Back in school in the United States, one element in particular stood out in the prevention of COVID-19. It is a portable carbon dioxide (CO2) monitor, which makes it possible to check whether the place is well ventilated or not. In practice, the device assesses how much fresh air is circulating throughout the school. Low levels of carbon dioxide indicate that it is well ventilated, which reduces the likelihood of students getting sick.
The pool of parents betting on carbon dioxide monitors to test classroom ventilation as Covid-19 prevention is only on the rise. Essentially, these devices are secretly carried to schools to check that their children’s classrooms are safe, with parents hiding these screens in their children’s backpacks or pockets. Aranet, which makes a screen in this style, has seen double sales since the start of the new school year.
In the face of this, some school systems have included monitors in the official measures to combat the epidemic. New York City, for example, has distributed equipment to all public schools, and the UK government has announced plans to do the same. But in other places, parents are making up their own mind, betting these monitors can cost as little as $100 (more than R$550).
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The devices, which can be set to take readings at intervals of minutes, work best when exposed to the open air, but can generate informational data as long as they are not completely muffled. Some school administrators have rejected these initiatives, but parents argue that the devices provide them with data to protect their children.
It is worth remembering that the coronavirus is spread through airborne droplets known as aerosols. Every time we exhale, we expel not only the aerosol, but also carbon dioxide, so the worse the ventilation, the more carbon dioxide accumulates in the occupied places.
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