Introduction: Covid-19 Virus Mitigation Tansu
Although I say this with a heavy heart, I think that perhaps I found a way to save and reuse multi-purpose gloves, N95 and N100 respirator masks, etc, etc - items that have become very costly, are in high demand, and that should be used judiciously these days.
Recommendations to immediately dispose of this protective gear before entering one's home are based on the fact that the Covid-19 virus can linger on surfaces for days, and in the air for hours, and may infect you and your family members. I read a few recommendations to use gloves when shopping or filling up gas and then to dispose of them. People with compromised immune systems were advised to wear masks for the duration of their excursion outside the home. When they return home the advice is to discard the mask, as you can’t use it again since the virus might have been passed to the mask’s interior by your fingers when you attempt to remove it. If the Covid-19 pandemic persists and certainly if it becomes more acute, finding protective gear will become harder and harder. Already we see shortages in supplies - even in hospitals - where they are needed the most. So here is my idea: I created a cluster of seven cubbies from empty cardboard boxes for each day of the week. Each cubby may include two hooks (also made of cardboard) to allow for the hanging of masks, shirts or gowns. The idea is that you will designate the mask, gloves and outside shirt for each day of the week. You will clearly label them, put them on and when back from shopping or a visit to town you will place them in the designated cubby. The next day you will use the next set and so on and so forth. After seven days you will return to the first set and that will give us enough time for the pathogen the perish from that set. An Ideal cubby cluster should be spread out as much as possible to prevent the chance of viral "cross pollination" from one piece of gear to the next. Wide cardboard dividers between the boxes will prevent contact too. Another idea is to build the cluster from wood and include hinged doors plus adding some sort of UV light to enhance the disinfection process.
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Cardboard boxes, hot glue gun or other cardboard glue, nails, staples or screws.
Step 1: Collect Seven Dry and Empty Cardboard Boxes.
Glue the boxes side by side.
Step 2: Make the Hooks
1. Cut cardboard rectangles.
2. Fold them in half.
3. Snip their top diagonally with a scissors.
4. Fold out two flaps (as if it was a paper plane) and flatten them out.
Step 3: Glue the Hooks Inside and on the Outside of Each Box
Use hot or other glue to affix the hooks onto the boxes to serve as hangers for face masks, gloves and coats.
Step 4: Hang the Box Cluster Outside Your Door.
Use staples, screws or nails to hang it out. In windy situations you can close the boxes' flaps with a masking-tape to prevent their content from flying off.
* If you consider hanging gown coats for each day of the week, do consider spacing them out or installing long dividers between the boxes to separate the items even further.
3 years ago on Step 4
This looks like a genius idea. However I am not a 100% sure! A doctor's feedback would be great. I made a much more complicated sterilization box (https://www.instructables.com/id/COVID-19-UV-C-Sterilizer-Box/) but this systems seems much easier to build and operate. Do you know of any studies on contaminated equipment and the time required to use it again without danger?
Reply 3 years ago
I don't know about any research that recommend what I call Passive Disinfection. But there a a few new researches that studied how long it takes for the virus to die on different materials. For example, on stainless steel and plastics it can linger for days and on coper for 4 hours. The NY times reposted two days ago the physicians in the NYC area are sterilizing their masks with hand sanitizers. So perhaps aerosoling the masks with 70% alcohol should be done prior to letting the mask stay in its cubby for a week. Here is a link to the article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/nyregion/ny-coronavirus-hospitals.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
Here is a link to a clip that talks about the ways physicians in China attempted to sterilize the masks (including using a uv light). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3N2IOFteBA
By the way I really like your uv box idea.
Reply 3 years ago
thank you for taking the time to reply to me and sending those two links. Very helpful! I hope you and your loved ones stay safe. I am wishing you all the best. Greetings from Germany,