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By Joni Sweet
Should you skip your annual checkup? The answer would have been a resounding "no" if you asked most doctors before the pandemic.
But with the risk of COVID-19, the answer isn't so clear anymore.
Are States Allowing Preventive Care Visits?<p>First things first: If you're experiencing a medical emergency, don't delay treatment.</p><p>While there's the potential that you could be <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/hai/data/portal/index.html" target="_blank">exposed to infections at the emergency room</a>, the health risks of avoiding urgent medical care could be far more severe.</p><p>Hospitals have also implemented precautionary measures, like distributing masks to patients, that help cut down the risk of viral exposure.</p><p>Now that that's out of the way, is it possible to start catching up on routine healthcare appointments, like physicals and dental cleanings?</p><p>"Different places are in different stages of opening up," said <a href="https://www.methodisthealth.org/doctors/arvind-ankireddypalli/" target="_blank">Dr. Arvind Ankireddypalli</a>, primary care physician and geriatrician at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. "Preventative services might not even be available in some communities, [and in others] medical appointments may be on a case-by-case basis."</p>
Is it Safe to Go to the Doctor?<p>If your state is open (or will end its lockdown soon), you may be able to start booking preventive care appointments, like Pap smears, cancer screenings, checkups, and dental cleanings.</p><p>But is it worth the risk of possible exposure to the new coronavirus?</p><p>Opinions vary among healthcare providers and the conditions of their patients, as well as the infection rate in their communities and availability of personal protective equipment.</p><p><a href="https://www.lenhorovitz.com/" target="_blank">Dr. Len Horovitz</a>, internist, pulmonary specialist, and director of Carnegie Medical, recommends that patients avoid delaying their annual physical or other types of preventive care.</p><p>"You will encounter problems that are best seen earlier rather than later," he said. "It is possible to provide a safe environment for a patient in the doctor's office. There's no reason for people to put off an annual exam; these are important appointments that help keep problems from getting out of control."</p><p>In an effort to curb the spread of infection, Horovitz has been following a strict set of procedures at his office, including allowing just one patient in at a time, requiring patients to wear masks and gloves, and disinfecting the examination room between every patient.</p><p>Other physicians, like Ankireddypalli, conduct a risk-benefit analysis for every patient before agreeing to see them in person.</p><p>"It is probably not appropriate to keep delaying visits for high-risk patients, like older adults or people with chronic conditions," he explained.</p>
Role of Telehealth Visits<p>Telemedicine visits, where doctors connect with patients via phone or video chat, can be an option if in-person appointments are risky or prohibited.</p><p>The <a href="https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/benefits/downloads/medicaid-chip-telehealth-toolkit.pdf" target="_blank">Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services</a> and some private insurance companies have expanded coverage for telehealth services during the pandemic. As a result, some practices have seen the <a href="https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/during-pandemic-telehealth-visits-soar-10-week-300-group-practice" target="_blank">use of telemedicine services soar</a> over the last few months.</p><p>"Telemedicine is a way that patients can be seen, evaluated, counseled, and informed about their healthcare without being exposed to the dangers of going into lobbies and offices," said <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/biographies/ommen-steve-r-m-d/bio-20053861" target="_blank">Dr. Steve Ommen</a>, cardiologist and associate dean of the Mayo Clinic Center for Connected Care, which offers telemedicine services.</p><p>"It is particularly relevant for patients who already have a relationship with a provider, the appointment is for an ongoing care episode, and the patient doesn't need to be touched," he said.</p><p>A virtual doctor's visit can't be a substitute for all routine care, though. Cancer screenings, blood draws, evaluations of lumps, Pap smears, and other services still need to be done in person.</p><p>But even if you do have to go to the doctor's office, telehealth services can help cut down on the amount of time you spend there, thus potentially reducing your exposure to the new coronavirus and other germs.</p>
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By Kristeen Cherney
Skin inflammation, which includes swelling and redness, occurs as an immune system reaction. While redness and swelling can develop for a variety of reasons, rashes and burns are perhaps the most common symptoms. More severe skin inflammation can require medications, but sometimes mild rashes may be aided with home remedies like aloe vera.
When Aloe Vera for Redness May Treat Irritation and Inflammation<p>Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties that may help <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/home-remedies-for-rashes" target="_blank">soothe skin rashes</a>. As a bonus, aloe is also thought to have antimicrobial capabilities, which may in turn help to prevent infections. Additionally, aloe vera gel is known for its ability to help moisturize your skin without leaving any residue that heavy creams sometimes can.</p><p>While aloe vera can't cure any skin disease or treat every single instance of skin inflammation, here are the instances where it could possibly help:</p><h3>Burns</h3><p>Aloe vera gel is perhaps best known for its ability to help treat burns. If you've ever had a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/skin/aloe-vera-for-sunburn" target="_blank">sunburn</a>, you may have used an OTC gel to help reduce itchiness, redness, and overall irritation. The same concept may apply to mild heat or chemical burns.</p><p>To use aloe vera for burn treatment, apply it liberally to the affected area multiple times per day. You may know it's time to apply more if your skin starts feeling hot. Aloe vera is safe to use until symptoms of your burn start to improve after a day or two.</p><p>While aloe vera may provide temporary burn relief along with a cooling effect, it won't reverse any damage that may have been done to your skin. It also isn't an appropriate treatment for <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/burns" target="_blank">more severe burns</a>, which can include symptoms such as boils, blisters, and peeling skin.</p>
When Aloe May Worsen Symptoms<p>Aloe can help alleviate symptoms of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/rashes" target="_blank">skin rashes</a> that are mild in nature. However, it's not considered an effective treatment for more serious inflammatory skin conditions. Aloe vera may also—in rare cases—cause skin inflammation. Don't use aloe vera if you have an allergy to it.</p><h3>Can aloe vera cause a skin rash?</h3><p>While considered safe for most people, there is a risk of an allergic reaction to aloe vera. In such cases, you might see signs of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/contact-dermatitis" target="_blank">contact dermatitis</a>, which can develop when your skin comes in contact with an irritating or allergenic substance. Symptoms may include:</p><ul><li>redness</li><li>hives</li><li>itching</li><li>skin rash</li></ul><p><span></span>If you've never used aloe vera before, you should conduct a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/allergy-testing#testing" target="_blank">patch test</a> to make sure you're not allergic. This involves applying the gel to a non-conspicuous area of skin, such as the inside of your elbow. The downside is you have to wait at least 24 hours to see if any irritation develops. If no such reactions occur, then it should be safe to use the product on your skin rashes.</p>
Can Aloe Vera Make Eczema Worse?<p>Aloe vera won't likely make eczema worse unless you're allergic to it. The greater risk is relying on aloe for eczema treatment when it may not actually work. Aloe vera gel could temporarily alleviate feelings of burning, but it can't treat the underlying causes of your eczema rashes.</p><p>Sometimes eczema rashes may bleed due to scratching. You should not apply aloe to broken skin, as this can increase burning sensations.</p>
When to See a Doctor<p>Aloe vera can help soothe certain cases of skin inflammation, but most effects are temporary at best. If your symptoms last longer than a few days, get progressively worse, or spread throughout your entire body, then it's time to see a doctor to evaluate your skin rash.</p><p>A doctor may also refer you to a dermatologist, who specializes in the treatment of skin disorders. They can help diagnose the cause of your rashes and help treat the underlying source of inflammation, rather than the symptoms alone.</p><p>You should also see a doctor if you experience any negative reactions after using aloe gel. This could indicate an allergy to aloe vera. If you suspect an allergic reaction, stop using aloe right away.</p><p><em>Never </em>take aloe vera gel or cream, aloe latex, or whole-leaf extract orally.</p><p>Seek immediate medical care if you suspect your rash <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/skin-infection" target="_blank">is infected</a>. Signs may include fever, blisters, and pus-filled lesions in your rash. Extremely painful rashes also require medical attention.</p>
Takeaway<p>Due to its ability to soothe inflammation and wounds, aloe vera can be a temporary solution to treat the symptoms of a mild burn or skin rash. However, aloe vera isn't a viable treatment option for more severe burns or severe inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema and rosacea. Stronger medications are needed for more severe skin rashes.</p><p>While rare, aloe vera may also cause an allergic reaction in some people. Always conduct a skin patch test for use, and discontinue any aloe gel products if you notice any new rashes.</p>
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Blue Light Disrupts Your Sleep<p>Your body has an internal clock that regulates your circadian rhythm — the 24-hour biological cycle that influences many internal functions.<span></span></p><p>Most importantly, it determines when your body is primed for being awake or <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-why-good-sleep-is-important" target="_blank">asleep</a>.</p><p>However, your circadian rhythm needs signals from the external environment — most importantly daylight and darkness — to adjust itself.</p><p>Blue-wavelength light stimulates sensors in your eyes to send signals to your brain's internal clock.</p><p>Keep in mind that sunlight and white light contain a mixture of various wavelengths, each of which has a significant amount of blue light.<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18075803" target="_blank"></a></p><p>Getting blue light, especially from the sun, in the daytime helps you stay alert while improving performance and mood.</p><p>Blue light therapy devices may help treat depression, and blue light bulbs have been shown to reduce fatigue and improve the mood, performance, and sleep of office workers.</p><p>Yet, modern light bulbs and electronic devices, especially computer monitors, likewise produce large amounts of blue light and may disrupt your internal clock if you're exposed to them during the evening.</p><p>When it gets dark, your pineal gland secretes the hormone <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/melatonin-and-sleep" target="_blank">melatonin</a>, which tells your body to get tired and go to sleep.</p><p>Blue light, whether from the sun or a laptop, is very effective at inhibiting melatonin production — thus reducing both the quantity and quality of your sleep.</p><p>Studies link melatonin suppression in the evening to various health problems, including metabolic syndrome, obesity, cancer, and depression.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Blue light in the evening tricks your brain into thinking it's daytime, which inhibits the production of melatonin and reduces both the quantity and quality of your sleep.</p>
Tinted Glasses May Help<p>Amber-tinted glasses offer the easiest and most effective way to avoid blue light exposure at night.</p><p>These glasses effectively block all blue light. Thus, your brain doesn't get the signal that it's supposed to stay awake.</p><p>Studies show that when people use blue-light-blocking glasses, even in a lit room or while using an electronic device, they produce just as much melatonin as if it were dark.</p><p>In one study, people's melatonin levels in the evening were compared across dim light, bright light, and bright light with tinted glasses.<a href="http://press.endocrine.org/doi/full/10.1210/jc.2004-2062" target="_blank"></a></p><p>The bright light almost completely suppressed melatonin production, while the dim light did not.</p><p>Notably, those wearing the glasses produced the same amount of melatonin as those exposed to dim light. The glasses largely canceled out the melatonin-suppressing effect of the bright light.</p><p>Likewise, blue-light-blocking glasses have been shown to spur major improvements in sleep and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-brain-foods" target="_blank">mental performance</a>.</p><p>In one 2-week study, 20 individuals used either blue-light-blocking glasses or glasses that didn't block blue light for 3 hours before bedtime. The former group experienced major improvements in both sleep quality and mood.</p><p>These glasses have also been found to greatly improve sleep in shift workers when worn before bedtime.</p><p>What's more, in a study in older adults with cataracts, blue-light-blocking lenses improved sleep and significantly reduced daytime dysfunction.</p><p>That said, not all studies support the use of blue-light-blocking lenses or glasses. One analysis of several studies concluded that there's a lack of high quality evidence supporting their use.</p><p>Nevertheless, blue-light-blocking glasses may provide some benefits.</p><p><strong>Shop blue-light-blocking glasses <a href="https://amzn.to/2WmW4M8" target="_blank">online</a>.</strong></p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Some studies suggest that blue-light-blocking glasses may increase melatonin production during the evening, leading to major improvements in sleep and mood.</p>
Other Blocking Methods<p>If you don't want to use glasses every night, there are a few other ways to reduce blue light exposure.</p><p>One popular way is to install a program called f.lux on your computer.</p><p>This program automatically adjusts the color and brightness of your screen based on your timezone. When it's dark outside, it effectively blocks all blue light and gives your monitor a faint orange hue.</p><p>Similar apps are available for your smartphone.</p><p>A few other tips include:</p><ul><li>turning off all lights in your home 1–2 hours before bedtime</li><li>getting a red or orange reading lamp, which doesn't emit blue light (candlelight works well, too)</li><li>keeping your bedroom completely dark or using a sleep mask</li></ul><p>It's also important to expose yourself to plenty of blue light during the day.</p><p>If you can, go outside to get sunlight exposure. Otherwise, consider a blue light therapy device — a strong lamp that simulates the sun and bathes your face and eyes in blue light.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Other ways to block blue light in the evening include dimming or turning off the lights in your home and installing an app that adjusts the light your laptop and smartphone emit.</p>
The Bottom Line<p>Blue light, which is emitted from smartphones, computers, and bright lights, may inhibit your sleep if you're exposed to it at night.</p><p>If you have a history of sleeping problems, try reducing your exposure to blue light during the evenings.</p><p>Amber-tinted glasses may be particularly effective.</p><p>Several studies support their ability to <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-tips-to-sleep-better" target="_blank">improve sleep quality</a>.</p>
Minerals are key nutrients that your body requires to function. They affect various aspects of bodily function, such as growth, bone health, muscle contractions, fluid balance, and many other processes.
What Are Chelated Minerals?<p>Minerals are a type of nutrient that your body needs to function properly. As your body cannot produce minerals, you must obtain them through your diet.</p><p>Yet, many are difficult to absorb. For example, your intestine may only absorb 0.4–2.5% of chromium from food.</p><p>Chelated minerals are meant to boost absorption. They're bound to a chelating agent, which are typically organic compounds or <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/essential-amino-acids" target="_blank">amino acids</a> that help prevent the minerals from interacting with other compounds.</p><p>For example, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/chromium-picolinate" target="_blank">chromium picolinate</a> is a type of chromium attached to three molecules of picolinic acid. It's absorbed through a different pathway than dietary chromium and appears to be more stable in your body.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Chelated minerals are minerals bound to a chelating agent, which is designed to enhance their absorption in your body.</p>
Various Types of Chelated Minerals<p>Most minerals are available in chelated form. Some of the most common include:</p><ul><li>calcium</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/chelated-zinc" target="_blank">zinc</a></li><li>iron</li><li>copper</li><li>magnesium</li><li>potassium</li><li>cobalt</li><li>chromium</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/molybdenum" target="_blank">molybdenum</a></li></ul><p>They're typically made using an amino or organic acid.</p><p><strong>Amino Acids</strong></p><p>These amino acids are commonly used to make mineral chelates:</p><ul><li><strong>Aspartic acid:</strong> used to make zinc aspartate, magnesium aspartate, and more</li><li><strong>Methionine:</strong> used to make copper methionine, zinc methionine, and more</li><li><strong>Monomethionine:</strong> used to make zinc monomethionine</li><li><strong>Lysine:</strong> used to make calcium lysinate</li><li><strong>Glycine:</strong> used to make magnesium glycinate</li></ul><p><strong>Organic Acids</strong></p><p>Organic acids used to make mineral chelates include:</p><ul><li><strong>Acetic acid: </strong>used to make zinc acetate, calcium acetate, and more</li><li><strong>Citric acid: </strong>used to make chromium citrate, magnesium citrate, and more</li><li><strong>Orotic acid: </strong>used to make magnesium orotate, lithium orotate, and more</li><li><strong>Gluconic acid: </strong>used to make iron gluconate, zinc gluconate, and more</li><li><strong>Fumaric acid: </strong>used to make iron (ferrous) fumarate</li><li><strong>Picolinic acid: </strong>used to make chromium picolinate, manganese picolinate, and more</li></ul><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Chelated minerals are usually joined to either organic acids or amino acids. Most mineral supplements are available in chelated form.</p>
Do Chelated Minerals Have Better Absorption?<p>Chelated minerals are often touted as having better absorption than non-chelated ones.</p><p>Several studies have compared the absorption of the two.</p><p>For example, a study in 15 adults found that chelated zinc (as zinc citrate and zinc gluconate) was absorbed around 11% more effectively than non-chelated zinc (as zinc oxide).</p><p>Similarly, a study in 30 adults noted that magnesium glycerophosphate (chelated) raised blood magnesium levels significantly more than magnesium oxide (non-chelated).</p><p>What's more, some research suggests that taking chelated minerals may reduce the total amount you need to consume to reach healthy blood levels. This is important for people at risk of excess mineral intake, such as <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-too-much-iron-is-harmful" target="_blank">iron overload</a>.</p><p>For example, in a study in 300 infants, giving 0.34 mg per pound of body weight (0.75 mg per kg) of iron bisglycinate (chelated) daily raised blood iron levels to levels similar to those caused by 4 times that amount of iron sulfate (non-chelated).</p><p>Yet, not all studies give the same results.</p><p>A study in 23 postmenopausal women showed that 1,000 mg of calcium carbonate (non-chelated) was more rapidly absorbed and raised blood calcium levels more effectively than the same amount of calcium citrate (chelated).</p><p>Meanwhile, a study in pregnant women with <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/iron-deficiency-signs-symptoms" target="_blank">iron deficiency</a> found no significant difference in blood iron levels when comparing chelated iron (ferrous bisglycinate) with regular iron (ferrous sulfate).</p><p>In general, animal studies indicate that chelated minerals are absorbed more effectively.</p><p>However, these findings should be interpreted with caution, as animals have significantly different digestive tracts than humans. These differences can affect mineral absorption.</p><p>Given that the current research is mixed, more research on chelated minerals is needed.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Current research provides mixed results on whether chelated minerals are absorbed better than regular minerals. More studies are needed before one can be recommended over the other.<br></p>
Should You Buy Chelated Minerals?<p>In some situations, taking the chelated form of a mineral may be more suitable.</p><p>For instance, chelated minerals may benefit older adults. As you age, you may produce less stomach acid, which can affect mineral absorption.</p><p>Because chelated minerals are bound to an amino or organic acid, they don't require as much <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-increase-stomach-acid" target="_blank">stomach acid</a> to be efficiently digested.<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19958055" target="_blank"></a></p><p>Similarly, people who experience stomach pain after taking supplements may benefit from chelated minerals, as they're less dependent on stomach acid for digestion.</p><p>Nonetheless, regular, non-chelated minerals are sufficient for most adults.</p><p>Plus, chelated minerals tend to cost more than non-chelated ones. If cost is a concern for you, stick with regular mineral supplements.</p><p>Keep in mind that mineral supplements are unnecessary for most healthy adults unless your diet doesn't provide enough to meet your daily needs. In most instances, mineral supplements aren't a suitable replacement for dietary mineral intake.</p><p>Still, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-supplements-for-vegans" target="_blank">vegans</a>, blood donors, pregnant women, and certain other populations may benefit from regularly supplementing with minerals.</p><p>If you plan on taking chelated minerals, you should speak with a healthcare professional beforehand.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Some individuals, such as older adults and those who have difficulty tolerating regular supplements, may benefit from chelated minerals.</p>
The Bottom Line<p>Chelated minerals are those bound to a chelating agent, such as an organic or amino acid, to improve absorption.</p><p>Though they're often said to be absorbed better than regular mineral supplements, the current research is mixed.</p><p>For certain populations, such as <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nutritional-needs-and-aging" target="_blank">older adults</a> and those with stomach issues, chelated minerals are a suitable alternative to regular minerals. However, for most healthy adults, there's no need to choose one over the other.</p>
By Tonya Russell
A few years ago, my fiance and I got into an argument on our way to spend Christmas with my family.
As we drove through unfamiliar territory, we began to notice a lot of people who appeared to be without a home. This started to break up the tension as we turned our thoughts to this bigger issue.
Shifting Priorities<p>Many have trouble volunteering because of hectic schedules. With virtual volunteering, it's easy to find opportunities that fit your terms.</p><p><a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0164027504271349" target="_blank">Studies show</a> that those who volunteer report higher levels of happiness, likely due to an increase in empathy and a resulting sense of gratitude for what you have.</p><p>It can also boost self-confidence and give individuals a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/how-helping-people-affects-your-brain" target="_blank">sense of belonging</a> and purpose. I've personally felt idle sitting at home, and a sense of purpose is just what I need.</p>
Ways to Give<p>Whether you want to take the lead on a project or jump in and help, here are tips to find the right volunteer opportunity for you while physical distancing:</p><p><strong>Find Virtual Opportunities</strong></p><p>Databases are a great first step in finding the perfect volunteer opportunity. You can filter by categories, hours, and locations. That way, you can pick somewhere nearby in case you want to volunteer in person later.</p><p><a href="https://www.volunteermatch.org/virtual-volunteering" target="_blank">VolunteerMatch</a> and <a href="https://www.justserve.org/" target="_blank">JustServe</a> offer virtual opportunities to volunteer for nonprofit organizations, charities, and businesses with heart.</p><p><strong>Grant a Wish</strong></p><p>If you have extra cash or a way to raise funds, you can fulfill <a href="https://gooddler.com/Landing" target="_blank">charity wish lists</a>. Many organizations accept items year-round.</p><p>You can choose from different categories like animal welfare, environmental organizations, health services, and the arts. Whatever moves you, you'll find a cause to give to.</p><p>Items range in price from low cost to high ticket, so you'll still have something to offer if you're on a budget.</p>
Adapting to Our New Day to Day<p>We aren't quite certain when things will go back to normal, or if quarantine <em>is</em> the new normal. While we may be limited in what we can do, that doesn't need to stop our ability to give.</p><p>So many — from those experiencing homelessness to the neighborhood kids — depend on our generosity right now.</p><p>My fiancé and I look forward to seeing familiar faces when we can return to volunteering in shelters.</p><p>Until then, we've partnered with an assisted living facility to offer virtual art classes and music hours to keep their residents entertained.</p><p>Our hope is to inspire others to step outside their situations and look after someone to connect with anyone who has also been affected by COVID-19.</p><p>We're grateful that technology has made altruism easier, so we can continue our ritual of giving back.</p>
By Gigen Mammoser
The next time you're sitting around wondering if you have enough time for a workout, ask yourself if you have 4 seconds.
Small Workouts, Big Benefits.<p><a href="https://education.utexas.edu/faculty/edward_coyle" target="_blank">Edward F. Coyle</a>, PhD, a professor in the department of kinesiology and health education at UT Austin, and his team of researchers at the Human Performance Laboratory found that 4-second sprints conducted five times per hour helped to improve fat metabolism and lower triglyceride levels in the bloodstream.</p><p>"The key thing with fat metabolism is that you have to activate your muscles; you can't let them be too inactive for very long. These sprints are just a very effective way of doing that," Coyle told Healthline.</p><p>Coyle's study seems practically inclined toward anyone who spends a little too much on the couch, but more specifically for individuals with sedentary jobs — think sitting at a computer for the whole workday.</p><p>That's exactly what they had in mind for the design of the study, which looks at the effects of these short bouts of intense exercise over an 8-hour period.</p>
When to Work Out Is Also Important.<p>Incorporating exercise into the workday, as opposed to just waiting until 5 o'clock and hitting the gym for an hour, is an important aspect of the study. Having a simple piece of equipment makes such a routine more viable.</p><p>"We need to clear that triglyceride from the bloodstream and if you've been sitting for long, you won't have that increased clearance as a result of the bout of exercise. As far as fat metabolism goes, that bout of exercise done in the afternoon is not going to be very effective," Coyle said.</p><p>To be clear: Going to the gym after work is still a good idea. Any exercise is better than none.</p><p>However, Coyle's research suggests that specifically in the realm of fat metabolism, intermittent exercise throughout the day could be more beneficial.</p><p>"This is an interesting piece of research, which highlights the importance of exercise throughout the day," said <a href="https://www.northwell.edu/find-care/find-a-doctor/cardiology/dr-guy-lowell-mintz-md-11308127" target="_blank">Dr. Guy L. Mintz</a>, director of cardiovascular health and lipidology at Northwell Health's Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Manhasset, NY. "Many studies have shown the importance of getting up throughout the workday. Other cultures like Japan mandate a dedicated hour throughout the workday to exercise. Companies like Google and Facebook have game areas set to promote activity during the workday," Mintz said.</p>
Sedentary Lifestyle Can Increase Health Risks.<p>The dangers of extended periods of sitting and a sedentary lifestyle associated with technology usage and screen time have become increasingly well-publicized in recent years.</p><p>Among other things, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-sitting-is-bad-for-you" target="_blank">health problems associated with sitting down too much</a> include weight gain, increased risk of metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and diabetes.</p><p>According to Coyle, sitting down for hours at a time can also make it harder to burn fat, a condition he refers to as "exercise resistance."</p><p>Normally, exercise improves metabolism, but individuals who are overly sedentary will derive less benefit in terms of fat burning when they exercise, compared with more active individuals.</p><p>However, the take-home message from this research shouldn't be about nitpicking over details of when and how to work out. Too many people simply aren't getting enough exercise as it is.</p><p>"The bottom line is that any type of exercise — even just standing up after sitting for a prolonged period of time — can offset the adverse effects of prolonged sitting or sedentary behavior in general," <a href="https://www.northwell.edu/find-care/find-a-doctor/emergency-medicine/dr-robert-glatter-md-11353725" target="_blank">Dr. Robert Glatter</a>, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and a former sideline doctor for the New York Jets, told Healthline.</p><p>"While short bursts of intense exercise may be more beneficial in accelerating metabolism of fats and reducing insulin resistance (after a high caloric or fatty meal), any type of exercise — including a brisk walk or climbing a few sets of stairs — would be beneficial. The key is simply to get moving," Glatter said.</p>
By Leah Campbell
It started with Eve donning a black mask against a backdrop of wisteria flowers, hashtagging her efforts #MaskingForAFriend. Sophia Bush, Matt McGorry, and Mayim Bialik soon followed, with others quickly joining the cause launched by the Pandemic Action Network.
How Do Masks Protect People From COVID-19?<p>There's been a lot of confusion surrounding the benefits of using masks in the battle against COVID-19, and even the U.S. government has sent <a href="https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2020/04/22/Mask-confusion-Health-officials-give-conflicting-messages/stories/202004170049" target="_blank">conflicting messages</a>.</p><p>But now, thanks to evolving science and a better understanding of exactly whom masks protect, most health officials seem to finally be on the same page.</p><p>"<a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html" target="_blank">CDC</a> recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting," said <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/media/spokesperson/bell/index.html" target="_blank">Dr. Mike Bell</a>, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. "This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms by blocking your respiratory droplets."</p><p>Bell has been working to provide the necessary medical perspective for the #MaskingForAFriend campaign, explaining that masking for others is what scientists and medical experts refer to as source control.</p><p>"If everyone does this, the amount of infection being spread in our communities can be greatly reduced," he said.</p>
What Else Might Masks Protect Against?<p><a href="https://providerdirectory.uabmedicine.org/provider/Kierstin+Kennedy/574872" target="_blank">Dr. Kierstin Kennedy</a>, chief of hospital medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said, "Masks can protect against any infectious illness that may be spread by droplets. For example, the flu, pertussis (whooping cough), or pneumonia."</p><p>Bell agrees, adding that wearing a cloth mask has benefits beyond slowing the spread of COVID-19, and that source control can reduce the transmission of many other easily spread respiratory infections — the kind that typically render people infectious even before they display symptoms, like influenza.</p><p>"Some international reports have noted a lower impact of flu related to the uptake of measures to prevent COVID-19," Bell said.</p><p>But that doesn't necessarily mean masks are for everyone.</p><p>"Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children younger than 2 years of age, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance," Bell explained.</p>
Could Face Masks Become an Ongoing Trend?<p>The experts we spoke with agree that until the threat of this pandemic has been neutralized, people should embrace the protection masks allow them to provide to those around them.</p><p>After all, it's not necessarily about you — it's about everyone you come in contact with.</p><p>It's not at all uncommon to be an asymptomatic carrier of the new coronavirus — which means that even if you have no symptoms at all, you could potentially transmit the virus to someone who could then become gravely ill or even die.</p><p>A mask, alongside frequent handwashing and physical distancing measures, like staying at least 6 feet (2 meters) apart, reduces that risk.</p><p>But could this be a trend that continues even after COVID-19? And perhaps the more important question: Should it?</p><p>"As we start to navigate life beyond the stay-at-home orders, we likely will need to continue to use face masks if we want to prevent continued transmission," Kennedy said.</p><p>But she's unsure of what the future may hold beyond that.</p><p>"Once the threat of COVID-19 is gone, I don't think that ongoing use of face masks in public has to continue, though it remains to be seen whether we will adopt ongoing face mask use just as we have seen in Asian countries," Kennedy said.</p>
Being Honest About the Drawbacks of Face Masks<p>While wearing a face mask in public is one more way we can help protect our friends, loved ones, and community, that doesn't mean doing so is without sacrifice.</p><p>"Face masks certainly impact the way that we interact socially," Kennedy said. "You lose the ability to connect with others in the nonverbal ways that are customary."</p><p>As an example, she says before COVID-19 you may have flashed a warm smile to someone you were rushing past in the street — a way to convey you weren't trying to be rude and to pass along a nonverbal hello.</p><p>"We will likely have to find a new normal as it relates to expected social interactions," she said.</p><p>Face masks also affect individuals with hearing disabilities, who often rely on lip reading to some extent to effectively communicate with others.</p><p>However, for those who are simply struggling with embarrassment over wearing a mask when others are not, she pointed out, "There is nothing awkward or embarrassing about protecting your health or the health of those around you. Find a mask that fits and wear it proudly."</p><p>Bell agrees. "The good thing about everyone wearing a cloth face cover when they're out in public is that it sends the message that we're all in this together, and there's no reason to be embarrassed about wearing one," she said.</p><p>In other words, the more people who take that step, the more united we will be.</p><p>But there's one more complaint about face masks that may present a bigger challenge: For some people, breathing behind the mask has proven to be difficult. And for those with anxiety or other respiratory conditions, restricted breathing can become a quality of life issue.</p><p>If you're having a hard time breathing behind your mask, Kennedy said, "The size or style of the mask may be the issue."</p><p>She encourages people to try different types of face coverings to find what works for them.</p><p>"The ideal mask is snug enough to fit close to the face (no gaps) to prevent droplets from entering or exiting around the sides, but large enough that it is not restrictive or negatively impacting your ability to breathe," Kennedy said.</p><p>As part of Ivanitskaya's work, she's actually been experimenting with different materials and varying numbers of layers required to help people be comfortable in their masks while providing the most amount or protection possible.</p><p>Her team has even produced <a href="https://cutt.ly/EN-MyMaskSavesLives" target="_blank">science-based resources</a> regarding best practices for sewing washable face masks, for those interested in achieving the balance between comfort and protection.</p><p>"It's a very real issue," Ivanitskaya said. "I'm with a group of researchers who have been developing mask construction advice, and we are suggesting materials and mask designs. One of the masks we made that seemed very reasonable, I pretested on myself, wearing the mask uphill as I rode my bike."</p><p>But the same mask Ivanitskaya was able to wear without issue turned out to be impossible for her 88-year-old neighbor to keep on.</p><p>In fact, he told her he was choking inside of it. After another older neighbor reported the same experience, Ivanitskaya turned to the research and discovered evidence of diminished lung capacity among older adults.</p><p>That was when she started experimenting with finding the sweet spot between protection and tolerability for those who may not be able to breathe as easily from behind a mask.</p><p>What she discovered is that different people have different levels of tolerability when it comes to mask wear — and factors like outside temperatures, whether the wearer also uses glasses, and even nose size can all play a role.</p><p>Finding a mask you can comfortably keep on should be the ultimate goal, even if it doesn't provide exactly the same level of protection as someone who may be able to tolerate more layers and a tighter seal.</p>
Functional — and Fashionable<p>But it's not just improving comfort that face mask designers are now focusing on. Many are also trying to create masks people actually want to wear — masks others might find as an aesthetically pleasing and fun way to accessorize.</p><p>If you think that sounds crazy, just remember: Sunglasses and hats once started out as items meant to simply protect the wearer from the sun.</p><p>They've now evolved into fashion accessories providing countless options to choose from.</p><p>"Many businesses, small and large, have taken the opportunity to make and sell cloth face covers. A wide variety of styles and designs are already available," Bell said. "We're already seeing a lot of people not only wearing cloth face coverings, but making a design or fashion statement with their choice of cover."</p><p>Whether it's the design you choose or the way you fasten your mask to your face (with a popular debate now ensuing over whether ear loops or clasps behind the head are better), you have an opportunity to make a statement with the mask you wear — and protect others in style.</p>
- Why Wear Face Masks in Public? Here's What the Research Shows ... ›
- Making Masks at Home – What You Need to Know About How to ... ›
To make it, chopped apples are covered with water and left to ferment to form ethanol. Natural bacteria convert the ethanol into acetic acid, which is the main component of vinegar.
Shelf Life and Proper Storage Tips<p>The acidic nature of vinegar makes it a self-preserving pantry staple, which means it generally never sours or expires.</p><p>The pH scale, which ranges from 0–14 indicates how acidic a substance is. A pH lower than 7 is acidic, and a pH greater than 7 is basic. Acetic acid, the main constituent of apple cider vinegar, has a highly acidic pH between 2 and 3.</p><p>Vinegar has natural antimicrobial properties, which likely contribute to its long shelf life. In fact, vinegar can prevent the growth of illness-causing germs like <em>E. coli</em>, <em>Staphylococcus aureus</em>, and <em>Candida albicans.</em></p><p>In one study, vinegar had the most antibacterial characteristics when compared with <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-13-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coffee" target="_blank">coffee</a>, soda, tea, juice, and olive oil.</p><p>The best way to store apple cider vinegar is in an airtight container in a cool, dark place away from sunlight, such as in a kitchen pantry or basement. Refrigerating apple cider vinegar is unnecessary and does not improve its shelf life.<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003267005017897" target="_blank"></a></p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic and has antimicrobial properties that make it a self-preserving pantry staple. While it technically never expires, storing it in a cool, dark place helps preserve its quality.</p>
How Apple Cider Vinegar Changes Over Time<p>As vinegar ages, it may undergo aesthetic changes, such as becoming hazy or separating. You may also notice cloudy sediments or fibers at the bottom of the bottle.</p><p>This is largely due to exposure to oxygen, which happens every time you open the lid.</p><p>Over time, oxygenation also causes the release of citric acid and sulfur dioxide, two preservatives in vinegar.</p><p>This could affect how it tastes or contributes to a recipe, but these changes don't significantly affect the nutritional value or shelf life of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-proven-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar" target="_blank">apple cider vinegar</a>.</p><p>Before using apple cider vinegar that you've had for a while, you can smell and even taste it to make sure it'll still work well in your recipe.</p><p>Keep in mind that even though apple cider vinegar products may have an expiration date on them, many manufacturers note that its safe to use well beyond this date.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Apple cider vinegar may undergo subtle aesthetic changes over time when exposed to oxygen, but this doesn't significantly change its nutritional quality or shelf life.</p>
The Bottom Line<p>Apple cider vinegar is acidic and has antimicrobial properties that make it self-preserving. This means that it's safe to consume and use in recipes even if it's old.</p><p>However, apple cider vinegar can undergo aesthetic changes over time that may slightly change its taste, texture, or appearance. This is primarily due to chemical changes that happen when it's exposed to oxygen.</p><p>Still, these types of changes do not affect the shelf life of apple cider vinegar, and it's not dangerous to consume it when it gets old.</p>
Many people reach for a cup of this caffeinated beverage immediately after rising, whereas others believe it's more beneficial to hold off for a few hours.
Cortisol and Coffee<p>Many people enjoy a cup — or three — of coffee upon rising or shortly thereafter.</p><p>However, it's thought that drinking coffee too soon after rising decreases its energizing effects, as your stress hormone cortisol is <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ways-to-lower-cortisol" target="_blank">at its peak level</a> at this time.</p><p>Cortisol is a hormone that can enhance alertness and focus. It also regulates your metabolism, immune system response, and blood pressure.</p><p>The hormone follows a rhythm specific to your sleep-wake cycle, with high levels that peak 30–45 minutes after rising and slowly decline throughout the rest of the day.<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3486742/" target="_blank"></a></p><p>That said, it has been suggested that the best time to drink coffee is mid- to late-morning when your cortisol level is lower.</p><p>For most people who get up around 6:30 a.m., this time is between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m.</p><p>While there may be some truth to this, no studies to date have observed any superior energizing effects with delaying your morning coffee, compared with <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coffee-on-empty-stomach" target="_blank">drinking it immediately upon rising</a>.</p><p>Another reason why it has been suggested that you should delay your morning coffee is that the caffeine from coffee can increase cortisol levels.</p><p>Drinking coffee when your cortisol level is at its peak may further increase levels of this hormone. Elevated levels of cortisol over long periods can impair your immune system, causing health problems.</p><p>Still, there have been no long-term studies on the health implications of elevated cortisol from drinking coffee.</p><p>Moreover, caffeine-induced increases in cortisol tend to be reduced in people who regularly consume caffeine.</p><p>That said, there's likely no harm if you prefer to drink coffee upon rising rather than several hours thereafter.</p><p>But if you're willing to change up your morning coffee ritual, you may find that delaying your coffee intake a few hours may give you more energy.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>The best time to drink coffee is thought to be 9:30–11:30 a.m. when most people's cortisol level is lower. Whether this is true, remains to be determined. Caffeine can increase cortisol, but the long-term health implications of this are unknown.</p>
Coffee Can Boost Exercise Performance<p>Coffee is known for its ability to promote wakefulness and increase alertness, but the beverage is also an effective <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/caffeine-and-exercise" target="_blank">exercise performance enhancer</a> because of its caffeine content.</p><p>Plus, coffee can be a much cheaper alternative to caffeine-containing supplements like pre-workout powders.</p><p>Several studies have demonstrated that caffeine can delay exercise fatigue and improve muscle strength and power.</p><p>While it may not make a significant difference whether you choose to enjoy your coffee upon rising or several hours thereafter, the effects of the caffeine from coffee on exercise performance are time-dependent.</p><p>If you're looking to optimize coffee's beneficial effects on exercise performance, it's best to consume the beverage 30–60 minutes before a workout or sporting event.<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20205813" target="_blank"></a></p><p>This is the time it takes caffeine levels to peak in your body.</p><p>The effective dose of caffeine for improving exercise performance is 1.4–2.7 mg per pound (3–6 mg per kg) of body weight.<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20205813" target="_blank"></a></p><p>For a 150-pound (68-kg) person, this equates to about 200–400 mg of caffeine, or 2–4 cups (475–950 mL) of coffee.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>The exercise performance benefits of caffeine from coffee can be experienced within 30–60 minutes of drinking the beverage.</p>
Anxiety and Sleep Problems<p>Caffeine in coffee can promote wakefulness and increase exercise performance, but it can also cause problems with sleep and anxiety in some people.</p><p>The stimulating effects of caffeine from coffee last 3–5 hours, and depending on individual differences, about half of the total caffeine you consume remains in your body after 5 hours.</p><p>Consuming coffee too close to bedtime, such as with dinner, can cause <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-tips-to-sleep-better" target="_blank">sleeping problems</a>.</p><p>To avoid caffeine's disruptive effects on sleep, it's recommended to avoid consuming caffeine for a minimum of 6 hours before bed.</p><p>In addition to sleep problems, caffeine can increase anxiety in some people.</p><p>If you have <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/anxiety-disorder-symptoms" target="_blank">anxiety</a>, you may find that drinking coffee makes it worse, in which case, you may need to consume less or avoid the beverage completely.</p><p>You can also try switching to green tea, which contains one-third of the caffeine in coffee.</p><p>The beverage also provides the amino acid L-theanine, which has relaxing and calming properties.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Caffeine can cause sleep problems when it's consumed too close to bedtime. The stimulant may also increase anxiety in some people.</p>
How Much Coffee is Safe?<p>Healthy individuals can consume up to 400 mg of caffeine daily — the equivalent of about 4 cups (950 mL) of coffee.<span></span></p><p>The recommendation for pregnant and nursing women is 300 mg of caffeine daily, with some research suggesting that the safe upper limit is 200 mg daily.<a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28603504/" target="_blank"></a></p><p>These recommendations for <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-coffee-should-you-drink" target="_blank">safe caffeine intake</a> include caffeine from all sources.</p><p>Other common sources of caffeine include tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, and even dark chocolate.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Healthy adults can consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day, whereas pregnant and nursing women can safely consume up to 300 mg per day, with some research suggesting that 200 mg is the safe limit.</p>
The Bottom Line<p>Coffee is a popular beverage that's enjoyed throughout the world.</p><p>It has been suggested that the best time to drink coffee is mid- to late-morning when your cortisol level is lower, but research on this topic is lacking.</p><p>Consuming coffee 30–60 minutes before your workout or sporting event can help delay fatigue and increase muscle strength and power.</p><p>Keep in mind that the stimulating effects of caffeine from <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-13-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coffee" target="_blank">coffee</a> can cause sleep problems if consumed too close to bedtime, as well as increase anxiety in some people.</p>
By Nancy Schimelpfening
Consumers looking to buy disinfectant sprays and wipes may be out of luck for a while.
Why Disinfectants Are in Short Supply<p>Prior to the pandemic, demand for disinfectants was fairly stable, with only small increases seen during flu season.</p><p>Production facilities were equipped to handle the normally expected demand.</p><p>However, people's fears about the virus sparked panic buying and hoarding.</p><p>"This was not a huge industry before the spike in demand," said Welborn. "There was not a great deal of excess capacity in the production process."</p><p>In addition — according to <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/sgrawe/" target="_blank">Scott Grawe</a>, PhD, chair of the department of supply chain management at Iowa State University — companies don't tend to keep a lot of stock on hand. Storing it is expensive and it keeps costs down if they don't stockpile it.</p><p>As a result, manufacturers are struggling to keep up.</p><p>Grawe said an additional problem is that as more disinfectant products become available, suppliers upstream from retailers must decide where to send them first.</p><p>Often, they end up going directly to healthcare facilities and industrial customers first due to their greater need for larger quantities of product.</p>
What Manufacturers Are Doing to Remedy the Situation<p>Grawe said one of the things that manufacturers may be doing to increase the supply of disinfectants is to look for nontraditional suppliers of ingredients.</p><p>For example, quite a few <a href="https://www.distilledspirits.org/distillers-responding-to-covid-19/distilleries-making-hand-sanitizer/" target="_blank">distilleries</a> have stepped in to make hand sanitizer for their local communities.</p><p>Also, manufacturers may be temporarily curtailing their production of more profitable products in order to focus on their customers' increased need for disinfectants.</p><p>Welborn said another strategy manufacturers may be employing is to limit the number of different products they're making. This increases their efficiency and enables them to increase output.</p><p>He also noted that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expanding its list of approved disinfectants, adding 91 new products in the month of April.</p>
How Long Can We Expect Shortages to Exist?<p>"This is a tough question," said Grawe.</p><p>Firms want to catch up to demand and replenish their inventory, he said.</p><p>However, they're also likely to be cautious that they don't flood the market.</p><p>Demand will at some point return to a steady level, although it's unclear whether it will return to the same level as before or whether there will be a new, elevated "normal," he said.</p><p>As new sectors of the economy open up, there will probably be an increase in demand for disinfectants. This may lead to regional shortages for a period of time.</p><p>Grawe said, however, that he expects supply and demand to balance out after most closed businesses have reopened.</p>
What You Can Do in the Meantime<p><a href="https://ghss.georgetown.edu/people/fischer/" target="_blank">Julie Fischer</a>, PhD, associate research professor of microbiology and immunology at Georgetown University, said as long as you have access to soap and water you can do an effective job at eliminating SARS-CoV-2 from your hands.</p><p>No special soap is needed, she said. Any bar or liquid soap will work.</p><p>Just wash your hands vigorously for 20 seconds.</p><p>If you don't have access to soap and water, hand sanitizers are a good substitute.</p><p>With commercial products being in short supply, Fischer noted that many people have turned to making <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/coronavirus-hand-sanitizer-recipes-risks" target="_blank">homemade hand sanitizers</a> using either isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) or ethanol (liquor) mixed with aloe vera.</p><p>The important thing to keep in mind with many recipes found on the internet, she said, is making certain they yield the correct concentration of alcohol.</p><p>The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/hand-hygiene.html" target="_blank">recommendsTrusted Source</a> a concentration of greater than 60 percent ethanol or 70 percent isopropyl alcohol.</p><p>Many home recipes fall short of these recommendations, Fischer said. You'll want to double check the math on any recipe you use.</p><p>For the disinfection of surfaces within your home, Fischer said diluted household bleach works well.</p><p>Make sure it's household bleach, not a bleach alternative such as color-safe or chlorine-free bleach.</p><p>Dilute it using 1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of water (or 4 teaspoons per quart).</p><p>Allow the bleach solution to sit on the surface for at least 10 minutes and re-wet if it dries out more quickly than that.</p><p>Diluted bleach should be discarded within 24 hours and kept in an opaque container since it degrades and becomes ineffective fairly quickly.</p><p>Fischer said a solution containing at least 70 percent alcohol diluted in water is also a good option for disinfecting surfaces.</p><p>Use a spray bottle to apply it and leave it on the surface for at least 30 seconds before wiping it away to allow time for it to inactivate the virus.</p><p>Fischer cautions that both bleach and alcohol can be drying to your skin, so wear gloves to protect your hands.</p><p>Use these disinfectants in well-ventilated areas.</p><p>Also, you should use only water to dilute bleach. Other cleaning products may interact with it to release dangerous vapors.</p><p>Finally, she added, you should rinse the surfaces afterward with water to remove any remaining residue.</p>
The Bottom Line<p>The COVID-19 pandemic has created a large increase in demand for spray disinfectants and wipes, leading to shortages.</p><p>Although manufacturers are currently struggling to adjust, supply and demand will eventually balance out, probably once businesses have reopened.</p><p>Alternatives to spray disinfectants and wipes — such as good <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/washing-hands" target="_blank">handwashing</a> techniques and bleach or alcohol solutions — can help fill the void until adequate supplies of these products become available again.</p>
By Joni Sweet
Reducing our risk for COVID-19 depends on how well we understand the way SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is transmitted.