Products that Came to be From Covid-19

Products that Came to be From Covid-19

Gracie Westphal, Reporter

COVID-19 shook up the world in so many ways- Some that maybe aren’t so bad. At least we get to laugh at the funny stories and think about the ways we made quarantine special. But what most people haven’t thought about are all of the weird things that companies have made to use COVID to their advantage.

 

Who can survive without a fake cat to keep you company? Or a hat that helps you keep your distance? Well, I think it’s safe to say that most people can. But, maybe you’ll think some of these products could be especially useful in times like these. We asked some students to rate some of these COVID products by how useful they think they would be on a scale of one to ten, and whether they would use it or not.

First up is the Nose-Mask. No, it’s not for regular mask use. The Nose-Mask was designed to provide more protection from spreading COVID-19 while you’re eating or drinking, and it looks like a normal paper mask but smaller. Here’s what people said:

  • Interviewee 1: “It doesn’t make any sense” 1/10, would not use.
  • Interviewee 2: “It’s too much to carry around two masks when you can just pull it down quickly and eat” 0/10, would not use.
  • Interviewee 3: “It’s useless” 2/10, would not use.
  • Interviewee 4: “I’m not going to take off my mask to put on another mask” 4/10, would not use.

Personally, I would give this product a 3/10 because it probably wouldn’t make much of a difference anyways, in my opinion. 

Next is the Pool Noodle Fedora. This may have just been a crafty trick to help customers at a German Cafe keep their distance, but maybe it’s a good idea? Basically, it’s a hat with one-and-a-half pool noodles attached to the top (one sticking out from each side except the front) so that you can make sure you’re not getting too close to your neighbors.

  • Interviewee 1: “I would use it as a joke” 3/10.
  • Interviewee 2: “It might help you stay socially distanced but it makes you look like an idiot” 3/10, would not use.
  • Interviewee 3: “I think it’s a good idea but I can’t really see people wearing it in daily life” 4.5/10, might use.
  • Interviewee 4: “If I wanted to look like a DIY project then it’s fine” 1/10, would not use.

I give this product a 2/10 because I think most people are smart enough to keep their distance without a giant purple pool noodle on their head. I think it would have been a funny joke more towards the beginning of the pandemic though.

COVID products vending machines are probably some of the most useful items on this list (in my opinion). Imagine you drive all the way to your favorite restaurant on a Friday night, and you realize that you forgot to bring a mask with you. Well, without this vending machine you would have to go all the way back home. They would also usually hold things like hand sanitizer and even COVID test kits.

  • Interviewee 1: “It’s actually useful” 5/10, would use.
  • Interviewee 2: “It seems like a necessary thing for today’s struggles” 8/10, would use.
  • Interviewee 3: “I think it’s a good idea” 9/10, would use.
  • Interviewee 4: “It’s actually useful” 9/10, would use.

7/10 for this one. I don’t think I would have to use it very often, but in times of need it would be nice to know that there’s a COVID products vending machine close by.

“Face” Masks are next, which are masks with the lower part of your face printed on them. These were originally designed to make it easier for people to unlock their phones using Face ID.

  • Interviewee 1: “It’s stupid” 8.5/10, would not use.
  • Interviewee 2: “They creep me out” 4/10, would not use.
  • Interviewee 3: “I feel like this would be a very useful invention for way more than phones, but on the phone side it’s pretty useless” 3/10, might use.
  • Interviewee 4: “I use a mask to hide my face” 1/10, would not use.

I think this one deserves a 5/10. It’s a good idea, but, for one, my and many other peoples’ phones do not have Face ID. On top of that, I honestly sometimes like the fact that others cannot see my face.

The Bio Button is a sticker that detects possible COVID symptoms by looking at things like heart rate, breathing rate, and body temperature. It can then alert you of these early COVID-19 signs. 

  • Interviewee 1: “I think I can tell when my breathing is bad” 7/10, would not use.
  • Interviewee 2: “It might be helpful for some people, especially for people with other health risks” 7/10, might use.
  • Interviewee 3: “If it’s just a sticker, then I think it’s very useful, especially if it alerts your phone if you have any symptoms” 8/10, would use.
  • Interviewee 4: “It gives me hospital flashbacks” 5/10, would not use.

I give the Bio Button a 4/10 for multiple reasons. I think it could be a good trick for seriously disabled people, especially if they were not able to communicate that they are experiencing symptoms of the virus. However, I get the feeling that this would not be able to differentiate between COVID-19 and other common illnesses. I also think that most people can detect symptoms on their own and don’t need a device to tell them when it’s harder to breathe.

My personal favorite on this list is the Petit Qoobo. It is a “furry” robot that looks like the back half of a cat. It swishes its “tail” from side to side, and its purpose is to reduce anxiety and make people feel less lonely.

  • Interviewee 1: “How lonely could you be to use it” 2/10, would not use.
  • Interviewee 2: “Helpful for others, but I have my own pets” 6/10, would not use.
  • Interviewee 3: “If you’re going to be using that much energy, it should be used for something beneficial” 4/10, would not use.
  • Interviewee 4: “Kitty cat go meow meow” 10/10, would use.

This product gets a 1/10 because this is just sad.

Last, but not least, is the Hygiene Hook. This tool is small enough to fit on your keychain, and helps you to achieve everyday tasks, like opening doors and picking up items, without using your hands directly.

  • Interviewee 1: “Just wash your hands” 2.5/10, would not use.
  • Interviewee 2: “It seems like one more thing to remember to bring with you out of the house, like when you could just wear gloves or something” 4/10, would not use.
  • Interviewee 3: “I like that it’s small and easy to carry around with you” 7.5/10, would use.
  • Interviewee 4: “I forget to put on my mask when I leave the house, so I’m going to forget to use an extra door handle” 5/10, would not use.

I can see many problems with this, including opening doors with circular knobs and picking up things like food or drinks. Plus, I’ve heard that COVID-19 is usually not spread through touch, so I wouldn’t go through that much trouble to avoid touching stuff anyways. For these reasons, I award this product with a good 2/10.

 

Since the trials we’ve been facing due to COVID-19 are starting to fade away, some of these products are not as helpful now as they were during the hard-core-quarantine of 2020. But even though the purpose is slightly less relevant now, we’re still allowed to laugh at and appreciate the weird ways COVID-19 has further shaped our society.

 

Here are links with examples of some of the products if you’re interested:

https://www.kmov.com/news/researchers-make-nose-only-covid-mask/article_73f1189a-8ccd-11eb-b360-331707bef8d9.html

https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/15/europe/german-cafe-noodle-distancing-scli-intl-grm/index.html

https://www.paragon-id.com/en/inspiration/vending-machines-covid-19-protection-products

https://www.amazon.com/Custom-Upload-Photo-Reusable-Filter/dp/B089QQV8K3

https://biointellisense.com/

https://qoobo.info/index-en/

https://www.amazon.com/hygiene-Keychain-Contact-Elevator-%EF%BC%8CContactless/dp/B0893Q1WGJ

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/01/11/ces/