Main menu


New York Post: Plastic barriers against the Corona virus do not limit its spread

Scientists have stated that the plastic barriers that are widely used in restaurants and some places to limit the spread of Corona, may not help prevent the spread of the virus, but it gives people a false sense of safety.

According to a New York Post report, "nytimes", clear barriers are widely used in restaurants, nail salons, and school classrooms, but most of the time they do little to stop the spread of the Corona virus.

Corona precautions have turned many parts of our world into a giant salad bar, with plastic barriers separating sales clerks from shoppers, dividing customers in nail salons and protecting students from classmates.

A plastic shield may shield against germs, but scientists who study aerosols, air flow and ventilation say that often barriers don't help and may give people a false sense of security, and sometimes barriers can make things worse.

Research indicates that in some cases, a barrier protecting an employee behind a checkout counter may redirect germs to another worker or customer. Rows of clear plastic guards, such as those you might find in a nail salon or classroom, can obstruct Natural air flow and ventilation.

Under normal conditions in shops, classrooms and offices, the carried exhaled particles disperse by air currents and, depending on the ventilation system, are replaced by fresh air approximately every 15-30 minutes. But the construction of plastic partitions can alter the airflow in the room, disrupt normal ventilation and create "dead zones", where aerosol particles can accumulate and become highly concentrated.

There are some situations in which body shields may be protective, but it depends on a number of variables. Barriers can prevent the large droplets released during coughs and sneezes from spraying onto others, which is why restaurants are often equipped with transparent sneeze guards over food.

But the Corona virus spreads largely through invisible aerosol particles, although there is not much realistic research on the effect of transparent barriers and the risk of disease, scientists in the United States and Britain have begun to study the problem, and the results are not reassuring.

A study looking at schools in Georgia also found that office barriers had little effect on the spread of the coronavirus compared to improvements in ventilation.

Catherine Knox, professor of environmental engineering for buildings at the University of Leeds, said that erecting barriers seems to be a good idea but can have unintended consequences, noting that "the effect is to block larger particles, but smaller air particles move over the barriers and mix in the room air in within about 5 minutes. This means that if people interact for more than a few minutes, they are likely to be exposed to the virus regardless of the presence of the barriers."

The researchers said that plastic or glass barriers are likely to help in very specific situations, for example the bus driver is protected from the rest of the passengers by a barrier that extends from floor to ceiling, in addition to the cashier at the bank who sits behind a wall of glass or a clerk registering patients in an office Doctor, they are partially protected from transmission.