Campus Safety

Today’s blog is devoted to campus safety. I have heard the same news reports you have and have cowered at the thought of what can happen in the dark after a study group or class ends. There have been way too many assaults on women in particular. Everyone, however, is vulnerable when they walk across the quad when unaccompanied. The first rule of safety is to stay in numbers wherever you go. Of course, muggers and robbers don’t work exclusively at night. If you have no choice, there are products you can use such as pepper spray (mace), stun guns or Tasers, and a personal body alarm. It is all about taking action now to prepare yourself for the unforeseen but inevitable. Writing a Self Defense Guide is an enormous subject.

When it comes to students, I wouldn’t necessarily counsel them to rely on martial arts as it takes years to become effective enough to fend off attackers. If you fail with your fancy maneuvers, you could incur unexpected reprisals. Above all you don’t want to provoke a nervous thief or rapist to use force. Few students go so far as to carry weapons themselves, which is probably a sound idea. I prefer to use technology to help you stave off danger. I am thinking of key chain “weapons” (no guns) you can buy online. Here is what is usually offered:

  • Pepper spray: you don’t need a huge one in most cases unless you are in a riot. You can arm yourself with a small but powerful spray that will immobilize an attacker with a quick burst. This usually lasts up to forty-five minutes. It works as far as five to seven feet should you see someone lurking in the immediate vicinity.
  • Stun gun: barely touching an assailant for a couple of seconds is all you need from a small size model that weights significantly less than the police models. They give six million volts of “shocking power.” Experts say you can even fire it into the air as the noise will deter an attacker. Attach it to a keychain so it is readily available although concealed. I like the rechargeable type that include3s an LED flashlight. Two things for the price of one! Just be sure the safety switch is on when you intend to use it.
  • Expandable baton: many people forget about this weapon. All you need is a retractable unit that in the closed position measures 5.5 inches. It is also a keychain and opens with the flick of a wrist. It is made of sturdy steel rendering it quite effective although it may weigh only nine ounces. It must be vertical when you wish to retract it by hitting a hard surface.
  • There are various knuckle weapons and knives available if the above are not enough. They are the most popular items on campus and you won’t need more than one. It takes some moxie to deliver a punch with a sharp-edged plastic knuckle so I leave it to the end.

Medical Uses of Laser Technology

You can have a gallstone removed with laser or a benign mole. You can have your face resurfaced with port wine stains and freckle spots removed as well as your yellowed teeth cleaned and whitened. An unfavorable tattoo can be banished. There is no end to the use of this technology, even for the ubiquitous and persistent toe fungus. The light tool and scalpel version have altered the face of medicine. They cut tissue cleanly during surgery, reshape the cornea, unclog blocked arteries, and more. The laser in its various guises is a virtual miracle of modern technology.

With all this exciting innovation, toe fungus seems a humble foe to conquer with such an advanced system. However, the laser does make it easier to deal with resulting in less damage to the kidneys (from potentially dangerous prescription pills like Sporanox or Lamisil that can raise the level of enzymes) and longer-lasting results, although the jury is still out whether this is actually the best treatment for toenail fungus. Ugly, discoloured nails can be zapped by your podiatrist or dermatologist. It is expensive (running from about $700 up to $1,500), but effective and more surefire than lotions and potions of specious origin. Onychomycosis is a scary-sounding word, but the treatment is not. It is common and some people are just unlucky enough to have a propensity for it. A caveat at the start: it may take up to a year to clear.

So what happens with the laser if you have toe fungus and want it gone from your life? First of all, it must be the FDA-approved model to ensure results. The tool is applied without anesthesia (it is painless) for about 35 to 40 minutes a session for all ten toes. Up to four can be routine. It kills the fungus and impedes regrowth at best. After that, the body’s own defenses take over. You start to see new growth and wait for full recovery over time (clear nails). It is still in its infancy as a technique and little data has yet to be accumulated. It does sound promising, however, for sufferers who feel that they have no other recourse and are glad to have one more option.

With laser, it is possible to be fungus-free and have clear nails once again. At the worst they may be a bit cloudy, but not black or yellow. You will be proud to wear sandals and open-toed shoes that were banned from your closet in the past. No one will accuse you of poor hygiene, not understanding the real nature of the problem. You can help prevent it with regular cleaning and drying of the area and by sporting clean socks (changed often) and using an anti-fungal spray, but it may rear its ugly head in any case. Turning to the laser offers a solution that is fairly reliable as statistics go and is as good or better than pills and potions. It is called an infectious disease but can be kept under control and improved with proper care and treatment.