'Plexiglass Theater' to Fight COVID Is Being Given the Hook

(Image credit: Yvette Cuthbert via Wikimedia Commons)

After 18 months of divided restaurant tables, hand signals to waiters, nail techs who look more gowned up than the Wuhan lab workers, and treating grandma like a prisoner, it’s time to tell the truth about plexiglass theater: It never stopped COVID and still doesn’t.


The most efficacious use of plexiglass may be as a backboard for second-grade beer pong.

And now that the pandemic is winding down for the year, we’re just learning that the COVID plexiglass theater we’ve been subjected to perhaps is doing the opposite of what was intended.

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Bloomberg reports that sales of plexiglass tripled to $750 million over the past year, but there’s “not a single study” to show plexiglass does anything to “control” the virus.

“We spent a lot of time and money focused on hygiene theater,” said [Joseph Allen of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.], an indoor-air researcher. “The danger is that we didn’t deploy the resources to address the real threat, which was airborne transmission — both real dollars, but also time and attention.”

“The tide has turned,” he said. “The problem is, it took a year.”

For the first months of Covid-19, top health authorities pointed to larger droplets as the key transmission culprits, despite a chorus of protests from researchers like Allen. Tinier floating droplets can also spread the virus, they warned, meaning plastic shields can’t stop them. Not until last month did the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fully affirm airborne transmission.

“Especially when we use it in offices or in schools specifically, plexiglass does not help,” Zaatari said. “If you have plexiglass, you’re still breathing the same shared air of another person.”


There go those “good intentions” again!

Plexiglass efficacy can be put over there – where media fake news about the impossibility of a lab leak goes to die. Where business and church-killing six-foot social-distancing tomfoolery was hatched. Where media and “experts” swore there was no efficacy of hydroxychloroquine and zinc. The place where governors in New York, Oregon, Washington, California, and no doubt others, put sick grandmas into nursing homes. And where we find the ubiquity of Leftist governors misusing their emergency powers to keep Americans locked down.


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Wait, it gets worse.

Bloomberg reports that a study of a Boston school discovered that air doesn’t move much within plexiglass barriers, so the risk of contracting COVID from an infected person actually increases.


An April study published by the journal Science suggested that desk shields might even slightly raise the risk of Covid-like symptoms. And a prepublication paper from Japan late last month linked plastic shielding with infections in a poorly ventilated office.

Such studies raise the ironic possibility that when venues install too much plastic and impede ventilation, they could be raising the very risk they’re trying to reduce.

The investigation concluded that among other factors, the plexiglass side panels around desks seemed to increase the risk of virus transmission by blocking air flow. The side panels were removed, even though “I wouldn’t want anyone to believe plexiglass doesn’t help, because we still use plexiglass,” Lussier said. “As a barrier it can be, and is, helpful.”

Researchers believe that there are conditions when plexiglass could improve things, such as a clerk who sells lottery tickets at the quickie mart. You know, that sort of onslaught of humanity.

But before America begins another spate of expensive, useless, feel-good diktats to mitigate the virus, how about opening a window? Gee, where have you heard that before?

[The Harvard air researcher] maintain[s] that for schools and offices, money has been best spent on improved ventilation and air filtration, along with masks.

Improvements to air also carry benefits beyond Covid, Allen said: “They’re good for seasonal influenza. They’re good for productivity. They’re good for mental health.”


Vegas, where casinos have the best ventilation systems in the world, sounds like the place go, plexiglass or not.

Bloomberg reports that the good news from the plexiglass experiment is that the stuff is recyclable.


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