We're on track to pass a million infected and 60,000 fatalities before May. That's just in the US.
The world is currently at 2,791,000 infected and 196,000 dead. And these stats are just the
confirmed cases. The real numbers are much higher.
Terrible. Another alarming statistic is the number of healthcare workers who have been infected in
the US. A report from 10 days ago says over 9,000, so probably over 15,000 by now.
How are so many of them getting sick in spite of being so diligently careful? Is it all about the
egregious shortage of personal protective equipment? (thanks, Trump!)
I think it has more to do with the N95 masks not being sufficient protection from
the obviously air borne virus.
The '95' stands for 'at least 95% of 300 nanometer particles will be stopped by the filter material'.
The COVID-19 virus is only 1/3 that size, 100nm! Thats about the size of a small cigarette
smoke particle, so if you can smell smoke thru your mask, it can't reliably block the virus.
Tightening the mesh size down to catch 100nm particles would require at least a 9x increase of
the mask surface area to maintain the same breathing effort. Not only does this mean 9 times as
much of a denser, more expensive material, but a support structure to keep it open and some how
out of the way and not entirely hanging on your face.
Impractical. A better solution would be a mask with a tube going to a filter box.
But what about the next pandemic? What if the virus is even smaller? The COVID-19 is actually
estimated to be between 60 and 140 nanometers. There are known viruses that are only 17nm!
Then there are prions, which are 2 - 3 nm. They are not known to be airborne, but what if?
Good luck trying to filter out anything smaller than 50 nanometers.
I have a better idea.
Instead of trying to just filter out the viruses, also kill or sterilize them so whatever gets past
the filter can't infect you. Since it is not completely dependent on stopping particles from passing
thru, the mesh can be relatively loose, so of small area. This allows it to be compact and affordable.
The face mask pictured above is the first proof of concept prototype. I will need money to create
a production ready prototype and some serious capital to get it into production.