As face coverings have been increasingly mandated around the world to reduce the transmission of coronavirus , masks made of cotton and other washable materials have become big sellers, and an emerging fashion item.
Britain and France announced this week that they will require masks in public indoor spaces.
That could help France's textile and luxury goods companies unload a surplus of masks that numbered 20 million in June.
In addition, at least 25 U.S. states are requiring masks in many indoor situations. Oregon on Wednesday even began requiring masks outdoors if people can't stay 6 feet (2 meters) apart.
In a sign that masks are becoming a fashion trend, Vogue magazine recently listed 100 "aesthetically pleasing" selections.
The fashion magazine's recommendations include a mask with beaded accents from Susan Alexandra. The cost: $70. Masks made from vintage quilt tops, by Farewell Frances, go for $25.
After U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi began wearing masks that matched her outfits, people watching her on news channels noticed they had a Donna Lewis label on them. The boutique in Alexandria, Virginia, became besieged by purchase orders and soon ran out of the labels, which customers demanded.
The boutique now has a huge backlog of orders, co-owner Chris Lewis said.
"I'm shipping them all over the world now," Lewis said. "Orders are so furious, I can't keep up."
Perhaps showing some fashion sense, when President Donald Trump wore a mask publicly for the first time Saturday, he chose a navy-blue one that bore the presidential seal and matched the color of his suit.
Thanks to mask sales, Etsy, the online crafts marketplace, has seen revenue jump. In April alone, Etsy sold 12 million masks, generating $133 million in sales.
"If face masks were a stand-alone category, it would have been the second biggest category on Etsy in the month of April," CEO Josh Silverman said.
Second-quarter revenue, to be announced in August, will likely show mask sales are red hot.
Black masks are in highest demand, followed by white and floral patterns, Etsy spokeswoman Lily Cohen said.
"We are seeing lots of unique variations on masks, including personalization with names and monograms ... styles with animal faces or lips," she said.
Also available are masks saying, "Black lives matter" with an image of a raised fist. Some businesses have told employees they can't wear them, sparking debate about appropriate workplace attire and the desire to show solidarity with the fight against racism.
In Paris, a firefighter wore a face covering with the colors of the French flag before marching in the Bastille Day parade celebrating the national holiday this week along the Champs Elysees. Others at a protest across town wore yellow masks, representing the yellow vest movement against economic injustice that began in late 2018.
Workers at restaurants and other businesses are wearing masks with corporate logos. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown wears one showing the state flag.
In Colombia, dozens of fashion companies have pivoted to producing masks, including ones with colorful images of toucans, jaguars and other tropical designs that normally go on expensive swimsuits. South Africans often sport masks made of colorful African fabrics.
But for many consumers, plain white will do.
When Uniqlo, a major Japanese clothing retailer, put its white "cool and dry" masks with breathable fabric on sale in June, shoppers lined up at stores and crashed its website. Supplies sold out in hours.
Humayun Ahmed was a legendary Bangladeshi novelist who also proved his marvelous talent as a dramatist, screenplay writer, filmmaker, songwriter, and scholar. This wizard of words depicted the Bengali middle class through his spellbinding writings. He wrote more than 200 books and made eight films based on his own novels. Most of his books were bestsellers in Bangladesh. Ahmed is the creator of versatile fictional characters who belong to the broad spectrum of society. On the death anniversary (18 July) of this gifted author, we are going to remember some popular characters picked from his novels.
Baker Bhai was the lead character in Kothao Keu Nei, a popular Bangladeshi TV serial created by Humayun Ahmed in 1990. Ahmed portrayed Baker Bhai – starring by notable actor Asaduzzaman Noor – as a local gangster who used to patrol the streets with his two side-kicks, Bodi (Abdul Kader) and Mojnu (Lutfur Rahman George).
By his drama, Kothao Keu Nei, Humayun Ahmed tells the story of a socially unaccepted gangster, who dared to stand against social unfairness and fought for the defenseless, while the educated and respected civilians remained silent. In the drama, Baker was addressed as ‘ Baker Bhai’ by the local people.
The small motorcycle gang of Baker Bhai and his two companions dared to live outside of mainstream society. Baker Bhai was one of the great cluster-breaking characters created by Humayun Ahmed. Though Baker Bhai represented a thug, outlaw, and rebellious spirit, his courage against the injustice of society charmed the audiences.
Baker Bhai fell in love with a woman named Muna (played by Suborna Mustafa), who initially disliked him for being a rogue. Through diverse conflicts and circumstances, Muna started to like Baker for his bravery, sense of justice, and selfless attitude. She was the only soul who stood beside Baker Bhai until the end scene. Furthermore, the powerful acting of Humayun Faridi as a skinflint but talented lawyer made this drama more realistic, thoughtful, and enjoyable.
During the course of the drama, Baker Bhai was betrayed by one of his companions and was hanged on a charge of murder which he had never committed. The kind-hearted Baker Bhai forgave his betrayer friend before his execution. Both the Kothao Keu Nei series and lead character of Baker was so popular in the country, that mass street protests occurred when Baker Bhai was sentenced to be hanged on the screen.
Misir Ali is a fictional character who appeared in a series of novels written by Humayun Ahmed. In the books, Misir Ali is portrayed as a part-time professor of Psychology under the University of Dhaka. Though Ali is not a professional psychiatrist, he has a unique interest and some outstanding forte in parapsychology. In the novels, we found that people seek help from Ali regarding diverse psychiatric treatment. Though being efficient in solving mysteries, he never took money for this special service.
According to novels, Misir Ali is a bachelor living in a small flat with a servant. He lost both of his parents at a young age and was raised by his relatives. Though he is a chain smoker, he tries to quit smoking in every story. The mystifying but humorous lifestyle of Misir Ali amuses the readers.
Humayun Ahmed truly deserves to applaud for creating an intelligent and logical character who does not seem to believe paranormal activities blindly; rather analyze every case with logic and intelligence. He also maintains a personal diary called 'Unsolved,' where he puts down the unresolved mysteries. The character Misir Ali offers huge entertainment to the readers who love supernatural stories and enjoy the sequential untangling of mysterious facts.
The Misir Ali series includes 20 books. Debi (the Goddess), the first book of Misir Ali series, was adapted into the movie named ‘Debi (2018)’ by director Anam Biswas. In this drama, the character Misir Ali was played by the famous Bangladeshi actor Chanchal Chowdhury.
Himu or Himalay is another fictional character sketched by Humayun Ahmed. The character Himu first appeared in the novel titled Mayurakkhi published in 1990. Responding to the popularity of this novel, the author wrote more than 21 novels centering Himu.
Though this character is mostly addressed as 'Himu’, his full name is Himalay, which was given by his father. In each novel, Himu is found to maintain an eccentric lifestyle unlike the other youths of his age. His unconventional way of living is motivated by a diary written by his psychopathic father who wanted to raise him to be a ‘Mohapurush’ or great man.
The character Himu surprises the readers through his weird but amusing attitudes. For instance, Himu dares to mock the police officers without any fear of getting arrested or being molested. He wears a pocket-less yellow Panjabi and enjoys a nomadic life. Most of the days, he tends to walk barefoot on the streets of Dhaka city. During those endless journeys, Himu neither uses any kind of transport nor tries to reach any certain destination. Himu is unemployed and prefers to live on begging instead of doing any kind of hard work.
Throughout the Himu series, the unorthodox outlook of Himu keeps the readers captivated. While in real life, young people are often facing pressure regarding study, career, or relationships, the carefree lifestyle of Himu gives them temporal relief. In fact, many of us secretly bear the hidden wish to be like ‘Himu’.
Himu has some followers – including police officers, neighbors, relatives, tea stall proprietors, beggars, etc – who believe in his spiritual power of forecasting future events. But what Himu really does is confronting people with an unpleasant truth, which is quite rare in this sophisticated society. Instead of looking for logic like Misir Ali, Himu perceives that the strength of beliefs can make things happen.
The fictional character Shuvro was an attempt by the potent novelist Humayun Ahmed to portray a pure human being. The character Shuvro, whose name translates as 'White' in Bangla, is meant to be a pure soul, set apart from the complicated world. Unlike Himu or Misir Ali, Shuvro appears like a next-door boy with an easy-going character. Shuvro represents the iconic figure of a helpful friend who is always there to help.
Humayun Ahmed sketched his fictional character Shuvro as a role model for the readers. Shuvro is the only child of the couple industrialist Mr. Motahar (Iajuddin) and Rehana (Jahanara). The ideal mother-son relationship between Shuvo and Rehana makes these stories blissful. However, in some series, the author put Shuvro in dilemmas and revelations to test the purity of his soul.
From one book to another the character Shuvro shows significant versatility unlike other characters created by Ahmed. In every story, the common things about Shuvro include his name, thick-rimmed glasses, and pure soul. Shuvro owns a distant nature and acts as a bystander. He is not the protagonist who saves everyone, but he tries to alleviate situations in his own ways.
The character Shuvro debuted in the short story titled 'Ekti Shada Gari' (A White Car). As this character got huge popularity, Ahmed brought more novels about Shuvro: Daruchini Dip (Cinnamon Island), Megher Chaya (The Shadow of the Clouds), Rupali Dip (Silvery Island), Shuvro (Shuvro), Ei Shuvro! Ei (Hey Shuvro! Hey), and Shuvro Geche Bone (Shuvro Has Gone to the Forest). The story titled Daruchini Dip (Cinnamon Island) was adapted as a Bangla film in 2007 starring prominent actor Riaz as Shuvro.
Choosing perfect sunglasses is not an easy task. Before choosing any sunglasses we need to think about eye protection from the sun radiation, skin tanning and aging.
The easiest way to protect our eyes from the sun's hazardous radiation is to wear sunglasses, not only in the summer months, but year-round.
Ultraviolet (UV) light can damage the iris, retina, lens, and cornea, leading to permanent vision loss. It's a good idea to request UV protection (an invisible coating) on all of your prescription glasses.
UV light has three wavelengths:
UVA is long, looks almost blue in the visible spectrum, and is responsible for skin tanning and aging. It may also contribute to skin cancer risk.
UVB is shorter and more energetic, and it's linked to sunburn and skin cancer. A large portion of UVB light is absorbed by the atmosphere's ozone layer.
UVC is short. It is completely absorbed by the ozone layer.
Sunglasses are labeled according to guidelines for UV protection established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). There are three categories:
Cosmetic: These lightly tinted lenses are good for daily wear. They block 70% of UVB rays, 20% of UVA, and 60% of visible light.
General purpose: These medium to dark lenses are fine for most outdoor recreation. They block 95% of UVB, 60% of UVA, and 60% to 90% of visible light. Most sunglasses fall into this category.
Special purpose: These are extremely dark lenses with UV blockers, recommended for places with very bright conditions, such as beaches and ski slopes. They block 99% of UVB, 60% of UVA, and 97% of visible light.
Just because a lens is expensive or appears darker doesn't mean that its ability to block out UV radiation is any greater than that of a cheaper or lighter lens. Look for the ANSI label. Even inexpensive sunglasses can be protective.
There is some evidence that blue light from the sun may contribute to the development of age-related macular degeneration. Lenses with a red, amber, or orange tint may provide better protection against this light. You may find less distortion, however, with gray or green lenses.
If you aren't sure what kind of sunglasses to buy or think you may be at high risk for eye disease, ask an eye care professional for a recommendation.
Source: Harvard Health Blog
The World honors Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) for his lifelong struggle against racism and discrimination. This Nobel laureate served as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa. Mandela is known as the iconic figure who out won the apartheid regime of South Africa at that time. To commemorate is great leader July 18—Nelson Mandela’s birthday—is celebrated every year as ‘Nelson Mandela International Day’. While the whole world is suffering from the multifaceted effect of Corona Virus pandemic, the Nelson Mandela Day reminds us that each individual owns the ability to make a difference and the power to change the world.
Nelson Mandela led a non-violent action against apartheid policies the white minority government in South Africa. In these consequences, he was jailed for 27 years. After the imprisonment, Mandela was first-time able to cast vote in his motherland and became the first-ever black president of South Africa.
Mandela’s lifelong struggle is teaching people to build their lives, work, and legacy around a noble cause. If someone finds a cause worth fighting for he becomes passionate and this enthusiasm produces perseverance. When an individual gets engaged in something he truly believes in, his energy soars and he turns into a magnet for other people sharing the same belief. Mandela inspires people to adopt the ways of strategies and tactics but stay faithful to their cause.
Nelson Mandela was a partner of a law firm – only run by black people – in South Africa. The firm served a huge number of black clients who were suffering from diverse political, economical and legal acts of the government targeting non-white people. Instead of sacrificing the precious years of his life in prison, Mandela could have led a comfortable life, if he had never attempted to make a change.
Mandela believed that solving trouble which really matters or bringing a change that is really worthwhile is not easy to achieve. To translate someone’s vision into reality, he requires the backbone to push through the painstaking journey full of obstacles, struggle, misfortune, sacrifice, and pain.
Mandela taught us that if the road to change were linear and didn’t require unprecedented courage, anybody would do it. However, just because an individual is facing frustration and misery, it does not mean that the cause he is fighting for is not worthwhile.
On the TV, Bill Clinton – the president of the United States at that time – observed rage on Mandela’s face during his release after serving 27 years in prison. Clinton was more surprised seeing that Mandela’s anger vanished after a few moments. After years, the US president asked Mandela about this incident.
Mandela replied that the day when he stepped out of prison and looked at the people observing, a flush of anger hit him with the thought that they had robbed his 27 years. Then he felt the Spirit of Jesus was telling him ‘Nelson, while you were in prison you were free, now that you are free don’t become a prisoner.’
As a human being, Mandela felt resentment and rage, until he opted for different path perceiving the consequences. Instead of choosing to live in a world full of racism, Mandela focused on how he could respond to that world. His determination inspires us still today not to be victims of our own past, rather we should let the resentment go away to achieve greatness.
According to Mandela’s perception, no child is born to discriminate. If we can learn to hate people based on their skin color, gender, or political affiliation, we can also learn to honor, love, and respect.
After enduring oppression for 27 years in prison, Mandela could have felt the desire for revenge. But he did not. With the thought that ending right was more important than being right, this strong-willed leader invited his subjugators to work with him to bring positive changes. With his incredible capacity to forgive, Mandela established a remarkable example of integrity for the cause.
People can focus their energy for being right or ending right on diverse phases of life such as marriage, social justice or business. The concept of ‘being right’ feeds ego which traps us in our past; while the ‘ending right’ focuses on what we are trying to achieve in life.
Analyzing the life of this eminent leader it can be observed that Mandela passionately fought for what he believed in, but he was also humble and kind. He always focused on the power of collaboration and compromise. His determination taught us that we cannot make peace with the enemy if we are not willing to work with them and treat them with dignity.
Self-awareness is a precursor to great leadership. During the 27 years of imprisonment, Nelson Mandela understood that what he wanted most for South Africa was peace, freedom, reconciliation, harmony, and equality. He realized that in order to make his nation free from racial discrimination and establish a peaceful democracy he would have to “be the change.”
Nelson Mandela believed that the difference starts with the thought ‘who we are and how we land on others as leaders’. His personal life was a vivid example of humanity that change starts from inside. This notable leader was able to spark hope for millions of people who wished to dream big and attain their dreams without oppressive limitations.
According to the notion of Mandela, what really matters in life is not that we have survived. If we can truly make any positive difference to the lives of other people that can determine the significance of the life we lead. Great leadership should be concerned about the growth of future generations, and help them to live with dignity, morality, and motivation.
Fresh studies by British researchers give more information about what medicines do or don’t work in COVID-19 treatment.
They on Friday published their research on the only drug shown to improve survival -- a cheap steroid called dexamethasone.
Two other studies found that malaria drug hydroxychloroquine does not help people with only mild symptoms.
For months before studies like these, learning what helps or harms has been undermined by “desperation science” as doctors and patients tried therapies on their own or through a host of studies not strong enough to give clear answers.
“For the field to move forward and for patients’ outcomes to improve, there will need to be fewer small or inconclusive studies” and more like the British one, Drs. Anthony Fauci and H. Clifford Lane of the National Institutes of Health wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine.
It’s now time to do more studies comparing treatments and testing combinations, said Dr. Peter Bach, a health policy expert at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
Here are highlights of recent treatment developments:
The British study, led by the University of Oxford, tested a type of steroid widely used to tamp down inflammation, which can become severe and prove fatal in later stages of COVID-19.
About 2,104 patients given the drug were compared to 4,321 patients getting usual care.
It reduced deaths by 36% for patients sick enough to need breathing machines: 29% on the drug died versus 41% given usual care. It curbed the risk of death by 18% for patients needing just supplemental oxygen: 23% on the drug died versus 26% of the others.
However, it seemed harmful at earlier stages or milder cases of illness: 18% of those on the drug died versus 14% of those given usual care.
The clarity of who does and does not benefit “probably will result in many lives saved,” Fauci and Lane wrote.
The same Oxford study also tested hydroxychloroquine in a rigorous manner and researchers previously said it did not help hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
After 28 days, about 25.7% on hydroxychloroquine had died versus 23.5% given usual care -- a difference so small it could have occurred by chance
Now, details published on a research site for scientists show that the drug may have done harm. Patients given hydroxychloroquine were less likely to leave the hospital alive within 28 days -- 60% on the drug versus 63% given usual care. Those not needing breathing machines when they started treatment also were more likely to end up on one or to die.
Two other experiments found that early treatment with the drug did not help outpatients with mild COVID-19.
A study of 293 people from Spain published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found no significant differences in reducing the amount of virus patients had, the risk of worsening and needing hospitalization, or the time until recovery.
A similar study by University of Minnesota doctors in Annals of Internal Medicine of 423 mildly ill COVID-19 patients found that hydroxychloroquine did not substantially reduce symptom severity and brought more side effects.
“It is time to move on” from treating patients with this drug, Dr. Neil Schluger from New York Medical College wrote in a commentary in the journal.
The only other therapy that’s been shown to help COVID-19 patients is remdesivir, an antiviral that shortens hospitalization by about four days on average.
“The role of remdesivir in severe COVID is now what we need to figure out,” Memorial Sloan Kettering's Bach wrote in an email, saying the drug needs to be tested in combination with dexamethasone now.
Details of the government-led remdesivir study have not yet been published, but researchers are eager to see how many patients received other drugs such as steroids and hydroxychloroquine.
Meanwhile, Gilead Sciences, the company that makes remdesivir, which is given as an IV now, has started testing an inhaled version that would allow it to be tried in less ill COVID-19 patients to try to keep them from getting sick enough to need hospitalization. Gilead also has started testing remdesivir in a small group of children.
Supplies are very limited, and the U.S. government is allocating doses to hospitals through September.