Surprisingly this new nemesis devastated faraway western countries in the early phase of its showmanship. Recently it gained its foothold in this densely populated country, spreading initially in a slum in Mumbai, country’s financial hub, now fanning out fast and furious throughout the rest of the country. Following the WHO’s guidelines, citizens had been advised to wear masks, maintain a minimum “social distance” while venturing outdoor, and wash their hands frequently with soap detergents.
Unfortunately, currently available masks were not preventing new infections, allowing aerosolized virus to penetrate, infecting the victims. In addition, no novel medicine for an effective treatment appeared anywhere in the world. Thus the henchmen of the current nationalistic leader began to peddle unproven and unsafe “miracle” treatments of all kinds, deliberately citing holy religious epics inaccurately. Dr. Verma couldn’t believe the development. A member of the so-called “Nuclear Power” club, the nation recently came close to landing an unmanned space station on lunar surface. But now his country was going backwards during a pandemic.
A few weeks ago, Dr. Verma was thinking about the principle behind the “hand washing” protocol. His own background in both biology and chemistry reminded him that the “quat” class of molecules in a detergent does severe structural damages to the outer membrane of a virus particle, thus hastening its disintegration. Indeed, this fact was the basis for the health authority’s advice of repeated hand-washing after spending reasonable amount of time outdoor and touching infected items. And a light-bulb suddenly turned on inside his brain.
Dr. Verma contacted one of his childhood friends, an industrialist in fabrics industry. At his request, his friend was able to supply him with a reservoir of finely porous fabric pouches. Each one was now getting filled with a layer of similar quat molecules followed by sealing and then attaching as an outer layer to a regular mask. The idea was to trap the aerosolized virus particles by chemicals, thus disrupting their journey into a human body.
This morning, he received national health authority’s permission to start a human trial with this unique contraption. Now he wanted to thank all those young scientists for bringing back science to the forefront to fight a pandemic.