Our team had been working all day.
We were designing and producing the items required to keep our office and our warehouse locations safe as our home state of Kentucky launched the Healthy at Work initiative: signs on entrances, physical distancing way-finding and navigation, temperature and hand sanitizer checkpoints, and shields. I was waiting to pick up the family dinner, and while I was in line, my new internal imaginary air traffic controller was deftly reviewing safe distances. “7 feet from you, check… at least 8 feet from you, check… uh… wait, I’m not ready that.” I had noticed that I was standing in front of a contraption of clear acrylic, glue, and good intentions which was looming over me from on top of the glass display case counter. Picture a large plexiglass panel with two random sized feet, both splayed at odd angles. I promise you that I could see it slowly leaning to the left like a September freshman at a keg party. This was the restaurant’s answer to the nationwide calls to set up sneeze guards at customer-facing junctures of stores in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus. To their credit, I doubt that any airborne germs passed between the customers that day. I also realized that they were much better at dinner, than temporary structures, which is what my team excels at. The next morning, I asked our team how they would build such a shield if they didn’t have access to the materials and tools we have. They came up with two great plans, that are both functional, use as few tools as we could imagine, and designed to be kept clean and safe: they are listed below: