Daily Host Nation Stories July 8, 2020
Common mistakes when wearing masks
Although not a complete guarantee that you will not be infected with the corona virus, wearing some type of face protection is better than no protection at all – especially for your fellow human beings, since fewer droplets are distributed. Here are some common mistakes people make, however, when wearing face protection, which lessens the effectiveness.
Wearing the mask half-way
It became increasingly common on buses and trains; wearing the mask at half-way, which is just above the mouth. As it is more comfortable, and one can breathe more freely. However, if your nose is exposed, you can do without the mask altogether. Because viruses and bacteria are excreted through the nose, among other things. According to many doctors, the nose is even the main site of infection. The nose is the place where the corona virus penetrates the body particularly well and from where it can spread further, for example when sneezing and already during normal breathing out.
Masks not properly fitting
A mouth-nose mask should extend from the bridge of the nose to below the chin – i.e., as the name suggests, it should cover the nose and mouth completely. It should not be too small and should not pinch, but should fit the face so tightly that there are no gaps at the sides. The bands or rubber bands should match the size of the head. If the mask has a wire at the bridge of the nose, this must be adjusted by bending it slightly.
In the meantime, masks are no longer in short supply, and most people opt for fabric variations. They are pretty and environmentally conscious, because they can be washed and re-used. However, some people overdo it – and don’t even shy away from wearing greying, even dirty masks. Since corona viruses survive up to 72 hours on certain surfaces, it is important to clean the mask regularly after use. This is done by heating the mask. To be on the safe side, it is best to machine wash it at 90 degrees or boil it for at least five minutes.
When worn for a longer period of time, it simply happens that the mouth-guard gets soaked. Because you breathe, talk, sweat or even sneeze. Then it is important to change it very quickly. For one thing, wet material is not waterproof, so the protective effect is gone. On the other hand, saliva and nasal secretions are unhygienic. According to virologists, masks should generally be changed every four hours, so always have a replacement with you if possible.
A disposable surgical mask made of cellulose mainly protects other people from droplets that the wearer releases from the mouth and nose when speaking, for example. It protects the wearer himself or herself to a limited extent, but at least against larger droplets. It also prevents people from unconsciously getting dirty hands, to which viruses may be attached, on their face. However, it should not be worn more than once. Even if it can withstand being doused with boiling hot water and put on two or three times: As the name suggests, it is a disposable, single use product.
Touching the masks
Yes, it’s tempting – and always to be observed everywhere, even at your own home. You tug at the mask because it’s annoying, because it has slipped or because your nose itches. Not a good idea. Because when you touch it, you can spread pathogens all over your face. Therefore, always put on the mouth-nose protection with clean, washed hands. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, July 8)
Mandatory masks this fall for older students
Due to the corona pandemic, older students may be required to wear a mouth and nose protector in class after the summer holidays. “We are discussing the mandatory wearing of masks. Whether this is possible remains to be seen”, said Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) on Tuesday. He referred to the advice of scientists that pupils should stay together in their groups. “But that is not possible with our course system in the upper school. So we will have to talk about the mask,” said Kretschmann.
Plastic visors and other measures are also currently being considered to protect the students from corona infection, but also the teachers: “We have to see what we can offer to improve the safety of the teachers. The government wants to put together a “package” to do this. However, regular tests for the teaching staff should not be part of it, according to the head of government.
“If you are afraid of infection, you have to test the children, not the teachers,” said Kretschmann. He did not understand the logic of demanding series tests for teachers: “Testing has no magic power to protect against infection. However, he admitted that he had been “put under pressure” on this issue by the decision of his Bavarian colleague Markus Söder to make voluntary tests available to all citizens. It was also clear, however, that teachers and students would be “properly tested” if a corona infection occurred in a school. “We also promise that we will always do this on a broad scale, as and when the need arises.”
The education union GEW declared that making masks mandatory for older students could only be one of many measures. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, July 8)
Corona cases at the Allgäu Holiday Park
The three corona-infected persons in an Allgäu holiday resort are employees from the catering trade. This was announced on Tuesday by a spokeswoman for the Center Parcs facility in Leutkirch. The three positive findings had already been reported last week. According to the Ravensburg District Office, 120 contact persons of those infected so far were identified, sent to quarantine as a precaution and tested. It was not known whether they were also employees or guests. The results evaluated so far were negative.
Tourism industry fears for Stuttgart’s good reputation
After the night of riots in the city center two and a half weeks ago, many residents and visitors to Stuttgart are unsettled. “People are careful anyway because of Corona and weigh up exactly what they are doing”, says Armin Dellnitz, head of Stuttgart Marketing. Therefore, in view of the fact that the hotel, catering and retail sectors are already on the ground, the impression should definitely not be created that it is no longer possible to come to Stuttgart. Museums and attractions are only one side of the coin, he says: “The well-being of a city is just as important. You have to work hard for that,” says Dellnitz.
He therefore demands: “These ugly scenes must not be repeated.” He said that the city still has a chance to avoid permanent damage to its image. However, that would change if such images were to appear more frequently. Then the massive decrease in tourism would be even harder to recover than it already is.
Motorcycle noise: Region relies on riders’ common sense rather than imposing bans
The association of cities and municipalities has spoken out against a possible ban on motorcycles on Sundays and public holidays. “The approach proposed by the Bundesrat, with limited bans on motorcycles on Sundays and holidays, is not the right approach”, Chief Executive Gerd Landsberg told the newspaper. He added that people in many places felt annoyed by traffic noise, and that the noise of motorcycles was often perceived as a disturbing factor on weekends. “But better noise protection can also work without such a serious restriction of mobility.”
The district offices around Stuttgart, which are responsible for such closures, argue similarly: “We are relying on the common sense of road users, not on bans,” the District Administrator of the Rems-Murr district, Richard Sigel, told our newspaper. After all, blocking individual roads would only result in a shift in traffic. In the heavily populated Stuttgart region, this would inevitably mean that other citizens would suffer from the noise. Roland Bernhard, the Böblingen District Administrator, warns against “clan-like behaviour, just because occasional drivers irresponsibly make too much noise”. He has “great sympathy for responsible motorcycle riding”. Ludwigsburg District Administrator Dietmar Allgaier calls for the binding establishment of noise limits for motorcycles in order to mitigate or even eliminate the problem.
On Saturday, thousands of motorcyclists had protested nationwide in numerous cities against possible driving bans. In Stuttgart alone, the group “Biker for Freedom” mobilized about 8000 demonstrators to a parade, according to police. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, July 8)
Stuttgart Flea market on Karlsplatz will re-open this Saturday
“After weeks of tough negotiations with the city, we have managed to get the flea market on Karlsplatz to reopen this Saturday,” says Veronika Kienzle (Greens), the head of the Mitte district and mayor candidate. For a long time, vendors and customers could no longer understand the unequal treatment of the Ministry of Social Affairs and its Corona regulations. Because the flea market, unlike the weekly market, is considered a special market, it was not allowed to take place anymore since March 7.
On Saturday, the flea market opens from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a reduced offer in order to guarantee the intervals. “For the time being, only regular traders will be admitted, but no day traders,” explains Kienzle. There will probably be about 40 stands. We hope that visitors will adhere to the rules of distance in a disciplined manner like the customers of the weekly market on Königstrasse. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, July 8)