The COVID-19 spreads from human to human by small microdroplets from the coughing or sneezing of people who are already infected with the virus, and also from the things we touch that may be contaminated with the virus. As shared by the viral video posted by Lawrence Wong, Minister of National Development in Singapore, using a respirator alone is not good enough to prevent you from getting sick. This is because people keep using their hands to reposition the mask (respirators are rather uncomfortable to most people who are not used to them, and while masks are more comfortable they are primarily intended for those who are already sick as they do not provide good air seal). The COVID-19 enters the body mainly by the mouth, the nose, or the eyes. For this very reason, it is imperative to be aware of your hands so that you do not keep touching your face. Most people are not even aware of when they are touching their faces. This is the link to the original video warning about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65LbhYOoLLY
It is easy to conclude that if we are able to reduce the contact of the hands with the face we have a much better chance of reducing the spread of the infection among people. Here I want to share four practical ideas that may be helpful to reduce the speed of transmission of the COVID-19 and maybe help save lives:
IDEA 1: An APP designed to alert the user when they have their hands near their face. The alert can include sound, vibration, and light.
1. Attach an RFID sensor close to your face, it could be a small self-adhesive sticker attached to your forehead, a choker, on two earrings, or anywhere else that can be fixed close to your face.
2. Download the APP that will allow your phone to react with a sound signal or vibration.
3. Wear a special ring or bracelet in each hand that will signal the relative location of your hands from your face.
4. When either of the hands is too close to the face, you will get a beep/vibration on your mobile phone and also a light flash from the bracelet or the ring providing a reminder to watch your hands when you touch your face.
5- After washing hands, a delay could be programmed into the APP to allow you to eat and do other activities and will reset automatically for fresh detection after the delay has elapsed.
The principle of operation is extremely simple. The gadget will sense the proximity of your hand to the sensor attached near your face, the quick flash that can be part of the rings or the bracelets can alert you even before you touch your face. The ring or the bracelets may flash as soon as you change the angle of the hands, this is anatomically required in order to touch your face as no one really touches their faces with the hands facing down.
IDEA 2. As a cheaper alternative you may want to use just the rings or the bracelets, with the flashing/vibration signal so as soon as you change the angle of the hand as you approach your face, the light can flash reminding you to wash your hands. With this idea, you do not need to use either RFID sensors or the Mobile APP.
IDEA 3. My friend Behrooz Yadagar proposes an even simpler, low-cost practical solution, the use of removable glossy labels put on the palm/middle fingers of each hand. As you raise your hand toward the face, the label has a mirror/flashy reflection that the eyes can detect. This solution is readily available, very cheap, and easy to implement.
IDEA 4. My friend Marco Lagunes R proposes another simple but practical solution, to tie shoestrings from your belt to both wrists, at a length that won’t allow you to reach the Face if you lift your hands to do so. You may want to improve on this idea, you may want to add small clips at mid-length so you can choose a setting for when you are sitting and another for when you are standing. This solution is also readily available, very cheap, and easy to implement.
I am interested in helping the global community find more alternatives to help prevent the spread of the virus. I want to start a movement where more concerned citizens can share their idea to help contain this virus. If you have another idea please let me know. I will make sure I will do my best to share them with a larger audience.
A well-known expert in the field of nonwovens and disposables technology, Carlos Richer is the CEO of Richer Investment and Diaper Testing International. He can be reached at email@example.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carlosricher/