Lifestyle Mar 23, 2020 3:24 PM EST

5 tips from the past that we gave up on too soon

As we look to new methods, medicines, and techniques to contain the pervasive coronavirus pandemic, we should reconsider past practices.

5 tips from the past that we gave up on too soon
Jonathan Bradley Montreal, QC
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As we look to new methods, medicines, and techniques to contain the pervasive coronavirus pandemic, we may also consider past practices to see if there are any ideas we left behind that could help us now.

Astronomer Carl Sagan once said that, “You have to know the past to understand the present.” For him, the past was a determinant of society’s destiny.

While the coronavirus pandemic has changed the lives of people worldwide, disregarding the past could cause people to ignore potential solutions to current problems. The past might show people who are worried about COVID-19 that simple steps can prevent them from catching it.

1. Copper

While the virus lives longer on non-porous surfaces, it has a much shorter lifespan on copper. Copper was first shaped into moulds that would be used for cooking by the Mesopotamians.

Mauviel, a cookware company, has been creating copper cookware since 1830. Mauviel was one of the first companies in Europe to manufacture copper cookware. The copper cookware that Mauviel created was distributed across Europe, and it was soon found in kitchens around the world.

Stainless steel cookware is now preferred because copper is expensive. Copper cookware has to be made by coppersmiths, and it takes time to create.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that COVID-19 remains viable on a copper surface for four hours, and it can be detected up to 72 hours later on stainless steel. Using copper cookware will keep people safer.

2. Paper bags

People should look into shopping with paper bags when they do their grocery shopping. Paper bags were used by people prior to plastic bags being created.

Plastic bags were patented by plastic company Celloplast in 1965. Paper bags were soon replaced by plastic bags across Europe. Plastic bags were introduced in countries outside of Europe around 1979, and they were marketed as superior to paper bags.

However, paper bags are the better choice in the present. The New England Journal of Medicine study said that COVID-19 remains viable on a plastic surface for up to 72 hours. Paper surfaces are clear of COVID-19 after 24 hours.

3. Paper straws

The risk of catching COVID-19 and the amount of plastic people use can continue to be cut down by not drinking from plastic straws. Environmentalists preach that using plastic straws are evil, and now would be a great time for them to stop.

Paper straws were used by people before plastic straws. Marvin Stone, an inventor, patented the design for paper straws in 1888, and his factory, Stone Industrial, started mass producing them in 1890.

Plastic straws started to be created after World War II. When World War II ended, plastic manufacturers realized that they did not have to produce wartime plastic anymore. Plastic manufacturers realized that they could create cheap plastic goods, which included plastic straws.

It would be wise for people to avoid using plastic straws because COVID-19 thrives on plastic surfaces. Plastic straws go in people’s mouths, which could make people more likely to become infected. Using a paper straw or no straw might make people less susceptible to COVID-19.

4. Victory gardens

People could prevent the spread of COVID-19 by planting their own gardens. People started growing home gardens in World War II to increase the acreage of land devoted to food production.

The gardens grown during World War II were called victory gardens. People were encouraged to grow victory gardens to ensure that they would have food to eat during World War II, as the Canadian government wanted them to be prepared if grocery stores ran out.

Victory gardens prevented Canada’s food supply from becoming scarce.

People might have to go to a grocery store less often if they had their own gardens. They would have less contact with people who might infect them. After all, growing a garden would keep people at home.

5. Drive-in Movies

This pandemic could be a great time for drive-in movies to make a comeback, so long as everyone stays in their cars, brings their own snacks, and keeps their windows closed. Instead of chatting at the snack stand, people can wave at each other from their cars.

Looking to the past could enlighten people today, and help contain the contagion.

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