Are Acronyms Mystifying You?

A lot of acronyms are flying around these days. We are all learning more than we ever wanted to know about COVID-19, aren’t we? When PPE first dotted the articles I was reading, it took me a minute to realize they were talking about masks, gowns, and gloves. For the general public, it’s really just masking. The general public isn’t hovering over a coughing patient for hours each day, so our exposure to illness comes through the droplets of those we encounter as we are out and about; so gowns and gloves are not necessary. Handwashing and disinfecting surfaces serve as that last line of defense in stopping the spread of disease, and you’d think it was common sense…but let’s look at the acronyms in detail. 

COVID-19 is one of several coronaviruses, the newest to enter the human ecosystem. We have no natural immunity and its attack seems both vicious and capricious. True, many of our most vulnerable have succumbed to its attack, but so have some seemingly healthy younger people as well. We know it is a primitive organism with a simple RNA strand of replication. It has no cell wall, so soaps and disinfectants, sunlight, and heat destroy it. This is all good news. It means we can slow its spread. Our goal is one of containment as we wait for reliable treatment protocols and possible future protections. Getting a flu shot is taking on a whole new meaning, isn’t it, no matter where you fall on the continuum of support on the topic? For what it’s worth, the COVID-19 virus is aggressive and will continue to affect us. We must learn how to survive despite its tenacious grip on our society.

This is where PPE comes in…just what is that about? We are bombarded with conflicting opinions on what constitutes protection throughout the media. Every expert is offering advice and every consumer offering an opinion. But cut through the chatter to this basic fact: personal protection equipment is the basis of determining how/when/if you contract COVID-19. Without it, you are vulnerable to contract and transmit the disease. With it, you are assuming responsibility for slowing the spread of the virus while protecting the vulnerable around you.

EcohealthKC took form when our founder received an inconspicuous email from a manufacturing partner. “They told us that they had 2 million filtering facial respirators (FFR) in inventory, and they could airlift in another 2 million per day,” Tim Truesdale said. This is the kind of mask that offers a filtration rate of 95% and is urgently needed by hospitals, medical and dental offices, nursing homes, food processing, and first responders, as well as vulnerable members of the general public.

“There was no question for our team—we had to make the leap to address this critical need. We all have friends and family working in these critical positions. None of us would want to think a family member got sick due to a lack of adequate protection. We quickly put together a new venture to help us set up an online store at Then we brought on an eCommerce company and a professional blogger to help us get the word out.”

Protection also includes cleaning surfaces and sanitizing hands. Tim went on: “Just in the last week we partnered with a local company manufacturing disinfectants and hand sanitizers right here in Kansas City. We are offering a standard 80% hand sanitizer, but we are also able to offer a Cleansing Wash and Cleansing Gel with HOCL, which is a naturally occurring compound that has been used in cleaning hospital rooms for years.” 

Even after working in surgery for ten years, I wasn’t immediately familiar with the term HOCL. You may want more information as well. One of the best articles for learning about it was published in the Optometry Times. HOCL stands for hypochlorous acid, a naturally occurring substance within your body, released every time your white blood cells go after a pathogen. It can be produced for external usage through the electrolysis of water, splitting the oxygen atoms to result in an efficient disinfectant. It is merciless in fighting MRSA and other staph organisms, yet milder for our hands than straight alcohol or bleach. Pretty impressive, huh? Safe enough for kitchen counters and daycares, strong enough to clean hospital surfaces. The part I liked best? Even little hands can use it safely.

As of today, there are 33 million unemployed workers in the USA, the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression. EcohealthKC is putting together plans to engage furloughed and unemployed friends in the packaging and shipping of these new product lines. Having a local company supports our local community, and that’s always good business.

Don’t let the acronyms confuse you. GOOD HEALTH is all about working together, taking precautions, protecting our communities. At EcohealthKC, it’s all about you.