C02 monitors are selling like hotcakes, thanks to COVID-19

Apparently the pandemic has created a boom in sales for a C02 monitors — because they're a useful way to figure out, how well ventilated is the space you're in?

One hot model is the Aranet4, a device so highly in demand that its Latvian creators have been frantically scaling up production.

As the Washington Post reports:

The impetus for measuring carbon dioxide is simple: An increasingly powerful body of evidence suggests the coronavirus is airborne, capable of traveling distances well beyond six feet in tiny aerosols released when infected people talk, shout, sing or just breathe. But there's currently no sensor that can monitor, in real time, whether these infectious aerosols are floating around us when we're indoors.

But carbon dioxide can, in some ways, act as a proxy. People exhale it when they breathe, and the gas builds up in indoor spaces that aren't well ventilated, reaching concentrations far above the baseline level of outside air.

"It gives you some insight into ventilation, which is really hard to figure out otherwise," explains Linsey Marr, an aerosol expert at Virginia Tech. "Even building owners and managers often don't know much about the ventilation. The person who knows is the person who installed it, and they are usually long gone."

The folks wielding C02 monitors now include restaurants trying to prove to local authorities that they have adequate ventilation to activists …

 In Australia, a group of "CO2Guerillas" have been documenting measurements in grocery stores, doctor's offices, and businesses, often displaying very high levels of carbon dioxide. In Japan, the use of monitors is also catching on, including on a massive screen recently at a concert venue.

(Photo of the Aranet4 via Aranet's Instagram feed)