Intimacy: The Falling Masks

Please note that I have posted this article before (around 2012) on another website. I came across the post by chance and decided to modify it after all the changes that happened in the last few years. Ironically, few things still make sense, even though I changed a lot. Hope you enjoy it!

Intimacy, as simple as the word is, can be considered one of the most important reasons behind the failure of our relationships, regardless of gender, time, distance, or continent.

The idea behind this post has been the fruit of several personal experiences that I am not planning to discuss here. But after some hindsight and reflecting on the past, these ideas seem more than crucial.

Having several relationships has taught me that any human connection without intimacy is doomed to fail. As a matter-of-fact, any relationship, whether love or friendship, will screw up without intimacy.

The main problem with intimacy is that we do not accept the true nature of our feelings, nor admit to the basic needs of our humanity. Intimacy is the gift of giving without asking, trusting without worrying, believing, dreaming, and all that comes with it. Thus, when we are in a relationship with someone, we try to be intimate and open up until we stand emotionally naked in front of our partner. However, this is not what truly happens in most cases, and many never put down their guards. That’s why the first relationship fails, followed by the second, third, fourth, etc.

People need to see the idea of exposing yourself emotionally to your partner and opening up to the darkest corners of your soul. You can argue that trust is something important here. How could I be so weak and emotional?! How can I trust the other person? But with time you enter a stage of trial and error, shuffling between partners and dates, replaying the same games and techniques.

I fully understand that nature requires the need to have relationships, as we are weak social beings in the end, and we will all have relationships and marriages. But my point here is the lack of intimacy. We do not admit that we are weak human beings. We live in the fear of being loved and left behind, to be cheated on or replaced. Therefore, we start creating those fake masks that show our perfect image to everyone around us. Slowly, we start losing our true identities between all these masks, and our intimate feelings drown deep inside. The symptoms start with the excessive fights over silly stuff until they end with a tragedy, where both partners depart with everlasting scars.

Personally, I learned this the hard way. Sometimes I wish someone told me this years ago, but it is never too late.

Open up and trust yourself. Regain your self-confidence so your partner and friends love you for who you truly are. I know it is very difficult to do this, but sometimes you just need to let go of the resistance, instead of forcing acceptance.


Flu Patients Can Emit Virus Up To 6 Feet Away

Even when flu patients aren’t sneezing, they can still spread the virus as far as six feet away, according to a new study from the Wake Forest School of Medicine.

The study also showed that some people, who researchers called “super-emitters,” emit more of the virus than others. The findings are hugely important for people working in the health and medical fields who have regular contact with flu-infected people — and how they protect themselves from becoming infected.

“Our study provides new evidence that infectiousness may vary between influenza patients and questions the current medical understanding of how influenza spreads,” study researcher Dr. Werner Bischoff, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of infectious diseases at Wake Forest Baptist, said in a statement. “Based on our findings, doctors and nurses may need to wear a fitted respirator even for routine care of flu patients as opposed to just the non-fitted, surgical facemask currently recommended.”

The study, published in the Journal of Infectious Disease, included 94 people, 61 of whom were infected with the flu virus. Of those infected without the flu virus, 43 percent emitted flu virus in the air, and 19 percent emitted a lot of flu virus in the air (32 times more than others, known as the “super-emitters”). The researcher found that the “super-emitters” also had more of the virus in their snot samples, and experienced worse flu symptoms.

Researchers took air samples around the flu patients, and found flu virus present in the area up to six feet away from the patients’ heads.

Right now, health workers who care for flu patients wear masks to protect themselves when the patients engage in “aerosol-generating procedures,” such as CPR, intubation and bronchoscopy. But in this new study, researchers found that these health workers may want to wear a mask even when the patient isn’t engaging in these aerosol-generating procedures.

It’s important to note that the study didn’t examine whether the flu particles from the patients actually infected other people. But it does tell us that it’s probably a good idea to be extra cautious around those who are sick!