I confess to complete ignorance as to the science on this, so I’m just throwing the suggestion out there care of my Facebook friend Richard Saint Cyr, MD, who’s done some of the relevant leg work.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could reuse your N95 masks dozens of times, knowing it’s completely sterilized from COVID-19 and all other germs? What if first line responders could come home and sterilize all their gear overnight? Doesn’t that sound like a fantastic way to help this critical shortage of PPE? Of course! Get the Gates Foundation on this! Call Elon Musk! Oh, wait… it already exists… it’s called ultraviolet light! More commonly called UV-C sterilization or Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) , ultraviolet light in the C-band at 254 nanometers destroys DNA and RNA just enough to stop reproduction of all germs. It’s been around for over 140 years, it’s used in many industries, and hospitals across the world already use UV-C to sterilize their rooms of all germs. It can be cheap, easy to do, and quick. It’s already approved by the FDA for medical use! So… why is no one shouting from the rooftops about this?
I don’t know, but I’m always up for shouting. Read the rest here.
As it happens, I free-associated my way to Richard’s idea about a week ago without doing a lick of bona fide research. I just speculated, out of the blue, that, well, maybe ultra-violet light kills COVID-19, so I went out and bought a UV lamp on Amazon for personal use. But don’t credit my intelligence or scientific literacy. Frankly, if you’d told me that a bag of peat moss killed COVID-19, I would have bought some.
1 of PG PORSTA Ultraviolet Germicidal Lamp, UV Ozone Ultraviolet Germicidal Sterilization Light Home Disinfection Light Home Improve Home Light 38W
I ordered it on March 21, and it shipped out of China on March 23, so let’s see when it gets here. If it has hospital-grade utility, I will donate mine to a hospital. At this point, my wife has basically thrashed me into a house-disinfecting protocol that works well enough with the usual tools. To be TMI-level candid, at some level, I ordered the UV light to get out of doing ordinary housework. File under “cheaters never prosper.” But maybe also file under “private vices, public benefits.” Actually, I prefer that you file it under the second heading.