[Discussion] COVID-19: Build a Better Mousetrap (Science/Logic for Safe Indoors)

I am in no way a supporter of opening things back up in any way.
But I'd wager I am not alone in needing a positive outlet among all the horror. What was the tipping point was hearing the president of Purdue University's ramblings on how it is sacred duty to open back up and regurgitating misleading statistics (there are 10 things on campus that are more dangerous than COVID-19, the risk to young people is near zero so we can isolate the susceptible, etc) Oh and this doozy when confronted about what plan or metric they had for determining whether it was getting too unsafe, he was not going to publicly commit to numbers. (essentially they are going to wing it, nice!)

So I want to redirect that negative energy into constructive logic from a layman's perspective because there is information and reason out there right in front of our face that is being ignored.

So I will start on will things that we already have readily available or can be repurposed from other industries to make a hypothetical safe indoor space.

Ceiling fans
We know AC is a potential super spreader in enclosed spaces. I'd bet that is how Cuomo infected his wife despite strictly self isolating in his home. In the absence of expensive filtration, we need to remove massive amounts of air and deposit it on the ground in concentrated amounts that can easily be cleaned or severely diluted amounts.
I worry that ceiling fans would do more damage that good because it would force air down but probably also outward. So I think floor fans that suck air down and out would be the more ideal solution. And once air is sucked down, the flow needs to stay down as it is redirected away from occupied space.
Could fans be built into table tops that sucked air from people communicating with each other? Perhaps we could build a cylindrical inducting fan in the center of the table to further reduce risk at its base.

Plastic Slats
They use hanging plastic slats in lieu of doors in hospital quarantine areas, why not use them indoors? Perhaps we could even set them up in line at 6ft partitions. Or we can set them up along pathways and aisles in between tables.
You could probably do small conventions this way. Set up slats in between booths where less than 10 masked people could watch vendor presentations before moving on to the next slat divided booth.

Sprinklers
We obviously cannot spray chlorine onto bare skin or clothing. But we can designate a clean room where chlorine is sprayed on "used" air removed from occupied rooms. It could even be a redundant system where it can catch it a second time before it leaves the building.
But a better solution is spending more time developing UV light. We need to know how much, what kind, and for how long. Because with the right numbers, we could set up UV to kill whatever infection lies in "used" air on its way out of the room. Those same cylindrical induction table fan's could kill COVID further down the table leg and hypothetically make the air clear without ever leaving the room.

What are your ideas to combat public indifference? It doesn't have to be safe indoor spaces, just observations on changing things overlooked in our drive to get back to "normal".

You could easily put strong UV emitters in A/C ducts, and improve safety in buildings; it would help prevent cross-room contamination. Wouldn't help with contamination within a room, however.

That kind of protection may always require personal gear.

As I understand it, if you want to kill SARS-COV-1 (the best analog to SARS-COV-2 we have test results for) on various PPE surfaces, you're looking at a minimum exposure of 15 minutes at 3cm distance from a moderate UVC source (3.600 mJ/cm). Max exposure of over an hour at similar or even much higher power often led to incomplete inactivation, however. So putting it in an air duct is not going to do much for you, since the air is not going to hang around for 15 minutes or more at any given point.

That is a bummer! But also very helpful statistics...
I wonder if you could go in through the arm pit and insert a UV light to shine into the lung for severe patients.
Could they do a lung bypass and expose the UV light to the infected lung before reinserting it?

Not sure if serious...

So, if that wasn’t a dig at Trump, the reason any kind of internal UV light strategy won’t work is because it only penetrates superficially- maybe a few millimeters. This might be useful for flat impermeable surfaces or airborne particles but not any kind of solid tissue. The consistency of the lungs is more like a firm sponge with countless tiny air bubbles than a hollow balloon. The virus would be diffusely spread throughout.

Removing a person’s lungs would also have an extremely high mortality and complication rate. It requires an immense investment in terms of supplies, hospital space and most importantly, time, for the very few thoracic surgeons and support staff who are qualified to conduct such an operation.

Even inserting a catheter through the skin into or around the lungs would be technically difficult and likely to introduce blood or air into the space around the lungs which would be a life-threatening complication. It would also be very painful.

Probably the only remotely feasible strategy would be to use an endoscope down the throat to light up the interior of the lung’s air passages. This would relatively safe and quick but even then, you’re only illuminating a fraction of the lung’s tissue and I seriously doubt the benefits of that procedure would outweigh any risks.

Fantastic Voyage: Coronavirus

gewy wrote:

Probably the only remotely feasible strategy would be to use an endoscope down the throat to light up the interior of the lung’s air passages. This would relatively safe and quick but even then, you’re only illuminating a fraction of the lung’s tissue and I seriously doubt the benefits of that procedure would outweigh any risks.

I only saw it in passing, but it was something about a company in Canada working on a wand-like device that used UV light to kill viruses in the nasal passages. Obviously not a cure, but maybe something that could work as post-exposure prophylaxis, like for health care workers at the end of a shift. Don't quote me on it, but I do think I saw something like that being reported on.

I would not recommending investing in that company’s stock.

Actually who am I kidding, it’s not like we need data showing efficacy and safety any more (or even scientific rationale). Maybe this would be an excellent investment, at least if it will be sold in the US.

Maybe if we removed the lungs and autoclaved them long enough to denature any coronavirus proteins, maybe that could do it!

Not sure if serious...

Mostly a dig.
But some part desperate brain dump, more for release of frustration.
Although it is even less serious now that I understand the make up of the lungs ;P

Thanks all for grounding the discussion <3

What if we develop teleporters and just add in a filter that leaves out all the Covid molecules while digitizing a body?

You wouldn't even need to go far... A few feet in any direction should be mostly non-fatal, and if you stick them in an airtight bubble before digitizing then you just incinerate the bubble of leftover Covid goop and move on to the next victim.

Edit: or stillsuits! Climate change AND pandemic in one fix!

If only we had individuals with near infinite wealth and resources on this planet...

You wouldn't even need to teleport the person. You could hold the digitized person sans the COVID particles, zap that COVID, and rematerialize the now COVID free person in place ;P

I think those infinite wealth people are too busy going to Mars though

Well if you're going down that route, why don't we just miniaturize a vehicle and it's occupants and inject them inside people so they can hunt down the virus particles and blast them.

IMAGE(https://c8.alamy.com/comp/FHPGFX/dennis-quaid-innerspace-1987-FHPGFX.jpg)

Wear masks everywhere inside any building that is not your home. 8 weeks later, the coronavirus is gone and as a bonus we have a mild to non-existent cold and flu season.

There's no need for a high-tech solution. Everyone just wear a damn mask.

Tach wrote:

There's no need for a high-tech solution. Everyone just wear a damn mask.

Counter-offer: tiny guns that can shoot the virus before it infects you. You can wear clusters of them like a Duck Dynasty beard.

Think rail-guns aligned into follicle strands via nano-carbon tubes, and reloaded via sheer patriotism. And methane. The accelerant is mostly methane so you gotta fart on it before sticking it to your upper lip.

Sorry, the oxygen deprivation from wearing my mask whenever I leave my home until I get back to my home must be getting to me.

Copper furniture and doorknobs might be worth considering, but I’m getting the impression that surface to hand to face is not really felt to be the primary mode of transmission at this time, right? Would probably be expensive to replace existing materials and I think I read that metal corrosion negates the effect, so upkeep would be an issue.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

I only saw it in passing, but it was something about a company in Canada working on a wand-like device that used UV light to kill viruses in the nasal passages. Obviously not a cure, but maybe something that could work as post-exposure prophylaxis, like for health care workers at the end of a shift. Don't quote me on it, but I do think I saw something like that being reported on.

Maybe we can go around with UV-emitting Christmas tree lights crammed up our noses.

Remember, if you want to kill the virus in less than an hour of UVC exposure, you're going to cause tissue damage in a minute or so... Google "UV welding burns" for a tiny part of what can happen.

gewy wrote:

Copper furniture and doorknobs might be worth considering, but I’m getting the impression that surface to hand to face is not really felt to be the primary mode of transmission at this time, right? Would probably be expensive to replace existing materials and I think I read that metal corrosion negates the effect, so upkeep would be an issue.

1: You'd be constantly washing your hands to get the damn copper-oxide off from opening doors.
2: Copper is ~3x expensive as aluminum, and even more so than steel.
3: Copper is also highly ductile, so you're going to have furniture that's (a) impossibly heavy to move, (b) crazily expensive, (c) easily damaged and (d) will cover your clothes in green filth when you sit on it. Oh, and (e) for a speculative and probably negligible decrease in COVID transmission rates.

/pissingonyourbonfire

if I wasn't just hallucinating, it probably wasn't UVC, it was Far-UVC:

LINK

“UVC is really nasty stuff – you shouldn't be exposed to it,” says Arnold. “It can take hours to get sunburn from UVB, but with UVC it takes seconds. If your eyes are exposed… you know that gritty feeling you get if you look at the sun? It’s like that times 10, just after a few seconds.”

To use UVC safely, you need specialist equipment and training. The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a stern warning against people using UV light to sterilise their hands or any other part of their skin.

During the White House briefing on Thursday, the US president suggested that UV light could be brought inside the body to kill the coronavirus. It's not clear which type he meant, but given what we know about the damage UVA, UVB and UVC can do to genetic material and living tissues, this would be a bad idea – let alone impractical, since Covid-19 mostly infects the lungs.

Recently, scientists have discovered a promising new type of UVC which is less dangerous to handle, and still lethal to viruses and bacteria. Far-UVC has a shorter wavelength than regular UVC, and so far, experiments with human skin cells in the lab have shown that it doesn’t damage their DNA (more research is needed to be sure).

LINK

Researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center found that more than 99.9% of seasonal coronaviruses present in airborne droplets were killed when exposed to a wavelength called far-UVC light at 222 nanometers. The results were published in June in the peer-reviewed journal Nature.

According to the study, far-UVC light can't penetrate the tear layer of the eye or the outer dead-cell layer of skin. This means it's unable to reach and damage living cells in the body.

“Because it’s safe to use in occupied spaces like hospitals, buses, planes, trains, train stations, schools, restaurants, offices, theaters, gyms, and anywhere that people gather indoors, far-UVC light could be used in combination with other measures... to limit the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses," said the study’s lead author David Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

not a scientific slam dunk, but not demon sperm, either, based on that.

Do we know the UVC content of demon sperm?

Jonman wrote:

Do we know the UVC content of demon sperm?

It depends. African Demons or European Demons?

Tach wrote:

Wear masks everywhere inside any building that is not your home. 8 weeks later, the coronavirus is gone and as a bonus we have a mild to non-existent cold and flu season.

There's no need for a high-tech solution. Everyone just wear a damn mask.

Wouldn't it be nice if this was the consistent only message from leaders?

Jonman wrote:

Do we know the UVC content of demon sperm?

I think I have seen that Hentai.

Errrr....*nervous cough*

Tach wrote:

Wear masks everywhere inside any building that is not your home. 8 weeks later, the coronavirus is gone and as a bonus we have a mild to non-existent cold and flu season.

There's no need for a high-tech solution. Everyone just wear a damn mask.

That's socialist communist tyranny and that's why we had a revolution to free ourselves from England!

Farscry wrote:
Tach wrote:

Wear masks everywhere inside any building that is not your home. 8 weeks later, the coronavirus is gone and as a bonus we have a mild to non-existent cold and flu season.

There's no need for a high-tech solution. Everyone just wear a damn mask.

That's socialist communist tyranny and that's why we had a revolution to free ourselves from England!

DID WE BACK DOWN WHEN THE GERMANS BOMBED PEARL HARBOR?!

Cheeze, that's very promising. I have questions about the engineering. The tests were done in a closed-cycle system, with air recirculating and passing 22cm out from the light source. As far as I can tell, no new viruses were introduced during the test phase of 30 minutes (6 five-minute airflow volume turnovers, I think).

So... What about the reduction of power in the light as distance from the source increases? That may mean that irradiation may work well for closed rooms in, say, half hour treatments, but then what happens when the door opens and contaminated air enters again? If someone is in the room, how do you keep them far enough away from the source to make FDA/OSHA happy, while still guaranteeing a useful dose at the far side of the room?

Also, people are sources for the virus, so if this is done in an occupied space, the 15-25 minute cycle is now constantly in play. The system would reduce but never come close to eliminating the virus in, say, a frequently used hallway or waiting room. As they say, it would be a supplement to PPE. If people refuse to wear PPE, though, it won't be of much use...

I think there's a ton of engineering left to do to implement something useful on a mass scale with this.

Mixolyde wrote:
Farscry wrote:
Tach wrote:

Wear masks everywhere inside any building that is not your home. 8 weeks later, the coronavirus is gone and as a bonus we have a mild to non-existent cold and flu season.

There's no need for a high-tech solution. Everyone just wear a damn mask.

That's socialist communist tyranny and that's why we had a revolution to free ourselves from England!

DID WE BACK DOWN WHEN THE GERMANS BOMBED PEARL HARBOR?!

IMAGE(https://i.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/017/204/CaptainAmerica1_zps8c295f96.JPG)

There's a company called Xenex that already makes a UVC-based cleaning robot that's been in use for years. It's full-spectrum UVC though (200-315nm) and definitely not safe to use when people are present. The device has motion sensors and shuts itself off if a person walks into the room. Googling around, it looks like it costs about $125,000, but they seem to be marketed to hospitals.

They recently stated that their device had been tested against SARS-COV-2 and was effective at cleaning surfaces as well as disinfecting used N-95 masks, but I don't know the full details. They have a YouTube page with news coverage that goes back 8 years, so they're not brand new. Here's a random video from a couple of years ago: