Coronavirus Diary (34): PPE–It’s Now or Never

It’s really this simple: the clever assholes who’ve spent their time snarking their way through denial or minimization of the COVID-19 pandemic have nothing to offer in the way of solutions to the actual problems anyone is facing right now. At this point, there’s only one solution at the disposal of the average person: ignore such people and render direct assistance to those in need. Continue reading

Coronavirus Diary (18): N95 Masks and Ultraviolet Lamps

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. Continue reading

Coronavirus Diary (12): Lockdown and the Calm Before the Storm

I drove through the “epicenter of the global pandemic today.” What was it like? Nothing in particular.

Colleagues in the Department of Art at my university answered my earlier plea for medical supplies by offering up their hidden stash of nitrile gloves. So I drove from my home in Readington, New Jersey to the university in Lodi (Bergen County), and called security to let me in. The security guard, who’s seen me hundreds of times before over more than a decade, professed for the nth time not to know who I was. After some pro forma wrangling, interrogation, and perusing of my ID from-a-distance, he let me in. Continue reading