Health & Relationship


Over the last couple of weeks, sanitising has suddenly become an important topic. But with a constant stream of information and opinions in the media, how does one boil it down to simple, actionable information? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

How Long Does the Virus Stay Active on Surfaces, Really?

According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the virus can stay active on plastic surfaces for up to 72 hours, with surfaces like stainless steel and cardboard reducing that number down to 48 and 24 hours, respectively. That is a scary fact. But there is good news: According to the Johns Hopkins information hub on COVID-19, infection potential dramatically degrades over the course of these windows:

“What’s getting a lot of press and is presented out of context is that the virus can last on plastic for 72 hours—which sounds really scary. But what’s more important is the amount of the virus that remains. It’s less than 0.1% of the starting virus material. Infection is theoretically possible but unlikely at the levels remaining after a few days. People need to know this.”

-Carolyn Machamer, Professor of Cell Biology at Johns Hopkins University

When it comes to air transmission, the story is similar. While the virus can remain in the air for 3 hours under controlled laboratory conditions using aerosols, real-life situations will decrease this time window significantly as cough or sneeze droplets quickly drop below face level. However, this still doesn’t mean you are safe from transmission via the air. In essence, the official recommendations for social distancing are based on the belief that the most common mode of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets while within six feet of an infected person.

Why You Need to be Aware in Public Bathrooms and Transportation

Public transportation and restrooms both create high-risk conditions for multiple reasons:

  1. Exposure to a large number of people.
  2. Limited or no capacity to maintain distance from others.
  3. Limited ventilation (aeroplanes are actually an exception due to effective air filtration).
  4. Presence of high-touch surfaces that are often necessary to use: e.g. door handles, faucets, subway kiosks, paper towel dispensers etc.

Certain surfaces are more susceptible than others. Transportation and public restroom surfaces should be treated as high risk due to the high volume and frequency of potential for contamination. Since the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 germs usually occurs when a person comes in contact with an infected person’s respiratory release/droplets, bathrooms make an easy target for the infection to spread. The layout of restroom areas will severely limit one’s ability to maintain a distance from others. And while you may feel relatively safe isolated in a stall, surfaces of toilet and stall door hardware are highly suspect. They are undoubtedly touched before occupants have had the chance to wash their hands.

While avoiding touching surfaces like handrails, doors and other fixtures is possible for young people, the same precaution cannot be taken by the elderly, who have unfortunately proven to be more vulnerable to this virus. Current CDC reports indicate that the current risk is greatly elevated for people aged 85 or older, with mortality in that age bracket currently reported as somewhere between 10%-27%. People who have limited physical abilities or handicaps should take special precautions when they find themselves relying on handrails or other surfaces to get around.

How Soap Removes Viruses

We all know oil and water don’t mix. But it turns out the oil on one’s skin, which is where bacteria and viruses find a place to camp out, is no exception to this rule. So it has to be circumvented, and that’s where soap comes in.

Soap works for removing germs because of its surfactant properties. Surfactants are compounds that lower surface tension between two agents (in this case, water and the skin’s natural oils). Because water and oil don’t usually mix, rinsing with water can’t consistently move germs because it merely glides over your skin’s oil.

As a surfactant, soap acts as a middleman between water and the body’s natural oil that binds together the otherwise irreconcilable agents. Once bound to water, oil can effectively be removed from your skin, taking microbes along with it. 

Although it’s usually stated that you should wash your hands with warm or hot water, this may not be as important as we think as the temperature of the water does not appear to affect microbe removal. Washing with soap doesn’t kill germs and viruses – instead, it simply removes them and sends them down the drain. 

The primary reason lukewarm water temperature is recommended isn’t because it kills germs but is instead, to encourage you to spend more time washing. Too hot or cold may have you bailing out preemptively. It’s widely agreed upon that you should ideally spend twenty seconds or more washing your hands to ensure effectiveness. A trick is to sing the “Happy birthday song” twice to yourself to make sure you spend enough time washing. How much time should you spend drying your hands? However much time it takes to think of a less annoying song to sing to yourself for twenty seconds next time.

How Hand Sanitisers Kill Viruses

So soap just removes viruses. But what if you are feeling vindictive? That’s where an alcohol-based cleanser comes in. 

While the unique smell of hand sanitiser brings to mind a cocktail of biocidal chemicals, the agent that kills germ is still just alcohol. Other chemicals are mainly added to prevent your skin from drying out as much as it would if you used 200 proof. Alcohol cripples microbes by denaturing their proteins, essentially causing them to unfold and become tangled up. The bad news is that if the initial tidal wave of alcohol doesn’t kill them, they will probably invite their friends over and have a giant party with the leftovers.

That’s actually just a partial joke – alcohol is ineffective at killing some types of bacteria and viruses; particularly “unenveloped” types. Fortunately, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is not one of these and is therefore vulnerable to hand sanitisers. But if you want to be as thorough as possible at removing anything that may be problematic, you’ll still need to go for soap.

Hopefully, these tidbits instil a sense of confidence that COVID-19 isn’t entirely out of our realm of control. While it’s global impact has undoubtedly been significant in multiple ways and isn’t to be ignored, the good news is that with some reasonable steps and understanding; we can significantly reduce our likelihood of contracting the virus and thus, its overall impact on those around us.

One of the biggest concerns for families or caregivers for people with cognitive problems is wandering. It can cause them to fall or become lost and confused. Resident elopement in nursing homes is also a major concern. 

If your loved one is living independently, then wandering might be a sign that it is time to move them into a care facility. However, if it is not the right time for that, then here is some advice for preventing wandering and minimising the risks. 

Secure The Home

If your loved one lives with you, then you may need to install locks on your windows or doors that they can’t open easily. You can also put bells over doors so that you can hear when they try to open them. 

You could also consider smart homes. You can get motion detectors which will alert you as they leave the house; this is also an option if they don’t live with you. 

Encourage Them to Carry ID

Try and encourage your loved one to carry their ID with them. That way, if they do become lost, someone will be able to help. Put it in their wallet or purse; or if they often go out without it, consider a bracelet with their information in it. 

Tracking Devices

Most phones have a way that you can track them. Other options are bracelets, and you can find some information on them here. Although this will not prevent them from wandering, it will allow you to find them quickly if they do. 

Sleep Hygiene

Sometimes wandering may be a result of sleeplessness. Try and encourage them to have a good sleep schedule. 

Get to Know Their Neighbours

Neighbours can be a great help in keeping your loved one safe. Whether they live with you or on their own, get to know their neighbours. Give them your number and get them to call you if they notice anything strange. 

Put Up Signs

Sometimes, signs on the door saying, “Stop” might help. You could also put signs in places like the bathroom so they can see what door leads to what and they don’t accidentally end up outside. 

Encourage Physical Activity

This doesn’t work for everyone but sometimes, an exercise during the day can stop night-time wandering. Find an exercise DVD or a class that they can go to. 

Consider the Cause

Sometimes there is an underlying cause. For example, an elderly person with dementia may be hungry or thirsty at night and then forget what they were doing. Leave some water or food by their bed. For people with autism, they might be fixated on a sound and want to investigate. Knowing the cause may allow you to put things in place to prevent it. 

What to Do If They Do Wander

If they have wandered and you don’t know where they are, you should phone the police. If it continues to be a consistent problem, then it may be a sign that you need more help. 

Moving in together with your significant other is a massive decision and while many couples struggle through the initial adjustment, there are several ways that you can ease the experience. As the first few weeks will feel quite foreign, you should consider making decisions together right from the start to avoid unnecessary conflicts or minor upsets. You and your partner should both have equal input regarding your new home from how you handle the move to how it will be decorated. The following tips will help you navigate the first few weeks with confidence and ease.

Rely On A Reputable Moving Company

Rather than each of you relying on a different moving company, it would be wise to decide on one together. Relying on a moving company will reduce most of the stress associated with moving as you won’t have to worry about your belongings being transported. Armada Moving offers affordable and quality services that will help set your mind at ease about the first step of starting a life together. However, you should still handle packing yourself as much as possible to ensure your items are packed categorically according to the room and use of items as this will make unpacking less of a tedious struggle. You should also start packing long before the day of the move to be as prepared as possible.

Unpack Together

Rather than deciding to take on rooms separately, you should consider unpacking each room together, starting with the main room. This will be a great method of connecting with your decision to start a life together and there will be less chance your partner ends up moving items in the near future without you realising. Unpacking together means you will both have a say as to how your home comes together.

Continue With Your Regular Routine

Once you have unpacked and you and your partner are able to start navigating a new life together, it is best to continue with your regular routine rather than attempting to create a new one around your partner’s routine. Getting set into a routine just after moving in together is one of the biggest reasons the first few weeks can be challenging. However, by maintaining your regular daily routine, you will be able to feel more at ease a lot sooner. In the event that certain aspects of your partner’s routine is somewhat upsetting or challenging for you, you should shed light on the issues as soon as possible rather than allowing feelings of discomfort to fester. 

Cook Together, Avoid Take Outs

Merging lives can be quite challenging for several realistic reasons and when it comes to mealtimes and preparing healthy meals, many couples find themselves leaning towards takeouts rather than cooking healthy meals as they are simply uncertain of taste preferences and other elements of mealtimes. However, a great method of overcoming uncertainty is simply to handle cooking together as you will be able to ease into a menu of sorts that you are both comfortable with. The more you and your partner do together, the easier it will be to adjust to your new lives as a couple.

While getting married should be one of the happiest days of your life, planning a wedding is probably one of the most stressful times. However, there are things that you can do to ease the pain and make the journey a much smoother one. Continue reading our guide to three things that you should avoid while planning a wedding.

Booking a Venue Before Viewing It

Your cousin’s best friend’s auntie’s hairdresser might have had the most spectacular day of her life in a select country manor house, but that does not mean the venue will necessarily be the right one for you. Everyone has different expectations and requirements for their big day; don’t allow anyone else to tell you that your opinion does not matter. It is imperative to view a venue before even thinking about booking it. Speaking to an in-house wedding planner will not only mean you know exactly what to expect from a certain venue, but it also gives you the opportunity to ask any pertinent questions. Typing ‘West Chester, PA wedding venue‘ into a search engine would undoubtedly bring up plenty of results, but narrowing it down to one will be a tricky thing to do. Viewing is absolutely essential. 

Going on a Crash Diet

Of course, it is natural to want to look beautiful on your big day. However, any kind of crash diet will not necessarily give you the end result you desire. Starving your body of essential nutrients while you are in a heightened state of anxiety will put you into a worse place than where you started. If you are keen to lose weight and tone up, do so in a sensible way. Speak to a dietician about a healthy eating plan for life. This way, you know that you will be eating a balanced diet and you will be putting exactly what you need into that body of yours. Furthermore, engaging in physical activity is also important, especially for toning up. If you are truly dedicated to your mission, speak to a personal trainer who can either devise a plan with specific exercises aimed at targeting your so-called ‘problem areas’ or who can train you, ensuring that you are doing what your body needs you to. 

Dream about a Pinterest/Instagram-Perfect Wedding

Pinterest and Instagram are amazing resources for gathering ideas. However, they have also been known to give an unrealistic view of what weddings should and shouldn’t look like. These decisions should be up to the people getting married. Pressure from social media platforms hit all areas of people’s lives and weddings are no different. If you are happy with a cold buffet at your wedding reception, do not let the canape police spoil that for you. Likewise, if you are happy to have a traditional ceremony without a full orchestra, go for it. It is vital to ensure the expectations of your dream day are actually realistic. You could spend thousands on getting the things you want, but when it comes down to it, love is what really matters. 

Got any other suggestions to add on to our guide? Feel free to comment below!

Many of us have decided to adopt healthier lifestyle habits throughout the coming year. This is why it is crucial to embrace a proper diet at an early stage. Whether you wish to drop a few extra pounds or simply to feel better, the fact of the matter is that a handful of professional suggestions can go a long way.

Let us look at five dietary tips that can help your body receive the nutrients that it requires.

1. Leafy Green Vegetables

It is estimated that approximately 12 percent of the Canadian population has embraced some form of vegan lifestyle. This is largely due to the fact that fruits and vegetables contain an incredible number of vital nutrients. Leafy green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach are particularly potent, as they provide massive levels of folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin C. Be sure to include these within a well-balanced diet. 

2. Drink Plenty of Water

Our bodies comprised of more than 60 percent water. Unfortunately, many of us are not adequately hydrated. Most experts recommend that you consume eight eight-ounce glasses of water every day. Water can help to increase brain function, flush toxins from the kidneys, keep your skin looking younger, and promote a healthy heart. 

3. Smaller Portions

One of the reasons why some individuals tend to gain more weight than others involves the size of the meals. The body has a difficult time metabolising large amounts of calories at one sitting. Thus, these calories are more likely to be stored as fat. There are several benefits associated with smaller portions. Not only will you feel less bloated after a meal, but it is much easier to absorb the nutrients themselves. 

4. Ignore That Sweet Tooth

Sweet and sugary foods can be quite tempting, particularly if they are used as snacks between meals. They will help to satisfy our appetite and they can also provide a short-term energy boost. Unfortunately, these very same snacks do more harm than good. Spiking levels of blood sugar will often lead to subsequent sugar crashes and over time this can even increase your chances of developing adult-onset diabetes. Furthermore, snacks high in sugar may lead to tooth decay and weight gain.

Try to replace these substances with fruits if you have a sudden craving for sweets. The simple sugars contained within fruits are much easier to break down and most fruits contain significant amounts of water (which again may help with hydration). They are packed full of vitamins, and more importantly; studies have shown that snacking on fruit may decrease the risk of developing some types of cancer. The good news is that fruits are also quite tasty, so there is no reason to shy away from these alternatives. 

5. Boost Your Protein Intake

Our bodies utilise protein to build and repair muscles, strengthen bones, and boost brain function. Unfortunately, many individuals are not receiving an adequate amount on a regular basis. Let us also keep in mind that some forms of protein are more easily digestible than others. If you find it difficult to incorporate sufficient foods that are high in protein, it may be wise to supplement your protein intake with high-quality protein powders. Not only are these supplements quite tasty, but they are available in a variety of flavours. Some are even sourced entirely from plants, which is ideal if you wish to embrace a vegan lifestyle in the coming year.

There is no better time than the present to make a positive change in your life and these dietary suggestions will certainly come in handy. 

I really do appreciate my eyesight. I really do. Apart from the fact that I tend to experience dryness in my eyes from time to time, my eyesight hasn’t really bugged me. In fact, I have an almost perfect vision that sometimes surprises me because of my bad reading posture.

Recently, I was invited to a comprehensive eye examination at Videre Eyecare and I took up the offer just so that I could find out how my vision has degraded since my last visual acuity test in 2010 (almost a decade!).

The Comprehensive Eye Examination

1. Wave Analyser Medic
Measures Pupil Size, Day & Night Vision, Corneal Topography, Cornea Thickness, Eye Pressure, Anterior Chamber Angle, Opacity.

2. Retina 550 (Fundus Photography)
Examines the health of the back part of the eye.

3. Refraction with Vision R800
The first in Southeast Asia, it uses a fluid lens instead of traditional lenses. Accuracy goes up to 0.01DS, unlike the traditional way that only goes up to 0.25DS. It also consists of a smart test that uses an algorithm to boost efficiency and consistency of the refraction. 

4. Slit-Lamp Biomicroscopy
Examines the health of the front part of the eye; cornea, lens, conjunctiva, meibomian glands opening.

5. Tear Analysis
a. Cornea 550: Measures the height of tear meniscus.
b. LipiView: Examines the health of meibomian glands and lipid layer of the tears.

A comprehensive eye examination at Videre costs $168 and it takes about an hour for you to go through all of the tests at one sitting.

The best part?

The results are instantaneous and there’s no need to wait for weeks unlike in the past. Furthermore, the machines that are being used for the comprehensive eye examination are very new and cutting-edge.

If you’re wondering how frequent or how often one should go for a comprehensive eye examination, there is no one fixed rule or standard. If you have medical conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, it is recommended that you do an annual eye check-up. Likewise, if your family has a history of glaucoma; it is recommended that an annual eye check-up be done as well.

For children and teenagers, a comprehensive eye examination should be done yearly or twice a year because their eyesight can change rapidly during their growing-up years. As a matter of fact, I used to put on glasses for astigmatism when I was 7 years old and subsequently, I didn’t need my glasses anymore because my condition has improved by leaps and bounds.

If you’re a working adult and you’re in your 20s to 50s, you probably don’t need to do the comprehensive eye examination yearly. In fact, I think once every two to three years should be adequate if you don’t experience any drastic changes in your eyesight and lifestyle. However, as soon as you feel that your eyesight is off the mark, quickly arrange for a comprehensive eye examination to avoid any complications that may develop over time.

What I Like About The Comprehensive Eye Examination

The Comprehensive Eye Examination that I did at Videre Eyecare was hassle free and the test results are almost immediate. Furthermore, the experience was highly personalised and the new machines that are used for the tests are highly accurate.

What I Didn’t Like About The Comprehensive Eye Examination

I didn’t quite enjoy the eye pressure test as I am ultra sensitive to having foreign objects (which in this case is a bout of harmless air) spurted into my eyes.

Other than that, there is practically nothing else that I didn’t like about the Comprehensive eye examination; although I have to admit that the price of $168 for a comprehensive eye examination might be out of reach for some people. However, having said that, there are comprehensive eye examination services that are available for $80 but the machines used may not be up-to-date. Then again, whichever options you choose, just remember that your eyesight is precious and you should really take good care of your eyes.

Book for your comprehensive eye examination with Videre Eyecare today!

We all lead a very busy lifestyle and I have no doubts about that. In the past three months ever since the New Year, I have been working a 7-day work week and as we’re coming to the end of the month, it is also about time that I review my work-life balance and do some adjustments to my work schedule so that I will only work 6 days a week instead. In case you’re wondering how my typical workday is like; I work for 9-10 hours on weekdays and 6 hours on weekends. In between my work, I still have my usual 3 meals a day and my meals are typically the same every week with little variation:


Bread, Coffee, Eggs

Lunch (either one of the following)

Chicken Rice / Char Siew and Roast Pork Rice / Wanton Noodle / Economical Mixed Rice / Vegetarian Bee Hoon


Home Cooked Meal typically with 3 – 4 dishes- Vegetables, Meat, Soup and Rice

As you can see, a diet like mine is high in carbohydrates and proteins but probably low in vitamins and some trace minerals. To help me boost my body immune system, I supplement my diet with Centrum Men, a complete multivitamin specially formulated for men under 50.

Some features of Centrum Men are as follows:

Fill Nutritional Gaps
With more B-Vitamins, Zinc, as well as over 20 other important nutrients.

Brain Health
Contain Zinc and B-Vitamins to maintain brain health

Strong Heart
Contains Lycopene, Vitamin B6, B12 and Folic Acid to help maintain a healthy heart

Energy and Vitality
Contains B-Vitamins that play an important role in converting proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into energy

Contains vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, C, E, Selenium, Zinc and Iron which supports immune system

Healthy Muscles
Contains Magnesium, Vitamins D and B6 to support optimal muscle health

I won’t dive too deep into the topic of nutrition because there’s really a lot to talk about for e.g. weight loss, gaining muscle mass, functions of nutrients and etc but I am proud of the fact that although I have been working really hard this month; I have not fallen ill and it is only possible because of a strong body immune system.

However, I am also cognizant of the fact that I cannot keep up this unhealthy working style in the long run or I would face the risks of my body breaking down altogether. Having said that, I am really happy that I am able to marry my work and passion. This is probably the only motivating factor that keeps me going even though it can be physically and mentally draining.

If you have a hectic and busy lifestyle like mine, remember that balance and moderation is the key to a healthier lifestyle and it will be helpful to do some monthly reviews to uncover any possible gaps that could possibly lead to health-related problems.

The fact is, our personal preferences and eating habits changes as we progress on in life but we must never neglect to take care of our health, mind and body.

I hope this post will inspire you as you fight on for the next 6 months!

Sleep is one of the major natural body functions alongside eating. Sleep is integral to the functioning of the body, so much that people spend a third of their lives sleeping. During sleep, the body enters into a natural relaxation state that helps it to recover from a hard day’s work. Sleep is so valuable that people are willing to risk benzo withdrawal to get some amounts of it.

Sleep is an infinitely repeating function which is considered necessary for the growth of both your body and your mind. The lack of sleep might harm the body and the mind of the person not getting full rest. It could also harm the people around you.

Even though the mind functions while the body is still asleep, this state of mind is helpful for regeneration and rest. Getting the right amount of sleep is important for people of all ages, as during sleep, the body enters into an anabolic state which helps it to regenerate and recover.

Even though adults and children need a different amount of sleep, it is important for them to get at least certain recommended amounts. Children below the age of five are recommended to have between 10 and 16 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  This sleep duration does not include naps taken within the day.  Children between 6 and 18 years old are recommended to have between 8 and 13 hours of uninterrupted sleep. For adults, it is recommended to have between 7 and 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep in order to enjoy the full benefits of a peaceful night sleep.

Having enough sleep ensures that the body and the mind regenerate completely. This restorative effect of sleep is so necessary that the body can induce sleep when it needs to experience restoration. It is important to sleep when the body is feeling sleepy, as this is a sign that your body needs to rest.

Due to factors such as advancement in technology, particularly in the development of mobile phone technology, people have not been able to get enough sleep. Quiet times before bed have been replaced with the internet, games and other distractions. Many people choose to stay up at night even though this is a significant health hazard.

The body’s natural function mostly provides the inclination for nighttime sleep, which creates the most benefit. Sleeping during the night time can have benefits that may not be attained during the day. While some people choose to sleep during the day, the practice is not recommended. Sleeping should be natural for your body, which should occur during the night.

Some people may prefer taking a short nap in intervals during the day, which better helps them in staying up at night. This is not ideal, as it does not provide the body with the optimum sleeping experience and benefits. The best type of sleep is uninterrupted and within limited schedules every night. Even though your job may interrupt the pattern of night sleep, specialists recommend that you get regular and uninterrupted sleep every night regardless of other activities going on.

Here are some tips on how to get enough and uninterrupted sleep during the night.

How to Get Regular, Uninterrupted and Beneficial Amounts of Sleep

First, it is important to create a regular sleeping pattern by going to bed and waking up at around the same time every weekday. Creating such a pattern will ensure that you get enough sleep. During the weekend, some activities may cause you to stay up longer. In order to beat this, you can allow yourself an additional hour or an hour and a half within regular weekday time. This strict schedule will ensure that you get enough sleep all through.

Noise can be a source of interruption for your sleep. It is important to keep your sleeping area silent before bed. By doing this, you will have no interruptions to your sleep.

Heavy meals and alcohol can also affect your sleeping pattern and cause interruption. Sleep specialists advice that you should eat well before your time of sleep to ensure that your sleep is not disturbed when it is the right time to go to bed. It is also recommended that you avoid nicotine, caffeine and other stimulants that may cause you to be hyperactive before bed.

Spending time outside during the daytime can ensure that the body gets the right amount of sleep during the night. High levels of energy will cause you to have a hard time sleeping, which can be fixed by exploring the outdoors.

Keeping your sleeping area dark will also ensure that your body is able to enter into the right condition for sleep. What is the importance of getting enough sleep and in regular time especially during the night?

Benefits of A Full Night’s Rest

Getting enough sleep repairs the body, as it goes into an anabolic state. The result is healthier organs and blood vessels, which reduces the risk of major diseases affecting you.

Sleep revitalises the mind as well as the body. Getting enough sleep enables better control of your mind. People who get enough sleep have higher levels of cognitive function and can process the world around them better than those who do not.

Regular and uninterrupted sleep can reduce the likelihood of obesity in both children and adults. Sleeping helps you eat better by reducing cravings, which decreases the likelihood of obesity. People who get enough sleep have a bigger sense of fulfillment in their lives, and are less prone to experience anxiety, mood swings and depression than people who do not get enough sleep

The recommended levels of sleep are important for a holistic balance, which may prevent micro sleep. Micro sleep is a condition where the brain goes to sleep without the body’s intention, for a short amount of time. Micro sleep can be responsible for accidents, which may cause harm to you and others.

Final Thoughts

Creating a sleeping pattern for you as well and your family will help to ensure that they experience the benefits of a full night’s sleep for a long time to come. Sleep is important for your body and mind, and uninterrupted sleep should be recommended for all. Getting the right amount of sleep will improve your personal and social wellbeing. Treat yourself to some uninterrupted sleep tonight.