Coronavirus Outbreak or Imagination Outbreak?

Covid-19 shield, conceptual design by Sun Dayong

Chinese architect Sun Dayong created a conceptual design that will work against the newsiest, scariest “trend” coronavirus (Covid-19). This shield will work as a protective layer, that a person could wear throughout their “everyday activities” to protect them from the outbreak. (Take that statement with a pinch of salt, unless your everyday activities do not require body movement of arm flexibility then, this suit is perfect for you). It uses UV light, which would work as somewhat of a hand sanitiser for the whole body. which funny has now been swiped from every store shelf. This early-stage design for the ‘Coronavirus Shield’ is named “Be a bat Man”, the name came from the fictional superhero Batman because he pushes the limits of that a ‘normal’ human can achieve… oh and also because the Bat could potentially be the main route of the coronavirus.

Covid-19 shield showing the UV light.

This design is cleaver, it really is; it’s actually quite aesthetically pleasing when you close one eye, tilt your head, and then close the other; its also functionally…but is it really necessary? Designers need to stop using worldwide epidemics as an opportunity to get some air time, we already have a bad name; let's not make it worse. Last time I checked nobody created a “Be a Bat-Man” suit for the flu (influenza) which has caused over 32 million illnesses and 18,000 deaths in the United States alone, compared to the Coronavirus 89,000 illnesses and 3,000 deaths worldwide. Maybe that’s why is only a conceptual design? Now, I’m in no way saying it’s a competition between the two viruses’ but I do think that creating a design physically or conceptual is only going to scare more people into desperation. Before you say it, yes, I know we have flu jabs, I know that we are less likely to catch the flu off others, I know, that we aren’t in isolation from the flu and yes, for the last time, I know that we have no cure for the Covid-19 (yet). But all those arguments you had, that I just answered are even more reasons to NOT create a big, bulky shield for people to use and walk around looking like a zoomed-in bugs-eye. This design makes the whole Covid-19 scarier than it already is, we should be trying to find an anti-virus not feeding into people’s wild imaginations. So, in conclusion, this design should stay as a conceptual design.

Covid-19 suit

Interior and Spatial Design @ Edinburgh Napier // Intern @ BRIC Interiors