to a scientifically wrong conclusion? Is it, in practice, a conflation of different, distinct disease entities including influenzae, rhinoviruses, pneumoniae and other coronaviruses, not to mention other non-infectious phenomena?

https://thecritic.co.uk/the-covid-physicians-true-coronavirus-timeline/

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News

MPs hear why Hong Kong had no Covid-19 care home deaths – The Guardian

“Most important is stopping the transmission from hospital to nursing home,” Lum said. “We do a very good job on isolation. Once we have any person infected we isolate them in hospital for three months and at the same time we isolate all the close contact people in a separate quarantine centre for 14 days for observation.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/19/mps-hear-why-hong-kong-had-no-covid-19-care-home-deaths

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News Publications

UCL: closing schools does not help control COVID-19 epidemic

School closure and management practices during coronavirus outbreaks including COVID-19: a rapid systematic review:

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanchi/article/PIIS2352-4642(20)30095-X/fulltext

Summary from BBC News:

  • While school closures help during influenza outbreaks, the same may not apply to coronavirus
  • Data from the Sars outbreak (in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Singapore) suggest that school closures did not contribute to the control of the epidemic
  • Recent modelling studies of Covid-19 predict that school closures alone would prevent only 2%-4% of deaths, many fewer than other social distancing interventions