Back to school. How to cope with COVID complications Radio talk July 2020
Zulaikha Amod and Sue Visser discuss problems that affect teachers and their pupils who return to school during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
School teachers are now experiencing a lot of problems with teaching in a normal classroom under abnormal circumstances and they too, suffer from many inconveniences, difficuties, ailments and adversities that are related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Q: We are especially worried about the sanitisers. Some make us feel lightheaded and people complain of rashes. Are they safe to use so frequently?
A: No. Sanitisers have to contain over 60% alcohol to be effective. The idea is to rob the virus of the oil that protects its contents. But all that alcohol on the skin strips off ur natural layer of oil as well! Another problem is the type of alcohol that is used. Ethanol is a food-safeform of alcohol, but some cheaper brands use aa wood-based alcohol called methanol. Read the label, if you go shopping but most of us get sprayed at the doors of shops without questioning the active ingredients. There are many complaints about the effects that methanol have on the brain: dizziness, poor attention, brain fog and so on. Some sanitisers smell nice – especially the citrus ones. But some people react to citrus oil and bergamot oil because it makes them photosensitive.
Q: Can we make our own sanitisers, and how do we know if they will be effective?
A: It is hard to guarantee that our own recipes for sanitisers work as well as the alcohol-based ones. Yet many of the essential oils one can use are very effective against viruses as well as bacteria, mould and other microbes. You can use a clear gel and add a few drops of eucalyptus oil or tea tree oil to it. The gel type hand sanitisers do not strip off your skin and the oil stays on the surface of the skin so it lasts for many hours. Colloidal silver is also good – but expensive. It can be used for a throat and nose spray as well as for th mask before you wear it.
Q: We know that we all need to wash our hands a lot. What is the best soap to use?
Any soap will do because they all strip off the oil from your hands! I guess the idea is to make our hands so dry that the skin cracks and flakes off and we suffer from rashes and dermatitis? However, hand washing is still claimed to be the most effective way of killing germs. (You can’t kill a virus, you can only interfere with its ability to replicate.) Somesopas are sot as harsh, but are normally very alkaline – at pH 10. I recommend a pH balanced liquid soap or personal cleanser, in the acidic range of 4 – 6. The skin is pH 6.5, so attacking it with caustic substances and alcohol are not going to make the skin feel comfortable.
Q: Should we use hand cream if our skin feels dry?
Yes, but rather use a non-oily gel, so it can moisturise without making the hands greasy. Alcohol may deal with the virus but it is only effective until it evaporates, which is almost immediately. I prefer to add eucalyptus or tea tree oil to the gel and rub it on my hands, thus sanitising and protecting it in one go.
Q: What about masks, we have problems with children not being able to breathe and some suffer from emotional as well as mental difficulties. How can we help them feel more comfortable?
One problem is that the masks are different. There is no standard government issue as is the case in countries like Japan and Taiwan where people are used to wearing masks and choose to do so when they have a cold or a cough that may spread infections. They have always worn masks to prevent any human emmissions. We know the virus gets through the fabric, otherwise neither could the air we breathe. But if a child is sitting within a screened area and nobody is around them, why wear a mask that reduces your oxygen and increases carbon dioxide?
Are there any other tips we can share with our school children and teachers?
For more information about herbal remedies please use this link: http://naturefresh.co.za/covid19/