The coronavirus is now a worldwide crisis.
Like many across Asia and Europe, Americans are finally witnessing the drastic effects COVID-19 puts across our personal, professional, and social lives. From panic-buying toilet paper to panic-selling stocks, the virus has changed American life for the foreseeable future.
As of today, there are over 80,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in America, and public officials are moving quickly to try and “flatten the curve” with government issued quarantines, and non-essential business shutdowns. While some Americans remained skeptical of the potential harm this virus could cause, the markets, experts, and governments have spoken.
It’s easy to get caught-up in the doom and gloom of pandemic concerns, but it’s important to keep our eyes on the prize and focus on what drones are doing to actively combat the coronavirus in order to pluck us out of this mess and back into the world as we knew it.
Now is the time to act, so here’s a breakdown on how communities and businesses are using drones to combat and contain the spread of the coronavirus.
One of the most unique and useful applications of drone technology during this crisis is in the sanitization of contaminated surfaces without putting humans in harm’s way.
This is accomplished by outfitting enterprise-level (or, “heavy duty”) drones with precision spray capabilities. Drones in this category are built for industrial-scale services, and that includes drones meant to spray fertilizers and herbicides on crops.
As a certified enterprise DJI drone dealer, we know a thing or two about outfitting drones with different payloads, and with quality UAVs already on the market built with precision-based spraying in mind, all that’s left is for cities and states to act quickly to mitigate their infection rates.
China’s drone sanitization practices are virtually eliminating all risk to cleaning personnel in hospitals, public places, and transportation hubs, and experts expect the newly automated practice will save thousands of lives over the course of the pandemic.
In this new era of “social distancing,” emergency personnel like EMS teams, police, and firefighters are on the frontlines once the health of an individual or group turns sour. But in a pandemic, can we lower the risk to their safety while maintaining their services?
The answer is “yes,” and that’s why the public sector is turning to drones to help keep distances and monitor crowds that gather despite CDC warnings.
In California, the Chula Vista Police Department is readying their drone fleet with thermal imaging and loudspeakers to keep police out of infectious scenarios while maintaining peace.
Drones like the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual (available through our DJI Enterprise Dealership) are ideal for this scenario, as they’ve already demonstrated their ability to carry both optical and IR cameras, as well as the capability to carry either a spotlight, a loudspeaker, or flashing beacon.
Spanish police forces are currently using drones with loudspeakers to enforce city-wide lockdowns, and American emergency personnel now have the opportunity to use similar aerial effects in order to maximize safety while minimizing exposure risk.
Medtech companies are using drones to telecommunicate medical testing, delivery supplies, and hold appointments with patients exposed to the coronavirus. The idea is to keep hospitals from reaching capacity while still providing frontline care to those at high risk of contamination.
In this way, drones are being used to ensure doctors can communicate with patients directly while delivering critical tools such as thermometers, masks, and gloves to families exposed to the virus.
But that’s only the beginning. Drones are also being used to deliver food and necessary medical supplies to quarantine patients across Asia. While some may view the practice as overboard, it’s important to note that while the virus originated in China, they are the only country using drones to widely combat its effects. And it’s working.
Drone delivery is still in its infancy in America, but companies are moving quickly to adopt aerial delivery processes to both combat the current threat and plan for a smarter, safer, and more efficient future.
A Smarter, Safer COVID-19 Response
During this infectious crisis, drones are providing the innovative solutions needed to combat the spread of coronavirus and get us back to business as usual. But after seeing how effective drones have been in combating the pandemic, maybe businesses will remain changed after all — this time for the better.