News about COVID-19 mostly has turned to distribution of the first vaccines, when they will be administered and priority of who gets them. That certainly is bringing hope for an end to the global pandemic. However, distribution to the general population is a few months away, with caution and concern being important at least until then. Most folks have made masks, hand washing and general sanitation second nature. However, new methods for that are being tried.
Chemicals and ultraviolet light are used in some places when available and practical. That is not always the case, however, even in commercial applications. Enter University of Arizona researchers working with aircraft manufacturer Boeing, who are applying heat to kill the coronavirus.
They have found that three hours at 120 degrees Fahrenheit will kill 99.9% of the virus. And they also found that 104 degrees works as well. Boeing says that is useful in its cockpits, which can withstand the heat but could suffer damage from chemicals.
Such heat is not available for use everywhere, but it is readily available in Arizona during much of the year, especially in vehicles parked outside. They would have been pretty safe places during much of the pandemic.
COVID-19 shocked the world and has caused vast damage economically, not to mention the deaths. Universities constantly do research, and whatever they can do to counteract the coronavirus is beneficial work. Of course, the scientists developing vaccines with the help of government money have surprised many observers with the speed and apparent effectiveness that has resulted.
2021 looks by most accounts to be a much better year, even though it will start out under the scourge of COVID-19. Scientists certainly are doing their part. Many also no doubt are considering potential future pandemics. If they are able to prevent some before they start, that would be very nice.