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Inventor Ken Donnell of Greenville wearing his new eye shield.

Greenville man invents eyeglass veil

By Ken Donnell

Special to Feather Publishing

After recently flying through the Dallas Fort Worth airport, I had to devise Covid-19 travel protection gear from available resources.

The virus is transmitted through droplets by coughing or sneezing by an infected person onto the face of one who is not infected. The virus can also be transmitted when someone touches a surface that is infected, and brings the hand and the virus to their face.

I wore clothes head to toe, put my hair underneath a hat, wore gloves and sunglasses, and an N-95 respirator. Upon arriving at the door of my hotel in Reno, I stripped all of my outer clothes, which were placed in a sealed bag, cleaned all surfaces of my luggage with disinfectant, and immediately took a shower. (If at my home, I would have placed my outer clothes in a 5 gallon bucket of soapy water on my porch.)

The N-95 mask was very uncomfortable. So, when I returned to Greenville, I began to use my experience as an inventor to design comfortable face protection, built with “off the shelf parts” ( I hold four USA patents).

The result is an “eyeglass-veil,” where a veil of cloth and/or plastic is attached to the bottom of a pair of sunglasses or safety glasses. The glasses protect the eyes, while the veil covers the mouth and nostrils. The open bottom of the veil allows fresh air to easily flow in and out without moisture buildup and fogging of the glasses. Especially nice is that one can touch through the outer cloth of the veil to scratch my nose, etc. without actually touching my skin to my face. This eyeglass-veil has proved so comfortable that I sometimes forget I am wearing any protection.

While not suitable for medical applications, I am confident this eyeglass-veil design is very practical for everyday use in low contaminated environments … at work, while out shopping for essentials, etc. If used in combination with an N-95 mask under the veil, the protection level rises significantly.

Some medical authorities have suggested that such a veil, when used as an outer shield for the mask, will permit safer re-use of N-95 masks … an important benefit given the shortage of these masks for medical personnel.

As an inventor, I would normally refine these designs for weeks or months before showing to anyone. But time is now critical, and we need immediate access to practical, and comfortable safety gear.

I am now releasing these designs into the “public domain,” so that any person can work to further develop these designs, plus manufacture and sell such designs or without any obligation to receive my permission or pay royalties.

If we, as individuals, follow shelter in place advisories, and maintain proper social distancing combined with reasonable protective gear, we will simultaneously protect ourselves, and everyone around us.

Those who must work should be extremely careful to not bring COVID-19 into their homes. I sincerely hope my designs and the improvements made by those who follow me, will help to reduce the impact of this pandemic in Plumas County, help us soon return to active work and social activities, and most of all, save lives.

More information can be found at the following locations:

Website: www.MiniFlexMic.Com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miniflexmic


The recommended components

  1. Safety glasses (or sunglasses). The upper pair of safety glasses are as purchased. The lower pair has two strips of 5/16” wide self-adhesive loop material (Velcro) attached to the lower rim.
  2. Cloth veil. Approximately 8 inches wide and 9 inches long. Velcro hook is already sewn onto one edge of this veil. Veil should have two pieces forming an inner and outer layer. Cotton is recommended for the layer resting against the face. This example also has a thin layer of plastic sewn between the two pieces of cloth for extra protection.
  3. Two-part hook and loop fasteners (Velcro) two strips below the safety glasses. Best if loop material, which is attached to the glasses, is self adhesive. Loop material Velcro can be glued directly to the glasses (5-minute epoxy is recommended).




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