The virus is spreading and is spreading faster than we know it. The best possible solution now (until the cure/vaccine is out) is social distancing. True that, prevention is better than cure. Its the best possible solution to the pandemic but not a very economical solution though.
The core idea behind social distancing is stopping the infection from spreading. Just that we dont have a technology that contains virus from an infected person. What if we can do that?
I have been thinking of this problem ever since it broke out in China. The question was why is the country shut down?
I am totally convinced by the actions taken by our government to contain this epidemic. I would like to give my 2 cents in help towards the containment.
What if we develop masks that sterilizes the virus when an infected person breathes out. I have made a rough sketch of how it would work. I call it, THE COVIDMASK
The mask has 4 parts to it, inhale pipe that passes the air for breahing in, the mask (mostly made of transparent clear plastic/glass), the exale pipe that passes the exhaled air, the steriliser chamber that kills the virus exhaled out by the person.
How it works?
When a person breathes in, the air flows in from point 1, the valve at point 2 opens up allowing the air to draw in while the valve at point 3 is closes simultaneously. When the person breathes out the valve at point 2 is automatically shut while the valve at point 3 opens up allowing the air to flow out. The exhaled air passes thru the chamber (point 4). This chamber has a liquid (mostly concentrated soap solution or alcohol solution). As the exhaled air passes thru this solution, the virus gets destroyed. The air that comes out is free from virus.
The inhaler pipe and exhaler pipe exits are strategically placed at points 1 and 5 to reduce the spread and infection.
Point 1 in diagram is under the arms at near elbow length. That is the least possible place for virus to be accumulated in case someone coughs/sneezes nearby you.
Point 5 is same as point one, but on the other side. Say if an infected person exhales out, the contaminated air flows thru this point, downwards, reducing the chances of falling onto someone.
USECASE scenarios -
Scenario 1 - to be used by infected persons at hospital - this device will reduce direct contamination from patient to doctor/medical personnel.
Scenario 2 - to be used by everyone. See we do not know who is infected and who is not. If we can have it worn by everyone the chances of spread will reduce drastically. If people follow the habit of washing hands frequently and wear this mask, we can go about doing our daily jobs.
Scenario 3 - if this mask is effective on such airborne viruses ( SARS,MERS, COVID 19 etc) , we can use it in future to avoid such pandemics. Say each hospital has masks in store to be used in such cases.
You may ask if the chamber would be able to destroy the virus. My theory is based upon the fact that we are being asked to wash hands using soap and water or alcohol sanitizer. Why? Because soap(alcohol sanitizer) has the properties of breaking the virus. Here is the link to verify my statement.
I firmly believe that if we had better masks designed earlier, we would not see this day.
I am in no way criticizing any government or Indian governments moves and policies and actions towards this epidemic. Please note.
As a law abiding citizen of this country and an indebted human being of planet earth, I wanted to put my word out, contribute in a way possible. If it can help us fight this situation and future situations of this kind I will be the happiest person.
[ PS: Steve jobs on his death bed said the masks were not designed well. I was thinking how we could improve. Now I know, at-least for this situation. ]