Here is the idea, its potential benefits, and who to thank (hint: it's you).

The idea[edit | edit source]

To promote making, giving away, using, and talking about "braces": elastic bands outside "not good enough but widely available surgical masks" (or FFP2/N95 respirators with a poor fit), in order to improve their fit.

Ribbons laced around the rubber bands would have the colours of our football team etc, to show our identity and to signal to our peers: "you can talk to me".

Maybe it would start in places where there's already a critical mass, say a school that has built Corsi-Rosenthal boxes. We can imagine many youngsters using these improved masks in shopping centres etc, extending the visibility and the conversations.

If it works we would see[edit | edit source]

  1. Protection: people from all sorts of income will be able to better protect themselves easily.
  2. Visibility: people will see the colourful braces and wonder what's going on. The media and local experts will have something to talk about. "Influencers" of all kinds might join in.
  3. Education: brace wearers will have conversation with their peers, about 2 or maybe 3 subjects:
    1. The pandemic is not over, and covid is still a problem. (Brace wearers would add extra information about longcovid etc, as they see fit.)
    2. Transmission is through aerosols, and there are things we can do in practice.
    3. I do what I can, and so can you. And of course it would be better if we improve air quality in shared spaces but I'm not waiting.
  4. Importantly, there would be a little more pressure on policy makers, as this would have the effect of the permanent demonstration of interest.
  5. Finally, we would learn if it works or not, and mutate our strategies accordingly.

This idea owes a lot to[edit | edit source]

  1. The work done by so many in aerosol science, consensus, and networked activism. You know who you are. Thank you.
  2. The work on "how we crowds change our minds", not by confrontation but by interesting conversations and small actions.
  3. Lateral thinking as the glue to turn it into something small that might help.

Thank you.

Discussion[View | Edit]

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