There is nothing like an epidemic to tickle the minds of inventors. So many new needs! So many amplified needs! So many old needs needing revisions! Of course, the main area of creativity has abounded in the area of facemasks. All 328.2 million people in
There is nothing like an epidemic to tickle the minds of inventors. So many new needs! So many amplified needs! So many old needs needing revisions!
Of course, the main area of creativity has abounded in the area of facemasks. All 328.2 million people in the United States should be wearing them, with about 83% (according to Newsweek,) actually donning one. The medical field prefers to wear N59 respirator masks, but most cloth masks worn around the ears are reported to be generally sufficient to block incoming virus droplets. Once the general structure of the mask had been determined appropriate, variations abound. Smiley masks, masks promoting an organization across the nose, masks with a clear area so individuals who are deaf can continue to lip-read while the mouth is covered, full face snorkeling masks, bedazzled masks, fuzzy animal masks for kids (or adults who still feel like a kid,) masks with teeth and mustaches, colorful patterned masks, or just plain paper medical masks are worn. Popular neck gaiters, bandanas and masks with valves are reported to be less effective, and people wearing such masks are not allowed in doctor offices and hospitals.
Hospitals and doctor offices no longer allow visitors, with patients required to come alone. This has resulted in additional calls made by the physicians who must explain the results, again, to the anxious next of kin waiting in the wings. This has resulted in the rise of FaceTime meetings with doctors, which can also be used in lieu of actual office visits. I have to confess these types of visits are my favorite as there is no means to take my actual weight, thus postponing THAT discussion with my physician.
Counseling services have likewise taken to the phone, with the need perhaps stronger than ever. The BH-Link, Anchor Recovery Center, the Rhode Island Interfaith Counseling Center, Thrive, and many other organizations offer listening ears during these crazy, disturbing times.
The medical field has seen the rise of a multitude of new inventions to better care for those with COVID-19, but perhaps the one invention that has directly affected the rate of transmission is the automatic door opener. Although previously present on hospital wards, such doors have multiplied as the need has burgeoned. No touch … no virus germs to linger around.
A much smaller invention has similarly solved a growing need to also avoid offending microorganisms: the large “key” that can be used to open door handles and press the buttons on credit card machine and the ATM. So small, yet so clever!
A commercial on television last evening promoted the solution to dropped phones and lost bottles of sanitizer in cars: a contraption that fits in the cup slot with a holder for both the phone AND a separate holder for the sanitizer. Only in times like this would both items need to be kept close at hand.
The clear, outside tent was invented for those of us who just HAVE to still go out to eat, promising isolation during mealtime. Some of the fancier ones have a heater inside, solving the other dilemma of dining outside in the cold.
Perhaps my favorite invention was presented to me on Sunday at church, an invention whereby I slapped my forehead and lamented “Why didn’t I think of that?” It was the individual communion host and wine, neatly packaged in a tiny, plastic cup with a tiny, sealed communion wafer on top. The wafer looked more like a Chicklet than the traditional fare, but the sentiment and meaning was clear. Even during these COVID-19 times, religion is alive and well, and, like all other areas of life, is also making necessary inventions to still meet our needs.