Air hygiene: how re-thinking air quality will help protect us from this and the next pandemic
23 February 2022
Dr Ian Longley
Our complacency about indoor air contributed to our vulnerability to COVID-19, and we’ll continue to be vulnerable to COVID and other emerging threats until we re-think how we share our air.
Humans are social; we need to be with each other. That’s what made us vulnerable. Our first defences against COVID-19 were social distancing and lockdowns – highly effective against the spread of the virus, but damaging to our economies and punishing for our mental health, social support networks, family relationships and child development.
Now that Omicron is spreading and lockdowns are likely over, can we preserve the in-person experience without the risk? Science warns more variants and pathogens are surely coming, including those we have no vaccine for. Are masks enough? Can we do things better next time?
Can you recall those early, fearful days of the pandemic, not knowing when a vaccine would come, if ever? But all along there was a simple public health measure available for everyone: fresh air.