COVID-19 virus

Crowd Management: How to Control Crowd at Events in Relation to COVID-19 Protocols

The sudden nature of the COVID-19 virus saw the shutting down of the economy of different nations. But this stagnancy could not be sustained, and it became necessary to devise a means of managing the situation so that economic activities could continue. One of the areas most affected was public events because a lot of people are usually involved. To this effect, measures were taken to help avoid the spread of the virus in any form of gathering.

In everyday situations, proper crowd management is essential for the crowd’s safety and the event’s smooth running. But during this pandemic, crowd control became a number one priority, with stricter and more complex measures to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus. Making this work requires a lot of creativity in planning.

Any form of gathering during this pandemic risks spreading the virus, especially if it is an indoor gathering. The COVID-19 virus spreads quickly in poorly ventilated places, so it is safer to hold such meetings outdoors.

Attendees of such events should have taken a PCR home test or applied for the 5-day test and release method. They should come with their test result to gain access to the event. Availability of their test results prevents the risk of letting an already infected person into the event.

Aside from asking for a COVID-19 test result before access, a thermal screening should be done before letting in anyone. If an attendee’s temperature reaches a certain level, they should be denied entry.

For children, the temperature considered high is anywhere from 39℃, while for adults, it is 39.4℃.

Another rule that the people in charge should enforce is wearing facemasks at all times. At no cost should masks be removed to avoid any risk of transmitting the virus. Facemasks should cover the face from the chin to the nose of all the individuals wearing them.

Hand Sanitizers (alcohol-based), soap, and water should be available at the venue, both at the entrance and inside. There should be strict adherence to the social distance rule. Health personnel should also be available to ensure these rules are followed strictly and be on standby in the case of any health-related emergency.

When organising events or gatherings during this period, we should be very intentional about the number of people present during such events. If it is an indoor event, the number of people attending should be small for proper ventilation.

There are different ways to cut short the population of people in a place at a given time.

Blended events should be encouraged asides from ensuring “invite-only” access to events to cater to a few people who will be adequately spread out at the occasion. Blended events encourage remote participation, reducing the presence of many people at the venue. These events can be enabled for conferences, weddings, seminars, and religious programmes, among other gatherings.

For example, churches can split services into two or three sections to avoid overpopulation in the hall. This action, of course, should be supported by all social distance and other covid-19 protocols. Not all crowded events are pre-planned. Some examples are protests and political campaigns, to name a few. In situations like this, it is not easy to control the crowd, especially not with a pandemic at hand. 

In cases like this, there is not much to do to help concerning crowd management. It is mainly left to the protesters to abide by the COVID-19 safety procedures.

After participating in a protest like this, it is advisable to isolate yourself for two weeks. If you feel any symptoms, you do a PCR home test.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected lives in many ways. Now, it is up to people to find the best ways to carry out our regular activities while staying safe from the virus, and that is why it is vital to adhere to COVID-19 protocols that have been put in place for our safety.

COVID vaccines Uncategorized

COVID-19 and Periods: How The Virus Affects Menstrual Cycles

Periods are a lot to handle, with abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, fatigue, headaches, mood swings, and many more uncomfortable symptoms. It’s a whole package of discomfort and pain. The COVID-19 virus came with many struggles and varying impacts on people and their lifestyles over the past two years. While all of this was enough difficulties for anyone, it appears to be a worse case for women (physically and mentally), mainly because of periods.

Many people have reported disturbances to their menstrual cycles, some noticing changes after catching the virus, others following vaccination. At the start of the lockdown and months after, PCR home tests and COVID vaccines weren’t made widely available. As time passed, cheap PCR tests in London were more accessible.

But before determining what possibly causes these changes, it’s important to note that people’s cycles usually differ. These changes could also have a part to play in the variability of one’s period. 

Irregular periods, unusual clotting of one’s period blood or worsened premenstrual syndrome (PMS), strange amounts of clots in the menstrual discharge, and unusually large clots in the blood are some of the changes that have been observed. There could also be an increase in the severity of the COVID-19 illness around the time one’s period is due, change in the frequency, density, flow, and pain level. These are examples of the effect of the COVID-19 virus on the menstrual cycle.

While there is no definite conclusion on this subject, it has also been suggested that stress could be a core cause of the changes in one’s period. Studies show that mental health in the UK deteriorated during the first lockdown, with stress and depression rising. Also, in an online survey, 46% of people said they had seen changes in their menstrual cycle during the pandemic, such as the severity of premenstrual symptoms or cycle length. Stress is plausible if the cause is unconfirmed. Heavy exercise or extreme dieting can result in missing periods, though this is reversible once food intake increases or exercise is reduced. We, therefore, need to take care when assessing self-reported changes in menstrual cycles.

However, it’s also been suggested that in cases of severe illness, such as COVID, the body transiently reduces ovulation (which can impact menstrual bleeding) to redirect energy away from reproduction and towards fighting infection. Another cause could be the massive inflammatory effects that COVID has on the body, which in turn impacts menstrual cycle disturbances.

Shortly after COVID vaccines became available, reports began to appear of them impacting menstrual cycles – mainly that they affected cycle length, making them shorter and more prolonged. It’s difficult, though, to untangle the effects of the vaccine from the impact of living through the stressful pandemic.

Unfortunately, questions concerning menstruation have been excluded from most COVID vaccine research, including their trials, so there isn’t much research on how many people have experienced menstrual changes.  

However, vaccines could affect cycles for several reasons, including the body’s immune response to the vaccine, which can influence the hormones controlling the menstrual cycle. Indeed, reports of menstrual changes after vaccination are not new. With the COVID vaccines, when there are changes, they almost always appear to be short-lived, and the vaccines haven’t been shown to impact fertility. Doctors and other healthcare workers should perhaps add this detail to what menstruating people are told to expect from vaccination so they can plan around it.

Reporting menstrual changes as a side-effect could encourage pharmaceutical companies and researchers to place menstrual and reproductive health more centrally in medical research, meaning there would be better future data for vaccines and medicines. Anyone in the UK experiencing changes to their cycles is encouraged to report these to the Yellow Card scheme, which logs potential vaccine side effects.

It is now quite clear that COVID vaccines and infection with the coronavirus can affect the menstrual cycle, and while not definitively proven, it’s plausible that pandemic stress does too. Changes seem to return to normal after a few months, but if you experience new issues with your menstrual cycle or changes to your cycles are long-lasting, please discuss this with your doctor. 

COVID-19 testing

COVID-19 and its Effects on Pregnant and Postpartum Women

The effects of the COVID-19 virus on the world cannot be overemphasised, but for some groups of people, it hits different. Pregnancy is a life-changing event with symptoms and illnesses that sometimes differ in women, but each illness is as uncomfortable as the next. Postpartum mothers are not left out of it because some mothers tend to suffer from baby blues and even postpartum depression. Imagine then all these combined with the COVID-19 virus. It is a whole lot to handle. That’s why pregnant women are always advised to get tested for COVID-19 testing and get the vaccines as soon as possible.

COVID-19 testing tend to be crowded, especially in populated areas. Pregnant women need to be cared for and attended to with respect. Some pregnant women may have reservations about the COVID-19 tests and vaccination, so health workers should be able to assure them that both are safe and highly recommended.

A pregnant woman is equally prone to contracting the COVID-19 virus as another person. Still, when they do, it is a more severe case than a non-pregnant woman getting the virus because pregnant women are more likely to have severe illnesses. They might even have to be taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in some cases. It’s usually riskier for older women, women with pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, and overweight women. There’s also the issue of pregnancy complications because of the virus, but on the bright side, it is only in sporadic cases that the virus can infect the foetus. Although, for safety purposes, after birth, the baby should be tested, isolated from other babies, and cared for specially. In truth, these complications can be avoided, if pregnant women get vaccinated. There are questions about whether a pregnant woman with the COVID-19 virus has to give birth by caesarean section, and the answer is no. Caesarean section is only recommended when necessary, and the pregnant woman has the right to choose her preferred mode of birth.

Suppose a symptomatic mother contracts the virus during her postpartum period. In that case, she can still breastfeed her baby, but with all the necessary precautionary steps taken, like washing of hands before and after carrying the baby, wearing a facemask, and disinfecting near surfaces. The baby should be held skin-to-skin while being fed. Alternatively, if the mother cannot handle breastfeeding at that time, the baby should be fed expressed breast milk by a trusted, healthy caregiver until the mother fully recovers. In this case, she has to wash her hands thoroughly and put on a facemask before pumping. It is not yet certain that the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted to the baby through breast milk, but it is unlikely. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO), in a study, discovered that breast milk samples from 3 mothers involved contained the COVID-19 virus, while 43 samples tested negative. Also, it is highly recommended that breastfeeding mothers be vaccinated rather than wait till after breastfeeding. The vaccine can induce COVID-19 antibodies in the mother which could seep into the breast milk and serve as a protective agent for the baby.

In conclusion, COVID-19 has its effects on pregnant and postpartum women, and that is why it is best for them to get tested and vaccinated as soon as possible to avoid further complications.

Pregnant women should have frequent visits to their obstetrician-gynaecologists (ob-gyn) to help with decisions concerning the COVID-19 testing and vaccination and other pregnancy-related issues. They should also be able to do their research and ask questions every step of the way. Pregnant and postpartum women deserve all the care and help they can get, and it is only fitting to take care of them more in cases where they are affected by the COVID-19 virus during these delicate periods.


COVID-19 and Hygiene in Public Healthcare Centres

Healthcare is a vital part of every nation’s sector. You cannot do without it. As a result, the government of every country or state makes sure to provide public healthcare facilities like hospitals, clinics, and laboratories, that can be within reach of everyone, rich or poor. But in most cases, the problem with such facilities is lack of maintenance. For this reason, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, it was even more challenging to meet the needs of these people. The number of people needing healthcare services was largely increased because many people were diagnosed with COVID-19, in addition to those with common illnesses.

Many things make healthcare centres conducive for patients, including proper hygiene. It is wrong for such a place to be unhygienic, but sadly, from the rise in the number of Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs), you can tell that is the case in some public healthcare centres.

Since the emergence of the COVID-19 virus, scientists have come up with easy ways of testing for the virus. People with access to it could run a PCR home test, a form of same-day testing for COVID-19, and they would not necessarily have to go to a clinic or hospital. As much as this eases the burden on health workers in public healthcare centres, these facilities should still be in good condition for patients with extreme cases, so they do not contract other infections.

Lack of water is a significant and prevalent cause of poor hygiene in healthcare centres. Water is needed for drinking, taking showers, cleaning floors and surfaces, washing beddings, toilets, and other things that may come up. Clean running water should be constantly available at strategic points in healthcare centres. Consumption of contaminated or unclean water can lead to waterborne diseases like cholera, so water must be properly treated. Washing of hands is one of the COVID-19 preventive measures, so the availability of clean water and soap will benefit health workers and patients.

Alcohol-based sanitizers should also be available at these centres for further hand-cleansing. They can be placed in the bathrooms, and sanitizer dispensers should be mounted indoors and at the entrance. 

Healthcare workers, visitors, and patients should strictly maintain social distance to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus. Infected persons should also be isolated in a separate place from other patients. Proper ventilation is also necessary because it helps reduce the COVID-19 virus particles in the air. 

There should be the provision of proper toiletries in healthcare centres and also adequate maintenance of the restrooms to avoid infections of any kind.

Some hospital equipment usually shared among people, such as stethoscopes,  should be well sterilized after use with soap and water, at least. In cases of an infection outbreak, this equipment should be sterilized using detergent and hypochlorite. 

In adherence to the COVID-19 protocols, people should always wear facemasks within the clinic or hospital premises, not just in the theatres and ICUs. Security should ensure that people put on facemasks and wash their hands at the taps at the entrance一or use an available hand sanitizer一before entering the clinic or hospital. Facemasks should not only be worn to gain access to the healthcare centre, but they shouldn’t be taken off unless it is very necessary.

Many healthcare workers have little knowledge of hygiene and proper cleaning practices in healthcare centres, which is part of the problem. So, extra education should be offered on handling hospital equipment and properly cleaning hospital surroundings. It is necessary for everyone, from the highest-ranking healthcare worker to the lowest. Pathogens can be found on the most unsuspecting surfaces, like door handles, soap or sanitizer dispensers, tap handles, or computer keyboards, so it is advisable to ensure that hard-to-reach and overlooked surfaces are cleaned well. 

Cleanliness is essential within a clinic or hospital environment, so, in this pandemic period, all COVID-19 protocols must be adhered to strictly, and more rigorous practices must be implemented in public healthcare centres to ensure proper hygiene.