covid-19 Health Lifestyle personal safety safety wearables Tech

Sick of Quarantine? 8 Simple Steps to Go Out Safely

quarantine safely

Pandemic-related quarantine isn’t just annoying; it’s also a mental health problem. Global studies show that both adults and teens are negatively affected by staying indoors for long periods of time. And that’s not good for individuals, families, or communities.

Sure, you could wait until the emergence of a vaccine to reduce the risk of acquiring Covid-19 before leaving home. However, that could mean more months cooped up. Instead, rely on some technologically sound preventive measures and products to enable you to go out safely. 

Our team tried a few dozen popular ones. Here’s what we recommend:

1. Breathe in sanitized air wherever you go.

Do you worry about the possibility of inhaling contaminated air, especially in highly trafficked places like airports and train stations? A light-based sanitation tool called uvSABA delivers disinfected air right to your nose.

The uvSABA unit uses UVC light, which has been proven to change the genetic properties of viruses similar to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It can also be carried around discreetly and used in conjunction with face masks and shields.

2. Wear jewelry that reminds you to stop touching your face.

One of the fastest ways to transfer pathogens to your nose or mouth is by touching your face. Yet it can be tough to stop the habit. That’s where a piece of unique jewelry could come in handy. 

The water-resistant Slightly Robot bracelet vibrates gently when you engage in unwanted behaviors, thanks to an internal accelerometer. It’s a fashionable, friendly reminder to keep your hands below your chin unless you’re securing a face mask.

3. Avoid hand-to-surface contact in germy places.

You’ve probably wondered whether you should be wearing some kind of protection on your hands. After all, opening doors and grabbing products off shelves can expose you to Covid-19 through surface contact. But walking around with gloves on might be uncomfortable.

One interesting, and potentially fashionable solution — is the ghluv. Like a toeless sock that goes around your wrist, the ghluv makes the world safe to the touch. Anytime you need a barrier between your hand and a surface, pull your ghluv around your fingers. It’s a surprisingly simple solution to carrying extra protective gear. Plus, it’s unlikely to get lost because it sits on your body.

4. Get an antimicrobial keychain tool.

The next time you’re forced to touch a keypad, forget about using your fingers. Instead, pull out an antimicrobial keychain tool. 

Many of these innovations have popped up since the beginning of coronavirus. Some of these key-shaped devices can even help you open certain doors.

Use your keychain not just for storing your house and car keys, but also to protect you from virus exposure. You’ll still want to have hand sanitizer as a backup, of course. But knowing that you’re touching fewer grimy places should give you peace of mind.

5. Cover your torso and head completely. 

Maybe you have a compromised immune system. If so, you may hesitate to go outside at all, even for walks in the park. Instead, consider the BioVYZR.

The BioVYZR forms a seal around your upper body and head. Pressured, filtered air is pushed into the headspace, and the air you exhale is forced out. A built-in, see-through visor gives you clear front and peripheral vision. Though a bit space-age in looks, the BioVYZR could be your ticket out of the house.

6. Download contactless payment apps.

Originally, contactless payment apps were touted as time-savers. Now, they may be literal lifesavers.

If you own a smartphone, you have all the hardware you need to make contactless payments. Still, you may have to open an account with a new financial provider to enjoy this service. 

Alternatively, get a contactless credit card. It’ll give you the same benefit and you won’t have to whip out your phone.

7. Bring bacteria-fighting bags to the store.

Perhaps you already bring your own bags with you when you go shopping. To protect yourself further, consider purchasing a reusable bag treated with proven antibacterial technology.

Be sure to research these bags before you buy them: Depending on the coating used, some are more effective than others.

Want another reason to reach for different bags? Antimicrobial versions can protect you against common problems associated with fabric ones, like salmonella and e-coli development.

8. Practice the six-foot rule.

A final, and decidedly low-tech but highly effective, way to protect yourself when you’re heading out during the pandemic is to practice the six-foot rule. Give anyone in your vicinity at least six feet of space to minimize viral transference. 

Many people don’t realize what six feet looks like. Give yourself an idea by taking a measuring implement — like a measuring tape — measuring it out. 

Already in the parking lot? Use your sedan as a guide. Cars are generally around six to seven feet wide. So make sure you have about a car width between you and non-family members while shopping or dining.

You don’t have to stay home all the time as the world recovers from Covid-19. You don’t even have to limit yourself to solo walks in empty parks. Enjoy life a little and de-stress—just make sure you’re taking your health seriously by practicing prevention.

Image credit: Anna Shvets; Pexels

The post Sick of Quarantine? 8 Simple Steps to Go Out Safely appeared first on ReadWrite.

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How This Personal Safety Startup is Protecting Teams from COVID-19

Humans don’t do well without specifics. A call to “practice social distancing” leaves too much to the imagination, while instructions to stay at least six feet away from strangers provides a more straightforward, more actionable message. Here is how a personal safety startup is protecting teams from COVID-19.

As teams return to work, companies must wrestle with the realities of shared office spaces and the continued threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many employees will continue to feel anxious and unsafe until a trusted vaccine hits the market. Until that time, businesses can either allow employees to work from home or take measures to keep their office environments as safe as possible.

Companies that can facilitate remote work should continue to do so where possible. Others, though, do not have that luxury. Those businesses need a solution to keep their employees safe, and a company called POM just came out with the answer.

How does POM’s pandemic solution work?

POM began as a company on a mission to make it easier for people to get faster access to first responders. After a college student lost his life in a situation where he could not get emergency services, POM’s founders wanted to create a simple product that could save others from similar situations.

The company’s flagship product works as a simple, portable button that connects to a backend security platform. Three taps of the button transfer the user’s location data and profile to a dispatcher who can summon emergency help. One long press can activate a number of custom features, from sending an automated text to initiating a fake phone call to the user’s phone.

How to help a virus? How to help a pandemic?

You can’t call the fire department on a virus, though. As the pandemic grew more serious, POM recognized the opportunity to help in a different way. By leveraging its existing hardware and adding new features, POM found a way to help businesses and other organizations substantially reduce the threat of the virus within their workforces.

The POM Tracer, POM’s newly developed social distancing, and contact tracing technology, uses the foundational components of POM’s primary line of products with a few important additions. The devices, which are about the size of a large coin, clip easily to ID badges or fit into pockets or bags.

POM has modified its product with an IoT angle, allowing devices to recognize when carriers get within six feet of one another and alert users to increase distance for their safety. Even more, the technology is based on proximity so users don’t need to worry about being tracked by a GPS.

What if I test positive?

When a person within a business tests positive, POM Tracers help businesses minimize exposure risk, with contact tracing. The devices can easily track both Level 1 contact, where a person is within six feet of a person who tested positive, and Level 2 contact, the next layer of people who were in close contact with the first group who may have been exposed.

Do I have to have the app on my computer or phone?

These devices do not require users to download apps to function. HR owns the entirety of the system, allowing an organization to collect accurate and informative data without infringing on the privacy and labor rights of users.

As long as the pandemic lasts, POM’s solution will remain an effective and efficient way for people managing in-office teams to maintain the highest possible standards of safety.

Projecting the future of contact tracing and personal safety

Solutions like the POM Tracer, which does not need a companion app to operate, may eventually become standard-issue at all organizations with coworking teams. Apps alone are unreliable, and even when more than 80% of users actually download them (which is rare), many labor laws and unions prevent employers from requiring employees to download software to their personal devices.

What’s the philosophy on data collection?

POM’s device-based philosophy of data collection and analysis is the future. Without the need to rely on smartphones, companies can get the data they need without overstepping their boundaries. When users pass through a gateway, a bluetooth device begins transmitting proximity information.

Going through the gateway protects each of the companies from the consequences of collecting and keeping personal data — a practice that can carry hefty penalties when done poorly. IoT sensors placed in doorways and other common spaces help ensure accuracy.

Where is the data stored?

Keeping this data in house allows businesses to run immediate risk reports to identify and contain threats before they spread.

CDC guidelines quantify “close contact” as being within six feet of a person for more than 15 minutes, but more cautious businesses can customize their parameters to be even safer.

The POM tracer system also ensures confidential and anonymous communication.

Having the POM tracer system at work, the employees never need to know which of their coworkers could have been infected.

HR gathers the appropriate data, traces opportunities for exposure, and privately communicates the next steps to affected parties. No one feels singled out, and the business protects itself from potential liability. Even the other employees and coworkers in your employ don’t ever have any information on each other.

When is the vaccine coming?

Perhaps a vaccine for COVID-19 will arrive ahead of schedule and allow businesses to return to the office quickly — with more confidence. Even if that does happen, however, the distribution of such a vaccine will take months in even the best circumstances.

Organizations continue to face a long and uncertain timeline for social distancing and enhanced cleaning practices. And who knows what the wave of the future will be?

What are the costs?

The POM Tracer provides a simple and cost-effective solution to a highly sensitive and nebulous problem that will not disappear on its own.

Businesses with coworking teams should follow the cautions provided (or insisted upon by local and national governments).

However, it’s essential to business to move forward. We have a better and safer road where organization can implement the POM tracer and begin with smarter tracking. Implementation now will avoid more serious problems in the months to come.

The post How This Personal Safety Startup is Protecting Teams from COVID-19 appeared first on ReadWrite.