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Recently, protective face masks are in high demand. This is especially noticeable in the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, and is due, first of all, to a high level of air pollution. Thus, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), every year polluted air causes premature death of at least seven million people around the world. And this is not surprising: inhalation of polluted air increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer, and also exacerbates asthma and other respiratory diseases. The situation is aggravated by rapid climate change, as well as forest fires that are raging in various regions of the planet.

Face masks that cleanse the air - 2020 trend? 103

Climate change is forcing people to adapt to new conditions. Protective masks are likely to become a necessity in the future.

Protective masks now don’t scare anyone

Some 10 years ago, people tried to stay away from a person in a protective mask. In those years, outbreaks of SARS, bird flu, influenza pandemic (H1N1) and other equally dangerous diseases were periodically observed in the world. Today the situation has not changed much – so, recently, an outbreak of bubonic plague in China was announced as well and an unknown disease that struck 44 people. And this is not counting the return of measles as well as outbreaks of the BVRS-CoV coronavirus, which was recorded in different countries of the world. However, our attitude towards people in protective masks has changed.

Perhaps the reason for the lack of fear of masked people lies in an ordinary habit – they just stopped surprising us. But not only. Rapid climate change caused by human activities has become especially noticeable in the last decade. Photos of masked people often appear in news bulletins – whether it be forest fires or extreme air pollution. Moreover, musicians popular among the younger generation made masks a part of their image, painting them with different colors, adding stripes and inscriptions. As a result, in almost any city in the world you can meet young people in now-trendy face masks.

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Rap artists Ayo & Teo set fashion trend

How clean air becomes a business

Ao Air’s Atmos Faceware recently announced its intention to solve the problem of polluted air. No, you won’t have to change anything dramatically – just buy a new device for 350 US dollars. The gadget, which has just debuted at CES, is a mask that, according to company representatives, provides better protection against particulate matter than standard masks certified by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). According to an official press release , Ao Air considers the mask a new effective method of protection against polluted air.

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Atmos Faceware mask looks like this

According to The Verge and the mask manufacturer, the functioning of Faceware will not be prevented by facial hair, sweat and other factors. Moreover, the company also thought about design. So, Atmos Faceware masks are transparent, rely on the nose bridge, allowing others to see your face, including a smile. The kit includes a mask with four additional filters, and the number of new devices today is very limited. However, despite the obvious advantages, not everyone can afford such an acquisition. For comparison, the N95 mask, the most common NIOSH-certified mask, costs about $ 15.

Meanwhile, wealthier people today are breathing clean air. The fact is that air pollution is usually concentrated in low-income areas, where people are more likely to face environmental problems, natural disasters and climate change. Even if high-tech face masks are able to provide better protection, they will only exacerbate social inequality, as they will be available only to those who have a large amount on their bank account. But regardless of our desires and possibilities, the world is heating up. The season of fires, according to experts, will gain momentum.

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People in the Middle Kingdom forced to wear face masks due to excessively polluted air

Due to the drought caused by climate change, their intensity and duration will increase, thereby greatly polluting the air. But it’s not just about fires. Rising temperatures, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and dust storms will not make the air on Earth cleaner. Against this gloomy background, the production of protective masks is a logical and natural goal for many companies. It is possible that in the near future, protective face masks will become the same accessory as sunglasses. The issue, as before, is equal access to resources, which, as we know today, does not exist.

Planet Earth

Polar vortex: “wild” winter is coming in the US, Northern Europe and East Asia after the 16th of January

Polar vortex: "wild" winter is coming in the US, Northern Europe and East Asia after the 16th of January 119

In the upper atmosphere above the North Pole, experts saw a rapidly swirling vortex of cold air that could bring severe frosts to the United States, Northern Europe and East Asia. Serious cold snap and snowy weather are expected after January the 16th.

Snowfalls and a cold snap hit South Korea since the start of 2021, hitting historic snow maximums and temperatures. In the country, for the first time since 1964, television and newer communications are sending people cold snap warnings:

https://twitter.com/sonyeoljin/status/1346841272347082752?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

The situation is similar in Japan, where a new snow storm hit historic highs:

On January 7, the thermometer In Beijing dropped to -20 degrees Celsius, breaking the 1966 record. In other regions of China, the temperature is also not sugar, and you can only move around in special uniforms:

The cold even reached Taiwan, where the temperature in some areas dropped below freezing point, snow poured down and people realized that rice terraces can be used as a ski jump:

Even more snow went to Spain, where on January 6, 2021, a temperature of -34.1 ° C was recorded – the lowest on record. After that, a snow storm hit the country, which has not been seen for 80 years:

https://youtu.be/pHU533Krs5M

The same thing happens in Canada and in the northern states of the United States:

It seems that after a stratospheric warming, the subpolar vortex began to split:

The vortex itself is a standard phenomenon. However, this time experts were surprised at his movement. It is possible that in the near future it will be divided into two parts. 

Scientists associate the strange behavior with the changed climate in the Arctic, which has become warmer. From September to December, the amount of ice cover decreased significantly.

The polar vortex is a low-pressure region located in the stratosphere and filled with cold air. When the jet stream of air that holds the vortex weakens, the low pressure area moves south. 

As the ice shrinks, more moisture will move inland. It will turn to snow, so snowfalls are expected. Snow, in turn, reflects heat, leading to a cold snap.

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Planet Earth

Hospital in Naples was evacuated after a new, huge sinkhole appeared

Hospital in Naples was evacuated after a new, huge sinkhole appeared 120

Eyewitnesses said they heard a loud crash at dawn when a huge hole in the ground formed outside the Ponticelli Ospedale del Mare hospital in eastern Naples.

Early in the morning of January 8, 2021, a sinkhole occurred in the parking lot of a clinic in Naples. The depth of the formed cavity is about 20 meters, the total area of ​​the hole is about 2,000 square meters.

No casualties were found at the scene; firefighters say the sinkhole “affected an area of ​​about 500 square meters” and engulfed several cars parked near the hospital.

As the press writes and as a little can be seen from the videos, rescuers and firefighters were running around the pit together with the governor of the area.  But who should be there in the forefront are Italian geologists, since Naples stands in the very center of the volcanic system known as the Phlegrean Fields.

If the surface collapsed, moreover – the surface reinforced with concrete and reinforced from below with some kind of communications, then we are talking about serious soil deformations caused by the activity of magma.

Italy has been in doubt since the summer of 2020, because swarms were observed there in very atypical places in May, and according to the forecasts of old Italian seismologists, who had witnessed many strong earthquakes, it should have boomed in the August region.

Fortunately, nothing bad happened to Italy and there was no big earthquake. But, since there are swarms, it means that something is being prepared, the magma is gathering strength. 

Following this particular sinkhole event – an obvious sign that a major earthquake in Italy is already very close.

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Planet Earth

A new great pandemic cycle has begun (again) in China

A new great pandemic cycle has begun (again) in China 121

In the first months of 2020, the whole world with a certain fright followed the events unfolding in China, where people fell on the streets during the day and astronauts wandered, and in the evening crematoria began to smoke. And now, with the onset of December, the cycle seems to be repeating itself.

Shunyi area in Beijing, where the authorities announced “wartime status” the day before. As you can see in the videos, thousands of people are lined up in the queue for mandatory testing:

Dalian city, where “wartime” is also declared. Neighborhoods are blockaded, people are walled up in entrances, familiar characters of George Lucas roam the streets:

https://twitter.com/UndergroundSilk/status/1341741036297723905?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Chinese ‘rescuers’, before performing a combat mission:

Chengdu City:

Daluo Port, Yunnan – tourists came for adventure and they received the ‘time of their life’ after leaving the ramp:

If something happens in Beijing, it does not mean that tomorrow the same will happen everywhere. However, the trend towards such dynamics is observed and, as the practice of the first wave of the pandemic has shown, all countries and people, to one degree or another, have taken into account the ‘Chinese experience’. 

Therefore, one must think that everything will now be in peace, as in spring – a new global round of the fight against the Covid has begun in China, a new great pandemic cycle!

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