Pandemics- the uncomfortable home truths

In one of our last posts, we posed the following question: Could COVID-19 be a catalyst for a more sustainable future? Are we locked down or opened to a new way of doing things? This post will expand on the previous and will address pressing concerns.

From November of 2020, the world started to be updated on the success of human vaccine trials which were reported as giving extremely high prevention rates against developing COVID-19.

Such great news was a cause for celebration and a monumental achievement which resulted in huge media coverage. Global stock markets rebounded and societies across the world breathed a sigh of relief as there was finally, at last, the long-awaited glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

One month later in December, the world was hit with the terrible news that a mutant strain of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 was detected in the South East of England. Experts advised that this was largely responsible for the huge surge in infections in the South of England due to a specific mutation of the virus which makes it significantly more transmissible than the original virus first detected in China. Other mutations of the virus have also been detected, but none to date which gives the virus such an advantage in the COVID-19 war. The scientific response will see the world embark on the largest global vaccination program in history, but as ever, the virus will mutate as it too tries to survive and win the war.

Eventually, when this pandemic is over, which will be the case one way or another, questions will be asked, and lessons must be learnt. Questions such as: how did we get in this situation and why do pandemics happen? Ironically, these questions rarely get a mention within the mainstream medial which ‘most’ people tend to digest.

In a rapid workshop report released on the 29/10/2020, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report that “pandemics will emerge more often, spread more rapidly, do more damage to the world economy and kill more people than Covid-19 unless there is a transformative change in the global approach to dealing with infectious diseases”.

Pandemics demystified

In an extremely sobering statement by Dr. Peter Daszak, President of EcoHealth Alliance and Chair of the IPBES workshop. “There is no great mystery about the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic – or of any modern pandemic. The same human activities that drive climate change and biodiversity loss also drive pandemic risk through their impacts on our environment. Changes in the way we use land; the expansion and intensification of agriculture; and unsustainable trade, production and consumption disrupt nature and increase contact between wildlife, livestock, pathogens and people. This is the path to pandemics.”

What can businesses do about this?

Businesses can make decisions that minimise environmental impact and have the option to choose sustainability over profit. Sustainability and decarbonisation can be designed into business practices. This is the idea behind the “Circular Economy” to which we will expand on in future blogs.

How can Axon Systems help?

Along with following concepts behind the “Circular Economy”, Axon Systems are uniquely placed to be able to assist with a COVID-19 response.

Drawing upon The Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations (REHVA), The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the World Health Organisation (WHO); we will be adapting our existing technology, which was originally designed to reduce energy consumption, to be modified and resigned to mitigate the risk of bio effluents (stale air) and the associated transmission routes of SARS-CoV-2. This is achieved through our new air quality devices and Gateway which are soon to be released.

Our adapted technology and air quality products are designed to mitigate against COVID-19 risks in multi-occupancy buildings such as offices and public buildings. Our solutions are based on peer-reviewed and evidence-based research conducted with regards to how mechanical ventilation systems can be modified or redesigned to reduce the spreading of viruses within buildings.

What more is that our COVID-19 solution variants are wireless and self-powering! So, no batteries or cables needed! 

We argue that COVID-19 should serve as a catalyst to increase energy performance within a building, and that all products designed around this response remain useful in future years. Therefore, our solutions are designed to be multipurpose and embedded with extra technology in addition to what is needed as a response to COVID-19.  This can include extra functionality such as temperature, humidity, movement, lighting levels to name but a few. All of which can be exposed as data, which can then be used to drive improved analytical insight and increased energy performance of the building.

We will be releasing more information soon. Please get in contact if you wish to discuss being one of the first to get your hands on our technology. Together we will lead the way to safe buildings and sustainability through self-powering technology. 

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