Photo by Luis Alvarez

Most people are expected to attend church services this weekend as America reopens following 2 months of lockdowns amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Worshipers are expected to wear face masks or face coverings if they attend a church service this weekend. But many people are wearing their masks or face coverings incorrectly.

Ideally, face masks should be worn for up to a few hours and then discarded. Not worn. all day.

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Face masks are expensive and some people can only get their hands on a box or 2. Some people use bandanas and DIY masks made out of material.

According to ABC News, face coverings should be washed daily.

Penni Watts, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Nursing, says to run DIY face coverings through a washing machine using hot water and detergent and then use a hot dryer. She says place the masks in a clean plastic bag and seal it to prevent germs from entering.

Dr. Tod Cooperman, founder and CEO of ConsumerLab, said masks can be put on a shelf in an oven with a pan of water placed underneath and heated to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

"Moist heat appears to be better [at killing the virus] than dry heat," he said.

All health experts stress do not touch your face or your mask with your bare hands. You can easily transfer the virus from your hands to your mask and your face.

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Always pick up your mask by the elastic ear loops. Never touch the part of the mask that goes on your face.

Dr. Luke Davis, an epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health, said disposable masks can be reused if stored properly.

"Number one is don't touch your mask," he said. Remove the mask carefully by using the elastic ear loops and place it in a well-ventilated storage container, such as a clean paper bag.

Dr. Davis said, if you don't have a plastic bag to store your mask, a paper bag is a good alternative.

"Many of us are just using those brown paper bags that we used to take our lunch to work in," he said.

Experts don't recommend using a disinfectant to spray the mask, as you'd be breathing in the toxic fumes the next time you wear the mask.

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Hand sanitizers vanished from store shelves after the coronavirus hit America like a tidal wave in March. Many stores are having difficulty keeping the bottles in stock.

Hoarders and opportunists took advantage of the health crisis to earn big bucks by selling hand sanitizers online at absurd markups.

If you can't find any hand sanitizers in local stores, don't worry. Dr. Ian Smith will show you how to make your own hand sanitizer.

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Amazon.com

Purchase empty pump bottles (plastic or glass) from Amazon or eBay and fill the bottles with your own hand sanitizer. Never buy hand sanitizer again!

And remember, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
 

Stock photo by Anton Petrus

After stating the coronavirus can remain on surfaces for days, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now says the virus "does not spread easily on surfaces."

With public mistrust in the CDC at an all-time high, the federal health agency walked back its warning that the virus can survive for up to 3 days on contaminated surfaces.

According to Fox News, the agency again revised its guidelines on the way the virus easily spreads on surfaces.

"This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus," the CDC states on its website.

For months, the CDC claimed the virus survived on surfaces for days and that frequently touched surfaces should be wiped down with household cleaners.

Now the agency emphasizes that the virus is mainly spread between people who are in close contact, within 6 feet of each other, when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes or talks, causing droplets of spittle to land in another person's mouth or nose.

The CDC recommends wearing face masks -- but studies show standard face masks and face coverings do not prevent the spread of the virus. In fact, face masks can spread the virus if worn incorrectly.

Masks should be discarded after a few hours of use and the same mask should not be worn the next day.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said last month there was no evidence to suggest the virus can be transmitted on the surface of food items and there is no need to wipe down groceries or food packaging.

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More couples are having long distance relationships due to the restrictions imposed by the U.S. government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. It's hard to be romantic when you're standing 6 feet apart from each other.

Many are concerned about exchanging body fluids during the pandemic. They worry if they can contract the virus through kissing or vaginal/anal intercourse.

Experts say the virus is not transmitted via sexual intercourse but it is spread through saliva. Kissing can transmit the virus.

Dr, Michael Chang, an infectious specialist at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston, tells the Atlantic that whenever you're very close to each other -- whether that means kissing, sexual activity, or cuddling -- you risk exposing yourself to the virus.

Dr. Chang says, "If you're engaging in any type of sexual activity, there's a high probability that saliva is going to get everywhere. Even if [COVID-19] is not a classically transmitted sexual infection, there's certainly a lot of opportunity for it to spread."

Carolyn Cannuscio, director of research at the Center for Public Health Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania, says couples who are monogamous should be safe.

"If you're in a steady, monogamous relationship and you and that other person are limiting your social contacts, then be as intimate as you want to be."

But if your partner is sick, you should avoid contact with them.

This may be a good time to brush up on your sexting skills.

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A new study has revealed why morbidly obese people are more at risk for dying from Covid-19.

The study shows morbidly obese people are at high risk of dying from Covid-19 because their fat cells produce more of a protein that the virus needs to infect human cells.

Fat cells express more ACE2 receptors, which doctors say may explain why obese people are more at risk of dying from Covid-19.

The coronavirus attaches to ACE2 receptors that provide pathways into human cells. Researchers and epidemiologists have known for some time that the coronavirus infects people who have more ACE2 receptors. European white women have the least level of ACE2 receptors.

For instance, more men die from coronavirus than women. That is because men express more ACE2 in their testicles. Biological women don't have testicles.

The study collected data from hospitalized patients.

A separate study found that 66% of hospitalized patients were infected while at home on quarantine.

Doctors fear that restrictions such as sheltering at home may cause the infection to spread faster between family members than if they were outdoors.

Donald and Melania Trump

President Trump says he wants to stamp out HIV, the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Trump will announce his plan to wipe out HIV by 2030 during his State of the Union Address to the nation tonight.

Before Trump ran for President, he generously donated to AIDS research, and he and his wife Melania attended Elton John AIDS Foundation galas.

On Tuesday night, President Trump will pledge to end the HIV epidemic in America, according to a report on Politico.com website.

But health experts say if the President is serious about ending the HIV epidemic, he should treat transgenders and immigrants better.

Saying Trump's announcement would be a "pleasant surprise," health expert Lucy Bradley-Springer told Buzzfeed that Trump "would be an unlikely messenger for ending the stigma toward people with HIV."

Bradley-Springer was one of six experts who resigned from the presidential advisory committee on HIV policy before it was disbanded by Trump. They wrote a scathing letter saying Trump's policies harmed people with HIV and AIDS.

About 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV, and every year another 40,000 people are infected. Men who have sex with men (MSM), Black women, and immigrants are among the highest risk categories to contract HIV.

"Many immigrants are afraid to access HIV prevention and medical care, out of fear of deportation," noted a report from AIDS United. "These barriers have the potential to drive dramatic increases in new HIV cases among Latinx gay and bisexual foreign-born men."

Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

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