Got the Rona

Two years in and it finally got me–watch out for kids’ birthday parties. Anyway, with COVID on the brain, and probably also the lung, I realized that everything that was filed in 2020 has been published. So let’s look at some early-pandemic approaches to solving the COVID Problem.

Here is the “Personal protective equipment system for safe air, train or bus travel protecting against infectious agents including novel coronavirus – covid-19“:

Line drawing of a hairless human head, wearing a mask that covers the person's nose and leaves their mouth exposed.
USPP 2022/0008756, FIG. 17
Giving me “hot Squidward” vibes

This patent imagines a world where every public conveyance, from planes to buses, has a vent output that you can plug your face mask into. The vehicle may do the filtering, or your mask may have filters in it. Basically it would look like people using those emergency face masks on planes, except forever:

A line drawing of people seated on an airplane. Hoses extend from ports at the top of the cabin, leading to masks that each of the people is wearing.
USPP 2022/0008756, FIG. 1
Very relaxing

That seems uncomfortable, but not an innately bad idea. For terrible ideas in face masks, let’s look to the “Respiratory therapeutic electric heat source face mask“:

A cross-sectional view of a mask that fits to a person's face and delivers heated air directly to their mouth.
USP 11,234,861, FIG. 11

The idea here is that you heat up the air, hot enough to kill pathogens. How hot is that? Well, “Applicant has administered 180° F.-200° F. hot air through the improved face mask to himself numerous times, at times up to one hour.” USP 11,234,861, col. 26, lns 31-33. However, “The problem is that with that elevated heat level of 175 to 180° F., the heat emanating through the CPAP mask of FIGS. 1, 1A, 4 and 7 is too hot for the face of the wearer to tolerate, and the face and eyes can become uncomfortable, damaged, parched, or even scorched.” Id. at col. 26, lns 42-46 (emphasis added).

The inventor spends a lot of time talking about how to protect the person’s face and eyes from this hot air, but doesn’t seem to think about the damage it might cause to the throat and lungs. Imagine huffing deeply on a hair dryer. It even looks like one:

A drawing of a person holding a mask in one hand. The mask connects by a hose to a device at the person's waist. He looks proud.
USP 11,234,861, FIG. 7
Calm down guy…

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