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Author Topic: A Call to Steapunk Makers. Challenge to Fight COVID 19  (Read 516 times)
J. Wilhelm
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« on: April 23, 2020, 06:07:26 am »

Dear ladies and gentlemen, I am not one of those people who think that the pandemic is just going to vanish, and everything will be fine by Fall 2020. The prediction is that the COVID 19 virus will hit back in waves, as states and countries experiment by re-opening their economies. Moreover the CDC in the US had predicted that COVID 19 will come back in force and with a vengeance by Winter 20/21 in the Norther Hemisphere, possibly reinforced by the the yearly influenza wave (as a secondary infection or if not, simply as an extra load on the healthcare system).

I was wondering if we could use our collective minds to start preparing a catalogue of measures and useful devices for Post COVID-19 every day life. It is my impression that from now on, a new standard of prevention will have to be established worldwide, and that will most likely include face masks, gloves, as well as the usual paraphernalia to block and defend from the SARS Cov 2 virus, such as hand sanitizer, spray bottles, and such. A completely new way of thinking must take root in society if we are going to survive over the next two years and beyond, at least until a majority of people around the world have been infected (70-80 % is the prediction) and the community has developed the so-called "herd immunity" or at least we have a viable treatment for COVID 19.

I would like to take this opportunity to ask the BG community to add their two cents regarding ideas to fight the virus. Can you suggest something to make? Can you make something? Take it as Steampunk challenge. The greatest challenge so far. Many of us are at home with nothing to do, just losing our minds. This is the moment to rise to the occasion and get out of the doldrums. We are in this for the long haul, folks. We are going to have to live with this virus for some time. We might as well make it a useful period.

BBC: Coronavirus: Mexican wrestlers sew Lucha Libre face masks
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-52383222



A few novel solutions have already been suggested in the main COVID 19 thread, such as DIY respirator construction (see  picture and link below)

Making your own respirator from items found in the hardware store
http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,50885.msg1002680.html#msg1002680

The first challenge entry, my respirator made from a PVC adapter





From the simple to the complicated, there are many things we can do right now to help. Latest research suggests that even coffee filters and cloth masks can help to slow down the spread of the virus. The theory is that masks have a hard time filtering virus particles because they're so small, but these virus particles are either in aerosol form - floating in the air a couple of feet away from you face, or larger droplets of saliva launched from your mouth when breathing, talking or sneezing. The droplets of saliva will tend to fall to the ground within 3-4ft of distance, hence the 6 ft. "social distancing" rule which has been shown to be an effective measure to slow down the contagion. Otherwise, those droplets of saliva will evaporate as the float in the air, leaving much smaller particles floating in air that are more difficult to filter out and are much easier for the wind to carry. The droplets, however are large enough to filter *at the source* - that is, the mouth and nose of the contagious individual. Hence early advice during the pandemic stated that "masks were not useful for healthy individuals" and it was recommended that only sick people wear them in order to save the precious equipment for healthcare professionals.

The caveat was that without proper and extensive testing, all affected countries were fighting an invisible enemy, and so anyone is suspect of being a virus carrier, especially since a patient is most contagious of SARS Cov2 during the 1-2 week incubation period. After about 7 weeks into the pandemic, authorities in various countries around the world decided that masks would be useful if *everyone* was wearing one  (today I read the news that Germany decided to join the"masked club"). The thesis being that since we don't know who is contagious, we might as well assume we all are. If the mask doesn't protect a healthy individual, no crime, no foul, because the infected person in the bus is wearing a mask too and the saliva droplets are big enough to capture at the source. Negating the use of masks at the beginning of the pandemic may go down in history as one of the worst blunders ever made when facing a plague. Time will tell how the consequences of this decision  will evolve.

I am currently working on a modification to a 3M P100 respirator very graciously donated by a Brassgoggles member (said member may or may not want me to divulge their name, so that's why I'm not mentioning their name - otherwise, please come forth and accept your accolades!). Having tested this 3M mask in public, I quickly realized that professional respirators were not made for this pandemic, because the design focus is all on protecting the wearer of the mask. Also most respirators seem to be designed for people who are working in a sedentary way inside a closed air conditioned environment and not running to catch a bus or jogging around the park.

Modification to add an output filter and new strap to 3M respirator

First and foremost, respirators with valves have an unfiltered outlet. This is a problem since the wearer doesn't know if he/she is infected. If you are comfortably sitting in the bus confident you are protected from other passenger's SARS Cov2 particles, please be aware that you may be breathing your unfiltered SARS Cov2 particles into the cabin of the bus. Worse, the particles are accelerated, because the output valve accelerates your breath coming out of the mask. Unfortunately this is a problem shared with some N95 medical grade anti-viral masks out there!!

The solution for the 3M mask is however extra simple. I can use the same type of filter material I used in making the respirator above and place it in the cover of the output valve. Initial trials indicate the system works well, but there is increase pressure in the mask when you exhale, so I need to change the strap design to keep the mask secured to the face. The strap will need to be different to that provided and even the strap of the respirator I made. There will be significant design changes before I venture out with it! Note these challenges are being faced by health and emergency workers out there in the real world!


The other blunder global authorities made was focusing entirely on the antiseptic properties of alcohol. Much fanfare was made at the beginning of the pandemic when Chinese doctors advised the public to use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It took about 3 weeks for the general global public to figure that most household cleaners also kill the virus, including the human Coronavirus strains which are related to the SARS Cov2, and so you don't have to clean all the counters, wash your car, and bathe the dog in alcohol - which comes in small amounts, is expensive and was depleted within a week from supermarket stocks around the globe. It wasn't until some time later that medical doctors pointed to the fact that plain soap and water also kills the virus, by breaking apart the soft shell of the virus (see video below). In fact soap and water is far more effective than alcohol at killing the virus, because not only is the virus disemboweled by soap molecules, the remaining virus RNA is washed away as well. Not telling this to the public from the start was absolutely criminal, in my mind. Many people spent countless hours searching supermarkets for alcohol based products, exposing themselves unnecessarily to the virus an the beginning of the pandemic.

Vox Magazine: How Soap Kills the Coronavirus
VIDEO: How Soap Kills the Coronavirus

We have also discussed the antibacterial and antiviral properties that some metals like silver, copper and related alloys like brass and bronze have. It is generally called the Oligodynamic effect or also metal "Contact Killing," and it's an antiseptic method well known since antiquity.


Our own Brassgoggles member, Sorontar, brought to our attention that there is evidence that the Oligodynamic effect which is useful in killing bacteria by destroying the outer membrane of a bacterium may be useful as well in deactivating the SARS Cov2 virus as well.


But there are other well known methods which we haven't discussed, such as Ultraviolet Light. In certain wavelengths like UV-C it is well known that ultraviolet light is capable of destroying the DNA in living tissue like bacteria, and also DNA and RNA sequences in viruses as well. The only caveat being that UV-C tends to also be harmful to human eye tissue and is also blamed for causing skin cancer. However there is some newer research done that suggests that am even shorter wavelength (higher frequency) might not be harmful to eye tissue and skin by limiting the depth of penetration onto the tissue. Researchers have suggested this shorter wavelength should be used as a round-the-clock antiseptic, capable of killing even floating viral particles in offices and commercial buildings.

Can you imagine the effect that this "safe" version of UV light could have in slowing down the virus at the workplace? Why are people not talking about this research right now?

Columbia University. Irving Medical Ctr.: Can UV Light Fight the Spread of Influenza?
https://www.cuimc.columbia.edu/news/can-uv-light-fight-spread-influenza


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So this is what I'm asking from you: just fire up those neurons. Be splendid. See what your brain comes up with and share it with us. We have a lot of skilled people in the community. We should be on time to have some useful ideas ready by Fall's COVID ComebackTM, perhaps sooner.

Keep in mind the seasons. That mask I made above? Needs to hold up to profuse sweat in 40C weather, running to the bus and walking two miles to go home, It needs to be cleanable. Repairable (I know the one I made already does all that - I'm working on achieving the same for the 3M mask). Kudos if you can make it look Steampunk. Why not? Make it cool. Share it. Want to make a business out of it? Go ahead. There are people who need work. Want to donate your work? Post it for free? Go ahead. It makes no difference because literally every single human being on Earth will have to learn to live with this virus.

There is no timetable for this challenge. The prize is life. The satisfaction of helping someone else, maybe everyone. This is a permanent challenge, and nobody loses.

I seriously doubt that the economy is going to come back roaring in full force this summer. I think it's going to sputter, and a lot of politicians will have mud on their face. If you are in Europe you can see that some economies have started opening up businesses again. Same in the United States. I don't think that anyone anywhere in the word is ready re-open. But that is my opinion - and that of medical doctors who predict new outbreaks of COVID 19 will start as soon as those markets are reopened (it takes 2 weeks to find out) , and we will see some setbacks, less in Europe and more in America, particularly in the "Deep South" region of the United States. Keep your eyes peeled for developments  Undecided

Cheers, and be safe

Adm. J. Wilhelm





« Last Edit: April 23, 2020, 06:26:13 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

Hektor Plasm
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2020, 10:29:46 am »

Well said Sir!

Some good ideas and great facts to get the grey cells running.
It is time to get our thinking caps on and see what we can do!

If even only one or two of us can come up with something it can help many.

For Steampunk and Humanity!  Be Splendid and create!

HP.
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H Plasm Esq. ICUE    Avatar by and with kind permission of Dr Geof. Ta!!

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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2020, 12:35:56 pm »

A Note to said Ladies & Gentlemen
For homemade cloth masks, should it prove impossible to attain the required materials for a respirator, or should there be need to construct en masse, I believe I have spotted an excellent video in which multiple mask prototypes are tested with the recommended fabric and sewing instructions included as enclosed below.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZBbkn-g-vE
Alas, I have yet to make this design, having spent most of my time since campus closure in seclusion, and hence not yet having any great need. However the speculations that such diseases may continue to return on the population suggest a vast majority may have requirement of such masks in the future.
There are multiple articles I have come across online referring to how a pressure cooker could potentially be used as a substitute for sterilization on the absence of the recommended autoclave, although I cannot confirm any knowledge as to their effectiveness.
https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Sterilize-Autoclavable-Materials-at-Home-us/
In the future I hope I might provide an example of a completed mask but until then, My Deepest Regards
I hope this will be of help and hats off to The Admiral J. Wilhelm.
Sincerely Miss NonChallante.


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Sincerely, Miss Nonchallante Scholar.
J. Wilhelm
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Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2020, 03:28:24 am »

Well said Sir!

Some good ideas and great facts to get the grey cells running.
It is time to get our thinking caps on and see what we can do!

If even only one or two of us can come up with something it can help many.

For Steampunk and Humanity!  Be Splendid and create!

HP.

A Note to said Ladies & Gentlemen
For homemade cloth masks, should it prove impossible to attain the required materials for a respirator, or should there be need to construct en masse, I believe I have spotted an excellent video in which multiple mask prototypes are tested with the recommended fabric and sewing instructions included as enclosed below.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZBbkn-g-vE
Alas, I have yet to make this design, having spent most of my time since campus closure in seclusion, and hence not yet having any great need. However the speculations that such diseases may continue to return on the population suggest a vast majority may have requirement of such masks in the future.
There are multiple articles I have come across online referring to how a pressure cooker could potentially be used as a substitute for sterilization on the absence of the recommended autoclave, although I cannot confirm any knowledge as to their effectiveness.
https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Sterilize-Autoclavable-Materials-at-Home-us/
In the future I hope I might provide an example of a completed mask but until then, My Deepest Regards
I hope this will be of help and hats off to The Admiral J. Wilhelm.
Sincerely Miss NonChallante.


Thank you Ms. NonChallante, Mr. Plasm! Very interesting that video by Ms. Sewstine. Actually,  physically testing the fit of the mask or respirator is of extreme importance, and it's not just the shape of the mask, but how your hold it, because different shapes of masks need different forces applied to them to keep them in place.

As an anectdote, one of the goals was to make the mask or respirator infallible, so for example, while trying to catch a bus, I need to be able to pull the strap behind my head in one single move to put the mask on so I don't take time and block the entrance of the bus. I don't have the luxury of stepping into a hamburger joint's bathroom to test fit my mask in front of the mirror before I climb on a bus, because all businesses are closed now! So one aspect of my PVC respirator design was a single strong elastic strap with a buckle  to allow you to either pull the strap over your head or buckle it around your neck as you choose (it's all about speed and strength to keep the mask on). I've also successfully jogged to a bus stop with the PVC respirator, so the respirator needs to be easy to breathe through besides not slipping down your face.

So I did the test for the 3M respirator, and I actually replaced the hospital style double strap (one for your head and one for your neck) with a single buckled strap - the same I used for the PVC respirator in the pictures). I was convinced that setup was better than the thin elastic straps the 3M respirator came with. But after walking for 15 minutes, I had to leave the hardware store I was visiting at the time, because the warehouse was warm, and I realized that sweat was making the mask slip, and even if I tightened the strap (the same way I did over the ears and around the back of the head for the much heavier PVC respirator). Every time I exhaled, a jet of air would blow over my nose into my eyes, and the mask would just fall downward. I could only keep the respirator attached to my face by pushing the mask firmly against my face which meant I had only one hand free. Previously, when I had worn the same 3M respirator at home, I had convinced myself that the single strap worked perfectly and was very tight, since my PVC respirator was much heavier and the 3M mask was soft and comfortable.

As it turns out, that seal on your face for the 3M device is dependent on your skin being dry and cool for the rubber mask to have some positive grip on your face. In contrast, the PVC mask's steel ring just digs into your skin, not letting go even if you're sweating profusely (with some discomfort - but bearable).  So the design of straps and shape of mask is integral with the seal around your face.

Now, I'm determined to make the 3M respirator work (and I'll keep working on it), as I feel that it is a more universal design which will fit more faces, and it features strong professional grade filters and valves that you can find commercially. But as Ms. Sewstine shows, sometimes some masks pass the test and others don't, and it's not necessarily the fanciest design. You have to keep working at it. There is some secret to the sauce, so to speak.

Here;s a video showing an alternative to sewing and making a mask using polypropylene (car-cover/shopping bag) style material:

VIDEO: How to Make the Best Face Mask, No Sewing (Don't use Cotton or Vac Bags!)



« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 04:34:31 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
J. Wilhelm
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Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2020, 04:02:59 am »

In spite of the fact that that many people in the United States (of all political sides) have decided that the curfew is over, the virus is not gone and more than ever poses a problem.

Today I got reminded of the complications that heat brings into the equation. As I stand behind a desk in a shop with no artificial climate well into the upper 30s Celsius, and then walk to the bus for 5 minutes and home for up to 30 minutes in 40 Celsius weather, I find myself desperately trying to wipe the sweat off my forehead with a shoulder that is not necessarily clean (on account of backpack straps) and avoiding using my dirty gloves on my face. An exercise in futility. The glasses are in the way and you must take them off first. The mask /respirator works well but inside the mask streams of sweat go straight into my mouth (and when I say into my mouth I mean tasting the sweat with your tongue). Over the mask streams of sweat enter my eyes, stinging my eyes and shutting my eyelids for a few seconds until my eyes get used to the salinity of the sweat. Anything you do will bring the bug into your system. This is probably how I got so sick last year.

The time has come for me to address the climate issue in my respirator designs. It has now become urgent for me to solve this problem and design a helmet with refrigerated and filtered ventilation ASAP. Sometimes the best designs are the ones done under pressure. Let's see.

Because of the difficulty of adapting a peltier device and power source to a face shield, I'll probably have to design two devices. A face shield with a separate power and refrigeration device connected via tube, and the second a motorcycle helmet adapted with the filter and cooling devices.

I'll probably start a separate thread as I gather the materials and information and then report summaries in this thread.
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Hektor Plasm
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All-Round Oddfellow.


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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2020, 02:33:42 pm »

...
The time has come for me to address the climate issue in my respirator designs. It has now become urgent for me to solve this problem and design a helmet with refrigerated and filtered ventilation ASAP. Sometimes the best designs are the ones done under pressure. Let's see.

Because of the difficulty of adapting a peltier device and power source to a face shield, I'll probably have to design two devices. A face shield with a separate power and refrigeration device connected via tube, and the second a motorcycle helmet adapted with the filter and cooling devices.

I'll probably start a separate thread as I gather the materials and information and then report summaries in this thread.


Super Idea! - I'm reminded of this beauty from Herr Doktor for some reason   Smiley:-

http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,7803.0.html

Pictures on Page 58(!)

HP

Ha!

I'm actually considering something like a bicycle helmet fitted with a Lexan /Plexiglas faceshield with soft tubing to seal the faceshield against the face, and positive pressure inside the faceshield with an electric fan.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2020, 12:36:25 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Prof Marvel
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learn from history, or be doomed to repeat it


« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2020, 12:19:35 am »

RE Sweat& etc immediate fixes

thoughts ..
1) absorbant sweatband on the forehead (ie tennis)
2) cooling gel thingies, on forehead, around the neck, and maybe wristbands -
    oh look they are (were ? ) made in San Antonio!
   pricey, but very very good, we use them all the time
       http://pristech.com/comfortcooler.htm
3) can you set up a fan in there pointed at you? preferabley from the front?
    are there any openable windows such as a jalosey over the door?

also... WRT insane and toxic non-customers, may I suggest 2 items on (or under) the counter:
1) a wooden louisville slugger
2) a can of streaming wasp spray.

both are cheap, both incredibly effective.

stay safe and
best regards
prof marvel
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J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
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Immortal
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United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2020, 12:38:48 am »

RE Sweat& etc immediate fixes

thoughts ..
1) absorbant sweatband on the forehead (ie tennis)
2) cooling gel thingies, on forehead, around the neck, and maybe wristbands -
    oh look they are (were ? ) made in San Antonio!
   pricey, but very very good, we use them all the time
       http://pristech.com/comfortcooler.htm
3) can you set up a fan in there pointed at you? preferabley from the front?
    are there any openable windows such as a jalosey over the door?

also... WRT insane and toxic non-customers, may I suggest 2 items on (or under) the counter:
1) a wooden louisville slugger
2) a can of streaming wasp spray.

both are cheap, both incredibly effective.

stay safe and
best regards
prof marvel


All good ideas, legality aside. The transpiring sweatband looks like a great idea. May be  in a gel - non transpiring version also a good way to transfer heat from the forehead in an active cooling setup.
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