#3: How might we learn from COVID-19 to reimagine our future for life, work, learning and play?
The need of isolation and social distancing is a key feature for breaking the transmission chain of COVID-19. This has a major impact in restaurants and food courts, where the likelihood of contamination due to droplets is high. We introduce a simple, effective system to avoid COVID-19 transmission. It is based on a foldable cover (portable or rigid models can be developed as well) attached to the edge of the table, which creates a safe space that avoids the spread of micro-droplets to the people sitting around while eating in a public space.
Criteria #1: Value
This system in highly effective to achieve physical isolation and social distancing to avoid the spread of COVID-19, while allows restaurants and hawker centres to resume their usual activity. In addition, a communication app linked to the system can be developed, using a simple QR Code, which allows the users to improve their experience and be able to maintain social relationship with the other people sharing the same space, with no risk of contagion.
Criteria #2: Inspiration
Inspired by the simplicity of a foldable stroller hood, Food Hood is adapted to be attached to the edge of the table, so a wide space can be created, isolating this way the food and the own respiratory secretions from other subjects around. It is intended to be transparent and light, creating a minimum psychological effect of barrier. It will be washable and sterilizable with usual disinfectants. The communication tool based on cell phones technology will allow to maintain a conversation with other users. Other features, as lighting, can be customized in different versions and models.
Criteria #3: Impact
Other isolation systems in public dinning rooms have been implemented across Asia, as building partitions on the tables. Those systems, although very useful to avoid the spread of the disease, have the disadvantage of precluding any kind of personal interaction, creating a depressive atmosphere. Our idea is to permit communication using affordable current technology, as a safe and personal environment is created, avoiding transmission in public spaces and impacting definitively on the normalization of a new lifestyle in the COVID era .
Criteria #4: Timeliness
First month: design, material choice, development of different models.
Second month: building prototypes, stress test and resolution of technical problems.
Third month: approval and market launch.
Criteria #5: Systems Thinking
This project matches with the concept of social distancing, very effective in virus transmission, and implemented worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. But it is impossible in public dinning spaces or restaurants, which supposes a big problem for the normalization of lifestyle and development of this important sector of the economy. The system we are introducing solves this issue, permitting the take off of this business after the confinement politics. Using washable and resistant material also permits the use of usual disinfectants for cleaning of surfaces, which is other keypoint in the pandemic control.