We need testing, a vaccine and a treatment, but until that happens, we need this!
Orlando, Florida – I read that the average time to produce and accurately test a vaccine is 4 years. If we want to open our economy today, we need something to protect us today, and that should be easier to develop than a vaccine. Again, we need the vaccine, so full steam ahead on that very important front, but this is what I’m talking about (and remember this is coming from a guy who works in a mailroom and still reminds himself, every morning when he gets dressed, that the tag goes in the back). Until there is ample testing, we need to assume everyone has the virus and it is now a part of our environment.
If you live in Minnesota, you probably do not go outside in shorts and a t-shirt from November to February. But you still go out. You still work and live a normal life, but you must dress appropriately. If we are going to get back to normal, we need the government to direct companies to develop the following things:
1) Plenty of hand-sanitizer (you cannot buy it anywhere right now)
2) Plenty of Lysol wipes (you cannot buy those either) – Items 1 & 2 do help kill the virus and give people peace of mind.
3) But here is the crucial one – a mask that protects the person wearing the mask. The masks we wear today only protect others from the person wearing the mask, but if someone developed a mask that we can all wear – maybe one with some kind of germicide coating (I’m spit balling here), that would protect the wearer – people would feel better about going into crowded sports stadiums, movie theatres, crowded restaurants, etc. I’m sure the first masks developed would be clunky and a pain to wear – probably a cross between a welders’ mask, a portable iron lung and Darth Vader’s helmet, but eventually they would get better, smaller and less of a pain to wear.
The whole idea is to protect each of us from the elements and give us peace of mind. Consumer peace of mind leads to consumer confidence and more of a feeling of normality. Without that peace of mind, opening the country may just look a lot like it does right now, with businesses closed because no one wants to risk it. Businesses operating at 20 to 30% capacity for the foreseeable future is not optimal by any means. That too would be terrible.
4) I know this mask solution does not address children. They will not keep a mask on – they will not even wash their hands. So, something must be done to ensure they can go back to school safely, so their parents can go back to work and not worry. I do not have a recommendation for that, but is it impossible to believe that designing something to wear, that protects each of us, would be far simpler than developing a vaccine? The best solution is a vaccine and a treatment, but we need something now to protect us and bring us back to normal while we wait for science to find the optimal solution.
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