Post #810: An air-curtain approach to indoor restaurant safety in the coronavirus pandemic

The CDC has finally started doing some epidemiology that will help ordinary citizens to judge the risks of certain activities.  And the very first thing their research highlighted was the risk from dining in restaurants.  In their small-scale study of a sample of individuals with COVID-like symptoms,  persons who tested positive for COVID-19 were twice as likely to have gone to restaurants in the past two weeks, compared to those who tested negative.

I started to write up my own analysis of this issue of risk.  But I got sidetracked by an email discussion about the coming crisis that restaurants in the Town of Vienna are likely to face, if COVID-19 gets any worse, or if the economy gets any worse.  We don’t need any more analysis.  We need a solution that would plausibly increase the safety of indoor dining.

So, instead of just analyzing the situation, I’m going to offer you my cheap solution for safer indoor dining.  In a nutshell, use ceiling-mounted box fans, with high-end air filters, to bathe each table in its own individual stream or “curtain” of clean air.  And to sweep any virus-laden air down to floor level, for further filtering and recirculation.

Detail follows.

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