Column - Commentary
You too can be a Covidpreneur!By DAVE KIFFER
April 27, 2020
For example, people learned to eat a lot of new things during the Great Depression. And we fervently hope that the predicted "Covidian Depression" does not lead to new flavors of Naugahyde - or Spam - or Pilot Bread - to consume.
I have been thinking lately about innovation regarding new products that will soon become "must haves."
You know, the type of things you see on "Shark Tank" which my wife and son watch religiously.
No, I am serious, they watch it more often than most people go to church. They can quote chapter and verse from the 1st and 2nd Books of Cuban and The Psalms of Mr. Wonderful.
But I digress.
Anyway, here are some products that I'm sure will be showing up on the "Tank" very shortly.
As if listening to someone on a cell phone call isn't bad enough, now you have to listen to them muffled through a cotton mask. The solution? Blue tooth corona virus masks. Why has no one thought of this? They probably have but we can't understand them because of the danged masks.
Inflatable masks. Okay, I know this sounds silly, but when I was a young adult, they had a basketball shoe you could fit "customize" by pumping a little button and inflating the shoe and making it fit better. One of the biggest problems with these anti-corona masks (besides the fact that they really don't keep out most of the droplets) is that they don't fit very well. Either they are so tight that an entire generation of people is going to suffer from chronic elastic headburn, or they pooch up and slide off, leaving you at the mercy of OTHER PEOPLES' DROPLETS. It's like having to choose between Speedos and Granny Underwear. Not optimal. So imagine if you could don the mask and then push a button to customize the fit to your face. No matter how asymmetrical it is. Bingo.
Here's another challenge in our currently "masked" world. Maybe it's just me, but when I breath into the mask, the hot air (yeah, yeah) goes up past my nose and immediately fogs either my reading glasses or my sun glasses. This means that I have to remove the glasses and defog them which means that the little virus droplets that - according to the CDC have an atomic half life of 2,300,683, 872 light years - have better access to my mucus membranes and will kill me within nano-seconds. Especially since the first thing I always do after I remove any eye covering is - wait for it - rub my eyes. I have been trying for weeks to train my hands to social distance themselves from my eyes. Not much luck on that. Anyway, we need a One Way Valve Covid Mask like you use for CPR, something to allow the air our without allowing the contagion in.
Speaking of which, are all membranes "mucus?" I don't think I have heard anyone use the word "membrane" without adding "mucus" in weeks. But if there a ARE non-mucus membranes out there we need to rethink some things. Why undergo all this effort to protect our mucus membranes? Maybe it would just be easier to replace them with something less mucus. Like, I don't know, Kevlar maybe? According to the Wikipedia Oxford English Dictionary (WOED is me!) mucus is a "slippery aqueous secretion." You don't really want a slippery aqueous secretion on your face anyway, do you? Unless it is hand sanitizer, of course.
But I digress, again.
Here are some other ideas who time has clearly come.
Drone shopping carts. Seriously, imagine what a great thing this would be. You just type in your order and the drone takes off from your home, flies to the store, shops and returns home with your stuff. You could even program it specifically to take out other drones and steal their toilet paper, hand sanitzer and peanut butter. Best of all it doesn't need a frigging mask (see above). Imagine dozens of drones buzzing in the frozen food section or circling the yogurt aisle as the Grandmas (no drones for them until you get large-print ones) still ponder which yogurt to buy. Definitely an opportunity to add to your comedy internet GIFs if you buy the Deluxe Model Shopping Drone with the Go Pro Camera.
Shopping cart avoidance system. Just about every new car these days has a bunch of sensors that warn if (1) you are approaching another car, (2) you are approaching the edge of your lane or (3) you are approaching middle age (get out of the danged car you old fogey!!!). Since we are supposed to stay six feet apart, how hard could be to install these on shopping carts. Heckfire, some carts already automatically lock wheels if you try to drive them off the supermarket property. It can't be impossible to install repels the carts away from each other as you approach in the aisles. You know, like magnets do when you try to stick the wrong ends together.
Self-regenerating toilet paper. No this is not recycled toilet paper. If we tried that we would learn there are worse things than Covid-19. Things like Cholera, Dysentary, and Talk Radio. All of these are caused by an overabundance of "feces." We do not want to recycle toilet paper. But could we figure out a way, say, to grown our own TP? Toilet paper comes from trees and hemp (no, don't even go there). Is there someway to take those paper roll centers and create more TP? Could you stick them in the ground and wait till they sprout? What type of fertilizer....no, don't go there either.
See? While some people moan about how dramatically life has been bollixed up by Covid-19, others will undoubtedly see "opportunity."
It's your chance to be one of them.
As always "think big or don't think at all."
And wash your hands.
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Contact Dave at email@example.com
Dave Kiffer is a freelance
writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.