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National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) research: chance of contracting corona indeed smaller by keeping distance (retrieved from Dagblad van het Noorden, in Dutch). People who adhere to the advice to keep 1.5 meters distance from others, run less risk of contracting the corona virus. That is the outcome of a study conducted by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). It shows that “social distancing is an important measure to stop the spread of the virus,” says the RIVM.

Infection rate 27 Percent lower by keeping social distance

The researchers analyzed data from 7,000 people who filled out regular questionnaires about their contacts during the first corona wave. Their blood was also tested for antibodies, which can be used to show that someone has been in contact with the virus. At the time, 5.5 percent of the people who did not follow the distance rules had antibodies in their blood. Of the participants who said they did, 4 percent made antibodies. Thus, among those who kept their distance, the infection rate was 27 percent lower.

Large group meetings lead to more infections

Large group meetings also lead to more infections, the study shows. Of the people who indicated that they had attended a meeting in an indoor space with more than 20 people, 6.2 percent were found to have antibodies in their blood. That percentage was one and a half times higher than among people who indicated that they had not attended any meetings at all.

1 in 5 of blood donors have antibodies

Meanwhile, many more people have antibodies in their blood. A random sample from the Sanquin blood bank recently showed that this concerns more than one in five blood donors. Among them are also people who have been vaccinated.

The research results of the RIVM were published in the scientific journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. They also show that people who had particularly close contact with children under the age of 10 hardly became infected with the virus. “There were no more antibodies in the blood of these participants than in participants who indicated they had no contact at all.”

New virus variants, such as the British variant that is now dominant, did not exist when the study was conducted. “Precisely because of the higher infectivity of these variants, it is important to keep a sufficient distance,” says the RIVM.

Covid Buzzer helps to keep social distance

Social Distancing, wearing a mouth mask, proper marking and hand washing help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Solutions like the Covid Buzzer help maintain social distance.

You have probably experienced a ‘sick building’ yourself. You may not feel well in a room or building, such as irritated eyes or nose. Without knowing exactly where this feeling comes from. Or you experience that you suddenly feel better when you leave that room or building. The term “sick building syndrome” (SBS) is first used in the 1970s. It describes a situation in which reported symptoms among a population of building occupants can be temporally associated with their presence in that building. Typically, though not always, the structure is an office building.

Symptoms of Sick Building Syndrom (SBS)

In short: more co-workers experience the same complaints when they are in the building or in the same parts of a building. Most of the times, complaints disappear or lessen when people leave those buildings or parts.

Symptoms of a Sick Building Syndrom can include:

  • eye, nose and throat irritation (irritation of mucous membranes)
  • lethargy or fatigue
  • headache, dizziness, nausea
  • inability to concentrate
  • sensitivity to odors
  • general malaise-complaints

Indication that the complaints are caused by Sick Building Syndrome are:

  • Are problems temporally related to time spent in a particular building or part of a building?
  • Do symptoms resolve when the individual is not in the building?
  • Do symptoms recur seasonally (heating, cooling)?
  • Have co-workers, peers noted similar complaints?

Difference between Sick Building Syndrome and ‘building related illness’

It is important to distinguish the ‘Sick Building Syndrome’ from building related illness. Building related illness means that symptoms of illness can be directly related to specific airborne building contaminants. Examples are Legionnaire’s Disease or hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

What causes sick building syndrome?

The EPA distinguishes 4 causes of or contributing factors for sick building syndrome (Indoor Air Facts No. 4 (revised) Sick Building Syndrome):

  • Inadequate ventilation
  • Chemical contaminants from indoor sources
  • Chemical contaminants from outdoor sources
  • Biological contaminants

Inadequate ventilation

Due to the fact that outdoor air ventilation is inadequate to maintain the health and comfort of the people inside the people. Another reason for inadequate ventilation may occur if heating, ventilation and air condition (HVAC) systems do not effectively distribute air to people inside the building

Chemical contaminants from indoor sources

Most of the indoor pollution comes from sources inside the building. For example: adhesives, carpeting, upholstery, manufactured wood product, copy machines, pesticides and cleaning products may emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including formaldehyde. Tobacco smoke may also be a source, if smoking is still allowed inside the building. Another source may be combustion products, due to unvented gas and kerosene heaters, gas stoves, woodstoves and fireplace

Chemical contaminants from outdoor sources

For example, motor vehicle exhausts which enters the building

Biological contaminants

Examples are bacteria, molds, pollen, viruses and animal droppings

It’s possible that the underlying causes of the above-mentioned factors are:

  • Poor ventilation, due to poor design, maintenance or operation. The ventilation itself can be a source of irritants.  Besides, interior redesign such as rearrangement of offices may cause inefficient functioning of the systems.
  • These elements may act in combination. Where some pollutants themselves are at a very low level, the way they react on each other may cause health effects
  • Elements may supplement other complaints such as inadequate temperature, humidity, or lighting. High humidity may contribute to biological pollutant problems. On the other side, levels below 20 or 30 percent may heighten the effects of mucosal irritants and may be irritating itself
  • Other factors may also play a role, such as stress, noise, insufficient light.

Solutions like the Airmex can help you to create a safe and healthy environment for work, meeting and living. It monitors your air quality and alarms you when the air quality has dropped below acceptable levels

The most basic indication of indoor air quality is its temperature: you immediately sense if it’s ‘too hot’ or ‘too cold’. Temperature is important for indoor air quality:

  • Temperature and sense of well-being
  • Humidity
  • Spreading of Covid-19 and other viruses

Temperature and sense of well-being

The most basic indication of indoor air quality is its temperature: you immediately sense if it’s ‘too hot’ or ‘too cold’. And it immediately affects your sense of well-being. Extreme heat is a serious risk for your health ((Healy 2003, Kosatsky 2005). Besides, high temperatures can cause insufficient humidity (Reinikainen and Jaakkola, 2001).

How does Temperature Affect the Spread of Viruses

Since Covid-19, there is more attention for the strong influence of temperature on the spread and activity of viruses. Viruses that cause respiratory infections often occur in the winter. This may be caused due to reduced resistance of the so called ‘mucous membranes’ in the nose when cold air is inhaled (Frank van Kuppeveld, professor virology, University of Utrecht). A temperature of 19°C  to 24°C (66°F to 75°F) helps you to prevent the drying of your nasal passage. So that you are less susceptible to viruses.

FIG. 1. Survival of TGEV and MHV at 4°C and (a) 20% RH, (b) 50% RH, and (c) 80% RH. Squares, TGEV; circles, MHV. The error bars indicate 95% confidence intervals. How temperature and humidity have effect on survival of virus

Research by Lisa M. Casanova et al shows that the infection rate of viruses is significantly reduced when the temperature indoors at room temperature (20°C or 68°F) compared to colder temperatures (4°C or 39°F). However, when the temperature is warmer (30°C or 86°F), the transmission of influenza viruses is blocked or becomes very inefficient (Effects of Air Temperature and Relative Humidity on Coronavirus Survival on Surfaces, Lisa M. Casanova et al, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, May 2010)

But of course, many people don’t find an indoors temperature of 30°C comfortable. To maintain your indoor temperature at room temperature makes you feel comfortable. It also lessens the risk of virus transmission.

Temperature, Humidity and Covid-19

Temperature and humidity go hand-in-hand. Research shows, that the Covid-19 virus can survive several hours and even several days on surfaces.

Of course, the greatest spread of the virus is via ‘direct’ contact: not keeping the physical distance, so that the virus is transmitted via the large droplets via talking, coughing or sneezing.

The WHO mentions that people can be infected with Covid-19 by touching their faces after they have touched contaminated objects and surfaces (WHOS’s Guide for Worker Safety, March 2020).  

In general, infections via surfaces and then touching your face appear to be the least of threats to spread Covid-19. It is uncertain how much people get infected by Covid-19 via air: do the so-called ‘aerosols’ contain enough virus to get someone ill? Poor conditions of ventilation may play a part. Of course, there are already some new variants of the virus, such as the British variant, which have more virus material in the droplets.

ALARA

The ‘Alara’ principle is a sound mechanism. This means: the As Low As Reasonably Achievable principle.  It is always good to lessen risks.  Spread of the Covid-19 virus via contaminated surfaces or air may not (or may) the most principal risk… but it means there is still risk. Besides, an optimal environment helps to lessen the spread of other viruses and is good practice of hygiene.

Solutions like the Covid Airmex can help you to monitor your temperature, humidity, tvoc and co2, for a safe and healthy working environment

Did you ever wonder where you are most exposed to air pollution? Somewhere outside, you say? Wrong, you breath the most polluted air… indoors! Research shows, that people spend 90% of their time indoors. Isolation and modern heating have brought us comfy, warm indoor environments: home, work, recreation, etc., with no cold air coming from under the doors. However, in many buildings there is a downside. With the tightly enclosed indoor environments, pollution caused indoors or coming from outside has no opportunity to mingle with fresh air. For viruses, heat and certain levels of immunity are perfect environments to stay active. Besides, the Covid-19 virus is spreading.

Indoor concentration of pollution often 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor

Research on the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) site shows:

  • “Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors,1 where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.2
  • People who are often most susceptible to the adverse effects of pollution (e.g., the very young, older adults, people with cardiovascular or respiratory disease) tend to spend even more time indoors.3
  • Indoor concentrations of some pollutants have increased in recent decades due to such factors as energy-efficient building construction (when it lacks sufficient mechanical ventilation to ensure adequate air exchange) and increased use of synthetic building materials, furnishings, personal care products, pesticides, and household cleaners.”

Why is air quality important?

You probably know the irritation of eyes or a dry troath yourself. Indoor air pollution can have serious health effects, ranging from irritation of your eyes to respiratory diseases:

  • Irritation of the throat, nose and eyes, such as a dry throat
  • Headaches, dizziness, and fatigue
  • Respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer

Indoor concentration of pollution often 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor

“The link between some common indoor air pollutants (e.g., radon, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, Legionella bacterium) and health effects is very well established.

  • Radon is a known human carcinogen and is the second leading cause of lung cancer.4, 5
  • Carbon monoxide is toxic, and short-term exposure to elevated carbon monoxide levels in indoor settings can be lethal.6
  • Episodes of Legionnaires’ disease, a form of pneumonia caused by exposure to the Legionella bacterium, have been associated with buildings with poorly maintained air conditioning or heating systems.7, 8
  • Numerous indoor air pollutants—dust mites, mold, pet dander, environmental tobacco smoke, cockroach allergens, particulate matter, and others—are “asthma triggers,” meaning that some asthmatics might experience asthma attacks following exposure.9

While adverse health effects have been attributed to some specific pollutants, the scientific understanding of some indoor air quality issues continues to evolve. …

One example is “sick building syndrome,” which occurs when building occupants experience similar symptoms after entering a particular building, with symptoms diminishing or disappearing after they leave the building. These symptoms are increasingly being attributed to a variety of building indoor air attributes.

Researchers also have been investigating the relationship between indoor air quality and important issues not traditionally thought of as related to health, such as student performance in the classroom and productivity in occupational settings.10

Solutions like the Covid Airmex can help you to monitor your temperature, humidity, tvoc and co2, for a safe and healthy working environment

As of today, the Netherlands is in a hard lockdown. The Dutch Newspaper AD: “For a long time a hard lockdown was something for other countries, we did it ‘intelligently’ or ‘partially’. But now the cabinet takes the big hammer and the Netherlands is almost completely locked up for a month. Where did it go wrong?


The AD mentions 4 reasons:

  1. Behavior: the pure fear is gone
  2. Schools: ‘children perhaps underestimated
  3. Seasonal effect: ‘Definitely plays along’.
  4. Policy: ‘Too slow, too late

Social Distance


The article mentions that in the beginning of the year many people stayed at home. Because of fear of getting corona themselves. Now it turns out that not everyone with covid-19 immediately comes to the ICU, this fear has disappeared. In addition, people are stretched to comply with the rules of conduct.

People stay at home much often: they travel and shop more and are more often physcial at work. At the same time, social distance is not always taken into account: in addition to staying at home as much as possible, maintaining the social distance remains one of the main ways to prevent the spread of covid.

Another reason is that the spread of Covid among children, especially those between the ages of 12 and 18, is underestimated. 8.5% of the last week’s traceable sources of infection could be traced back to school or child care. In addition, it is difficult to get a grip on the spread among young people: most of them have no or only mild symptoms. As a result, they can spread corona within the family and further, which in turn can infect vulnerable groups such as the elderly.

Seasonal effect

The article: “Weather and climate play a role, says Osterhaus, even if he doesn’t dare hang a weight on it. “The combination of temperature, UV light and humidity counts, I’m sure. What’s more, we’re more indoors when it’s cold and we’re more likely to cough at each other. But we don’t know yet how big the seasonal effect is. The fact is that even in warm countries this virus still causes problems”.


Policy too slow?

“Osterhaus has been saying it for months, ic figurehead Diederik Gommers also argued last weekend: the government must react more quickly to the curve of the virus. That means intervening harder when numbers increase, but also more flexibly when the corona slows down a bit”.


We don’t dare saying whether the policy was too slow. Still: if the Dutch had kept the measures at home as much as possible and maintained social distance, there would probably have been no need for lockdown.

Advanced Solutions Netherlands helps to maintain social distance at work, public buildings and schools. Especially in situations where the social distance is sometimes forgotten, a covid buzzer can help. In addition, the Covid Airmex has been developed: a device that checks whether the temperature, humidity, volatiles and co2 are optimal to prevent the spread of the covid virus as much as possible.

Pfizer announces that its COVID-19 vaccine is 90% effective, based on tests with 44,000 people. The vaccine may be available by the end of the year. Is this the end of covid-19? Thereby, Pfizer herself stresses that the results are based on the third stage of testing. And that testing stage hasn’t been completed yet. We have analyzed the reactions of experts on this news.

The good news: hope on a working vaccine

Obviously, a vaccine that works against corona is good news anyhow. How good, is another question. While most experts say that they can judge the vaccine really if tests are completed and the underlying data is available, most experts are possitive about the news

How good is the vaccine?

Analyzing the reactions of experts, some of important questions to judge the effectiveness of the new vaccine are:

  • what is the duration of protection?
  • is the vaccine protecting the elderly, since the immune system weakens with age?
  • Does the vaccine protect from spreading the virus?
  • ‘scientific questions’ and logistics

What is the duration of protection?

In this stage, it is unclear what the duration of the protection is. Of course, the vaccine is still in its testing stage. Besides, our knowledge of covid-19 has much improved since the outbreak. But due to the youth of this virus, we still know little about it. In the ideal world, we would have a vaccine which would protect a lifetime. If it doesn’t, how long will the protection last?

Is the vaccine protecting the elderly?

It remains unclear if the vaccine is protecting the elderly as well as youthful people. The elderly and weak persons would benefit the most of a working vaccine. They have the largest risk of getting seriously ill. Leading to hospital or even death. But: as age increases, the immune system weakens. The BBC explains this in this article…

Does the vaccine protect from spreading the virus?

The third point which is unclear, is if the vaccine only protects the injected person from getting ill. Or that it protects the vaccinated from spreading the virus as well.

‘Scientific’ questions and logistics

The fourth question are some ‘scientific’ questions and logistics. Many experts state that they need to see the data first before they can make a real judgement (and again: also, Pfizer emphasizes that their message is based on testing results). Besides there’s the point of logistics: when there will be final proof of the effectiveness, Pfizer won’t be able to produce the vaccine for the whole world immediately. So, countries who have bought already the vaccine will go first. Probably, the weak and caretakers will be vaccinated first.

Science Media Centre has collected “reactions to pfizer and biontech reporting interim results from phase 3 covid-19 vaccine trial in this article. We quote from this article the reaction of Prof Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology, University of Nottingham: “It’s great news that the Pfizer vaccine is reported to be 90% effective, but it’s important to understand what that means.  For a vaccine to be truly effective it needs to protect those most vulnerable from suffering severe COVID-19 or prevent those less vulnerable from becoming infected and then transmitting the virus to others.  Simply reducing the appearance of symptoms in people who would otherwise have experienced mild infection, is unlikely to have a major benefit.  Indeed, in a worst-case scenario if vaccinated people become infected with the virus and assume they are protected it might mean they can still spread the virus asymptomatically.  Vaccines will be incredibly important in our battle against this virus, but we need to be assured that they will perform as we would hope.”

Following the Covid-19 measures remain important

We believe that, at least before there is a working vaccine largely available, following the Covid-19 measures remain important, such as: wash your hands regularly, wear a mouth mask and keep the social distance. Find out how a Covid buzzer can help you with keeping the social distance here.

Used sources

While in the Netherlands and some other countries Covid-19 is increasing because people don’t follow regulations like social distancing and wearing a mask properly, Covid-19 has set a worldwide ‘record’ today.

WHO reports 284,196 new Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours (July 24). This is a record for the highest increase of corona infections in 1 day. The largest increases were in the US, Brazil, India and South Africa. The previous ‘record’ was one week ago, at July 18.

There were 9,753 deaths, the highest number since April 30. The average number of deaths per day is also increasing: in July 5,000 persons; in June 4,600.

Social distancing, wearing a mask properly and solutions like a covid buzzer help to fight Covid. Find out how we can help you: the Covid Buzzer

#Covid19awareness #Covid19 #Covid-19 #CovidBuzzer #stayhealthy #socialdistancing

Second wave of Covid with hot spots? Or the continuing of the first wave?

At this moment, there’s an increase of Covid-19 infections in the Netherlands. Where the R was below 1, it’s now 1,29. No wonder, it’s busier in the streets, the social distancing easily ignored. Out of Covid-19 tiredness, or simply because the infection rate was going down. So, now it’s 1.29 and there’s a little panic. Because: we don’t want the lockdown again. First there where 6 hot spots, now almost hundred. “Do the corona-hot spots have to be in a local lockdown? Yes, says a vast majority of the Dutch”.

A dense, heavily interconnected population: 1 huge hot spot

It seems we like to explain complicated matters with 1 single number. As if with ‘100’, there is something we can work on, something to contain. That could have been true, when the Netherlands would have been made of quite isolated places. Let’s say a little bush or moor here and there, bring on the fire department and extinguish every fire. Alas, with the dense and in normal circumstances -in the normalized circumstances right now-heavily interconnected population, the ‘100’ bush fires are more like 1 huge dried out bush, where already 100 little fires are going on. Dried out, because like many other countries, many Dutch show they are weary of the Corona regulations. Gathering in large groups are getting common, social distancing ignored. People are wearing their mouth cap under the chin, or put them under the chin while phoning.

Most infections occur at home, according to RIVM. This means that family members infect each other. In recent weeks, contact research has increasingly shown that people also spread the virus at work, during appointments with friends, at parties or in cafés. (Scientias, in Dutch).

Second Corona wave, or still the first one?

Trouw, a Dutch Newspaper: “Infection rates are rising sharply. Is the Netherlands at the beginning of a second corona wave?” Yes, in the Netherlands we have reached an infection rate of 0.6 at its lowest point. Now it is 1.29. So, do we have to be afraid of a second wave? No, we’re still in the middle of the first one. Of course, as a population who has been in lockdown and until now quite successful, we want to have something as reward. Unfortunately, the first corona wave has never been extinguished. Contained by the lockdown, yes. But remained among the population, and probably will not go away anyway until there is a vaccine.

Social Distancing remains important. Solutions like good marking, mouth caps and Covid buzzer help. Find out more about our: Covid Buzzer

A few days ago, the New York Times headlined ” 239 Experts With One Big Claim: The Coronavirus Is Airborne”. At least in the Netherlands, some people are focusing on these aerosols as more are less the only source of infection. According to them, Social distancing would have no use. Should we stop with washing hands, route marking and solutions like the covid buzzer? What does Morawska really say in her article?

Now, Morawska c.s. have publiced their article. In this, she focusses on aerosols as a third way of possible/probable Covid 19 infections, besides direct contact and large droplets:

“Inhaling small airborne droplets is probable as a third route of infection, in addition to more widely recognized transmission via larger respiratory droplets and direct contact with infected people or contaminated surfaces.”

“Inhaling small airborne droplets is probable as a third route of infection, in addition to more widely recognized transmission via larger respiratory droplets and direct contact with infected people or contaminated surfaces. … We believe that the use of engineering controls in public buildings, including hospitals, shops, offices, schools, kindergartens, libraries, restaurants, cruise ships, elevators, conference rooms or public transport, in parallel with effective application of other controls (including isolation and quarantine, social distancing and hand hygiene), would be an additional important measure globally to reduce the likelihood of transmission and thereby protect healthcare workers, patients and the general public.”

Read the full article

In other words: they mention aerosols as a possible / likely distributor of Covid 19, so not as the only explanation. They also mention the widely accepted distributions due to the large droplets and direct contact.

Social distancing remains important, solutions such as washing hands, good marking and covid buzzer help.

Covid-19-keep-corona-distance social distance covid buzzer to stay healthy

Read More about Covid Buzzer:

The Dutch Newspaper De Gelderlander (June 16) headlines: “Where is the virus, am I safe, am I at risk?” The newspapers write this article in response to the major demonstrations in Amsterdam and Rotterdam two weeks ago. The social distancing measures were not adhered to, as if Covid-19 did not exist. They continue: “Half the country shuddered at the sight of a full Dam. Two weeks later, the coast seems clear. Where are we at risk? Time for a mid-term review. “

The newspaper concludes that there are relatively more infections in South Holland.

Then: “Can we have big events again?” The 2 large demonstrations did not cause a major virus outbreak. That is why many hope that large events can be organized again. “Don’t do it, experts warn … The virus is not yet gone, so such events are big risk moments. The more often you organize those, the more likely it will lead to infections”

Risk situations: frequent mutual contact

Based on various outbreaks, there appears to be 1 major risk situation: places where there is a lot of mutual contact. In addition, the newspaper mentions the outbreak in 2 mosques. Besides, they mention the outbreaks in meat processing and fruit growing. “It is clear that sectors with many migrant workers, who often live close together, are hit harder.” In addition to employees, people who regularly visit these companies were professionals who tested positive, such as drivers.

Finally, the newspaper concludes with the WHO’s warning that places where fruit and meat is traded have risks of major outbreaks. After no new Covid cases were found in China for 2 months, there is currently another outbreak in Beijing.

1.5 meters: Social Distancing remains important

Many companies such as offices and factories are currently investigating how they can safely reopen their company for their staff and visitors. Events, cultural institutions and the catering industry also want to offer the safest possible environment. It remains important to keep 1.5 meters away. If you want to learn more how a social distance badge, the covid buzzer can help, visit Covid Buzzer

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