During back to school in the US, one item in particular stood out in preventing covid-19. It is a portable carbon dioxide (CO2) monitor, which makes it possible to check whether a place is well ventilated or not. In practice, the device assesses how much fresh air is circulating around the school. Low levels of carbon dioxide indicate that it is well ventilated, reducing the likelihood that students will contract the disease.
The group of parents who bet on CO2 monitors to test classroom ventilation as prevention of covid is only increasing. Basically, these devices are clandestinely taken to schools to check that their children’s classrooms are safe, with parents hiding these monitors in their children’s backpacks or pockets. Aranet, which makes a monitor of this style, has seen double sales since the start of the new school year.
Faced with this, some school systems included monitors in official measures to combat the pandemic. New York City, for example, has distributed equipment to all public schools, and the UK government has announced plans to do the same. But elsewhere, parents are solving on their own, betting on these monitors that can cost as little as US$100 (more than R$550 reais).
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The devices, which can be set to take readings at intervals of minutes, work best exposed to open air, but can generate informative data as long as they are not completely muffled. Some school principals have disapproved of 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 aerosols but also carbon dioxide, so the worse the ventilation, the more CO2 builds up in an occupied space.
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