Is germ guarding just an optical illusion?

Lately we have not been seeing people through rose coloured glasses, but through clear perspex barriers.

According to Professor Jason Monty from the University of Melbourne’s Cleaner Air research team, the mass roll-out of plastic screens installed at cafes, shop counters and checkouts across Worldwide in a bid to stem the spread of COVID-19, appear to have done little more than to disrupt airflow and inhibit communication.

“We now know that the primary transmission route is the smaller particles that easily get around those barriers. Get rid of the plastic shields. If everyone is wearing a mask they are a total waste of time.” said Professor Jason Monty (1).

This trend is occurring all over the world, with the UK Government published a paper prepared by the Environmental Modelling Group (EMG) citing that there is ‘very little data on the effectiveness of screens and barriers at reducing infection transmission from epidemiological, modelling or laboratory studies’ (2)

The better protective solution, in the opinion of Infectious diseases physician Michelle Ananda-Rajah (1), lie in the “need to be cleaning the air,” and retailers would be better served installing air purifiers and carbon dioxide monitoring devices to show customers how well ventilated their stores were.

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