Wednesday, July 8, 2020
A Plug for Masks, Pinocchio Shoes
This picture posted to Facebook of a 15-minute old Polypay/Suffolk lamb at the Johnson Goat Ranch in Lincoln County went viral. The lamb named Bella almost didn’t make it—her tongue was blue upon her debut into the world. But she survived, offering a note of positivity during the coronavirus pandemic.
Monday, June 8, 2020


J McLaughlin at 520 E. 4th St. in Ketchum has washable face masks back in stock—and 100 percent of proceeds are being donated to the Front Line Responders Fund.

Masks are three for $20 and made of washable cotton. They come in a variety of prints and colors.


Paul Ries constructed this graph showing how the number of new COVID-19 cases reported in Blaine County has slowed while Idaho’s has continued to climb.

Speaking of masks, some researchers now say that if 80 percent of the population wore masks, coronavirus infections would plummet by more than 90 percent.

According to an article in The Week, scientists built a computer simulation to demonstrate just that. And researchers say mask wearing is perhaps the reason there have been remarkably low infection rates in Asian countries where mask wearing is near-universal.

Masks don’t protect the wearer perfectly, but they can drop a wearer’s risk of infection between 50 and 80 percent, according to a study funded by the World Health Organization. That study analyzed 64 scientific papers.

 And, while N95 masks offer the best protection, surgical and cloth masks can also be highly successful. One study, for instance, found out that N95 masks were 99 percent effective; surgical masks, 75 percent, and a cloth tea towel, 67 percent.

Even if some virus gets through, scientists theorize that the reduced amount will not overwhelm the immune system like a large exposure might. A mask wearer may get a mild case of coronavirus or none at all.

Materials with a dense weave, such as quilter’s cotton, flannel or pillowcases with a high thread count are preferable.


A Romanian cobbler has created size 75 leather shoes to help people follow physical distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. He created the long-nosed shoes, which look like something out of Pinocchio, after realizing people were not respecting social distancing guidelines while out in public.

If two people wearing these shoes were facing each other, they would be appropriately spaced, he says in a story in Independent. So far, he has received five orders for the $115 shoes.


An assistant professor at the University of Kentucky is studying whether coating the nose and throat with iodine might help prevent COVID-19 from taking root in a body.

Dr. Alexandra Kejner noted that she washes her hands with iodine before surgery and that it’s also used for wound packing and sinus disease.

It’s possible, she says, that coating the mouth and nose via gargling and a nasal spray could prevent the virus from getting a foothold. She hopes to have preliminary data within three months, according to a report in USA Today.


A researcher at the Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering at the Indiana University School of Medicine says that that low-level electric fields can render the coronavirus unable to infect a host after just a minute, according to an article in USA Today.

The electroceutical fabric was developed several years ago by Chandan Sen, now director of the Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine. The electrically based antimicrobial wound dressing was approved by the FDA and is sold under the name Procella.

Sen says coronaviruses rely on electrostatic interactions to assemble themselves into an infective form and attach to a host. His fabric consists of polyester with a series of metal dots alternating silver and zinc printed on the surface.

When exposed to moisture, the metal generates an electrical charge. Early trials have proven promising and Vomaris has applied through the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization program to use the fabric for face masks. He hopes it could be available for consumer use by fall.


~  Today's Topics ~

Keeping Tabs on Wolves

Ketchum Galleries Unveil New Exhibitions

Ketchum Joins Hailey in Requiring Masks in Public






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