Scientists Find Plastic Barriers Don’t Stop COVID And May Increase It 

Photo by Phil Roeder on Flickr.com

 

Throughout the long, trying, and unknowing time of the pandemic, scientists, doctors, the presidential administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have gone back and forth about what is “best” for the American people.

However, there are those now speaking up about how they may not even know what is safe practice for keeping an uncontrollable virus at bay- what else could they be wrong about?

We have seen some silly practices by individuals trying to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

Things such as locking themselves away in their homes with nothing but a bottle of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes or warding off family members – only to come into contact with 100 strangers at Walmart to grocery shop.

One practice that has gained momentum throughout the world is putting up plastic barriers in between an attendant and the customer, such as the large plexiglass barriers in front of cashiers at your local market.

Although people feel more protected with a barrier between them and another human being (furthering the disconnect in society), scientists have discovered that it may actually increase your chances of contracting COVID-19.

The New York Times reports:

“Research suggests that in some instances, a barrier protecting a clerk behind a checkout counter may redirect the germs to another worker or customer. Rows of clear plastic shields, like those you might find in a nail salon or classroom, can also impede normal airflow and ventilation.”

What?!

Scientists are saying that protocols put in place to provide a false sense of security are actually ineffective?!

Fearmongering is an effective technique to make the public bend to your will, and the media is great at being the catalyst.

Scientists of the study that concluded barriers have the potential to be more harmful than communicating face-to-face explained how in spaces void of barriers, our breath is replaced by fresh air every 15-30 minutes.

When you put an impediment in the mix, such as a plastic barrier, the airflow in the room is disrupted.

The particles from our breath now have no normal flow of ventilation creating what has been termed “dead zones,” a space of highly concentrated air particles from our breath.

Now imagine it is not just one barrier but multiple, like some classrooms have.

The Times tells us what one of the world’s leading experts on viral transmission, Professor Linsey Marr of Virginia Tech, has to say on the matter:

If you have a forest of barriers in a classroom, it’s going to interfere with proper ventilation of that room. Everybody’s aerosols are going to be trapped and stuck there and building up, and they will end up spreading beyond your own desk.”

Now what if someone was to sneeze or cough right in front of you, surely the barrier would have to be helpful in stopping coronavirus?

Nope!

Research shows, as the Times points out, that COVID-19 is spread mainly through “unseen aerosol particles,” so barriers would still be a danger by restricting airflow and ventilation.

A Johns Hopkins study showed that putting up desk screens in classroom did in fact increase the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

Our kids would be safer in an open space for increased health and learning.

Time will tell if businesses, organizations, and government agencies use these findings to improve the health of individuals, or if they would prefer to hold on to the illusion of safety.

Barriers in the workplace, schools, and retail establishments have depersonalized an already crumbling and fragile society.

It’s not safety blankets and diversity legislation that the American public needs, it’s common sense, facts, and constitutional rights.

Let’s just hope it’s not too late.

 

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