NEWS RELEASE                                                                                     April 2020

Social Distancing Alternative with Low Risk and Modest Cost for Coronavirus Mitigation

Social distancing needs to be redefined as staying six feet apart of other individuals or the space they have occupied in the last 60 seconds. This expanded definition creates great barriers to normal life. The safety of social distancing can be alternatively provided with a program which will have comfort and social acceptance along with affordability. This is now possible because of new filtration media, testing, decontamination and other technology innovations.

It starts with  the fact that a washable highly efficient mask can be provided.


There are retail stores in China  which sell nothing but these masks with many fashionable varieties. With the valve they are both comfortable and stylish. They are also washable. These are $30 masks which if worn  60 times would cost $.50 per wearing. There are less expensive designs available as well. Chinese companies are also producing washable N95 masks with and without the valve feature. Over the last few months the production has expanded to several million per day. Since they are washable the cost per wearing is as low as 10 cents.

The valve feature makes the wearer comfortable but since breath is discharged unfiltered it should only be used by people without symptoms.

There have also been improvements in media for air filters which allow high efficiency capture at modest pressure drop and cost. Other innovations involve air flow design in spaces and decontamination/destruction technology.

Here are the sequential protocols which will allow people to resume their normal business and social activities safely




People will not wear an N95 mask with no valve in comfort. But if healthy people wear masks with valves they will be protected. If most people with symptoms wear the N95 masks without the valve they will not contaminate others. 

In fact this approach is orders of magnitude safer than social distancing. A significant percentage of the viruses are emitted as small droplets (less than 5 microns) by breathing.  You can visualize a virus cloud.  If you are walking six feet behind you are walking into the virus cloud created by the person ahead of you. So instead of a guideline which  advises staying six feet apart a revision is needed which says stay six feet apart from any individual or the space he has occupied in the last 60 seconds or the space to which the ambient air may have moved the virus cloud.

HEPA filters have been proven to remove more than 99% of the viruses. Viruses are smaller than the filter openings but collide with larger particles or with the fibers through diffusion. UV light will also destroy viruses.  HVAC systems and room purifiers can be designed to effectively protect individuals in the space  Particulate monitoring comparisons to outside air provide good estimation of quantitative virus removal. Virus destruction with liquid chemicals, vapors, or gases can assure thorough sanitation.

The McIlvaine daily Coronavirus Market Alerts are providing insights on the best approaches to a cost effective distancing alternative. The market forecasts anticipate a future where the protocols are permanent due to benefits not just from the present pandemic but for increased health  generally.

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Bob McIlvaine can answer your questions at 847 226 2391  or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.