COVID19 has pathbreaking medicine – It works without consuming
COVID19 has now new medicine. It’s not a vaccine. It’s not a tablet. Nor syrup or herbal. Neither is intravenous injection. It need not be consumed. It is not the one sold by any pharmacy. Indeed, health regimes and medical science are undergoing ‘disruptive transformation’. It is curative and preventive. And this medicine can cure as well as make you sick depending on how it is structured.
“Building is the Medicine,” states Dr Stephanie Taylor, MD Harvard Medical School whom I met recently in Dubai during the World Forum on Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ). I was there in Dubai just before the end of the Dubai-Expo 2020 which closed its doors at the end of March 2022. Dr Stephanie Taylor is a unique personality. Apart from being at Harvard a trained physician, she boasts of a medical career as a Paediatric Oncologist. It does not stop there. She topped it with Master in Architecture and a specialist in Humidification Technologist.
Buildings are presently taking the lead in either keeping you healthy or making you sick. The indoor environment surrounds us all the time, except when we are trekking!! The quality of the indoor environment affects the cognitive functions of our body, whether we are at work, at home or even when we are mobile- in a car or a train or an aeroplane. Even while to-be-doctor students are learning in medical colleges, in the very classrooms or in operation theatres, the environment can make them sick or healthy.
To take shelter from outdoor climatic discomforts, we enter into indoor comforts surrendering ourselves. But do we know that we in reality enter into a pool of pollutants that are often 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels? That’s what the US EPA study concludes. Half of nearly 8 million annual deaths due to air pollution are due to Indoor Air Quality, as per WHO. The occupants of the bad Indoor Environment Quality experience indefinite health effects such as headache; dizziness; nausea; irritated eyes, nose, or throat; dry cough; or skin irritation. This condition is caused by occupying an enclosed space for a long period of time called as Sick Building Syndrome, the term coined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) way back in 1984. Today, in the post-COVID-19 world, it has emerged with serious impacts on society. COVID19 has brought the Indoor Environment into focus as the world now seeks to seclude itself away from the outdoor environment.
US EPA reports, “People on average spend approximately 90% of their time indoors”. A Healthy Building is one with an indoor environment that is optimized to positively impact the health, well-being and productivity of its occupants. Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) refers to the quality of a building’s environment related to the health of occupants within it. The indoor factors such as thermal comfort, acoustic, visual, noise and air quality are often complex and can have both short-term and long-term impacts on individuals.
The studies have investigated the relationship between Indoor Environment Quality and important issues such as wellbeing, comfort and work productivity. The Covid-19 pandemic and the ‘new norm’ trends have driven human interaction with their dwellings predominantly.
Indoor Environment Quality is a crucial criterion for the mental and physical health of GenZ, particularly youth associated with Educational Buildings where the learning takes place
To establish a thriving learning environment for students conducive to a healthy career and future, Smart Campus Cloud Network (SCCN), a digital network of universities has developed a primer to delineate these emerging issues on health. The primer focuses on all the above aspects that are hitherto not very well appreciated even by the educationists.
Indoor Environment Quality in University Campuses is more critical as that’s where the future leaders and policymakers are trained, their minds are moulded, and future lessons are learned. The environment during such learning has an intense impact on the mental and physical health of the youth in university. Hence I would venture to say that IEQ is an issue of National Security.
The primer was launched at the Rochester University of Technology, Dubai and Ras Al-Khaimah Municipality, UAE in presence of CPI Industry, which is the leading media house on cooling technology and Indoor Environment Quality In March 2022. It can be viewed at www.sccnhub.com.