Worldwide Response to Coronavirus Pandemic Demonstrates the Need to Comprehensively Reshape Strategies for Combating Germs

In light of the spread of COVID-19, people are looking to understand what options exist to help keep themselves, their loved ones and their communities safe. As a global leader in advanced antimicrobial technology, we believe this is a critical conversation to have amid the current heightened awareness of the dramatic human and economic impact caused by microscopic germs.

While the leading minds in medicine and public health work to contain the spread of COVID-19, this situation reveals an enormous opportunity for all of us to take a more aggressive stance against the threat of germs — viruses and bacteria. COVID-19 reminds us that we are a global community, and as such it’s critical that we create a sustainable, scalable defense system that can preempt dramatic and reactive medical and community interventions. Eliminating — or at least reducing — the threat posed by bacteria and viruses needs to become a global priority to ensure a healthier world for generations to come.

In 2017, well before the current pandemic, the World Health Organization issued for the first time in its history: a very clear warning that the threat of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” was growing. The U.S. CDC added supporting data with its 2019 report on antibiotic resistance stating that 3 million Americans face antibiotic-resistant infections every year, resulting in an estimated 35,000 deaths. This annual statistic, in addition to the current situation, demonstrates the approaches taken to combat illness needs to be greatly strengthened. The foreword of that 2019 CDC report cites the following:

“Stop referring to a coming post-antibiotic era—it’s already here. You and I are living in a time when some miracle drugs no longer perform miracles and families are being ripped apart by a microscopic enemy. The time for action is now and we can be part of the solution.” — Robert R. Redfield, M.D. Director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This war on germs now extends beyond our medical community and into our boardrooms, our public places, our workplaces and our homes. Yes, it starts with critical awareness and informed education about how not to transmit infections between each other. But it also demands a new set of 21st century tools for a multi-layered defense system that exponentially improves upon intermittent cleaning, handwashing and reliance on antibiotics.

Germs are getting stronger and more complicated with the growth of our increasingly global economy and our warming planet. Certain environments where people gather and where there are unacceptably high bioburdens — like the subway, healthcare facilities and public gathering places — now need new approaches to making these places inhospitable to germs and harmful microbes.

Although there is no silver bullet to stop these germs, new innovations are being added to our global arsenal that can help keep us safer and healthier. These pioneers are taking on this new health and wellness responsibility by investing in innovative approaches to bring to their communities and corporations. Vital Vio’s continuous antimicrobial lights are one relatively new approach in this arsenal against complicated germ matters by delivering continual antimicrobial cleaning action that goes beyond traditional, occasional cleaning.

When the light is on, it continually makes exposed areas inhospitable for bacteria and other microbes to grow and become dangerous. Unlike intermittent cleaning using chemicals or even more extensive deep-cleaning approaches, these new (non-UV) antimicrobial lights — which meet international standards for continuous and unrestricted use around people — protect both large, as well as hard-to-reach small spaces continuously. This provides a critical no-labor approach to keeping all of our most important spaces better protected.

For example, by adding continuous cleaning via Vital Vio’s LED light technology in a subway train, into schools and long-term care facilities, on a handrail or inside an elevator button, we have the opportunity to collectively advance how we deliver new, diverse, multi-layered approaches to defending ourselves as our world changes. Vital Vio’s technology is already making a meaningful impact during this battle, with implementations around the world in healthcare facilities, schools, gyms, biotech plants, food processing plants, aircrafts, consumer products and beyond.

There will never be a single solution to the health challenges we all face. But waiting for the next episodic emergency is not and should not be an option. The answer comes from both our own collective awareness from the newest, most poignant reminder, COVID-19, and acting now by embracing new approaches and ideas that are available today.

~ Colleen Costello, CEO & Co-Founder, Vital Vio