June 28, 2021

Musing #3: The AOA Weighs In


Hygiene standards for VR headgear (and previously, 3D glasses) in schools have been top of mind for the doctors and scientists of the American Optometric Association (AOA), long before the current Covid crisis ever erupted. Although there have been no reported instances of problems and no published studies, the American Optometric Association informs us that the eye can be an important route of microbial exposure. Their recommendations, which can be viewed as hygiene standards, are summarized here: 

Teachers and children should be instructed to ask about the cleanliness of headgear; hand washing before use would be helpful; cleaning the VR headgear with cold disinfecting systems between uses or employ existing UV cabinets (found in many science classrooms) will provide additional disinfecting and anti-microbial protection between uses.”

June 21, 2021

Musing #2: AMC Technical Hygiene Standards

  In this post, we continue some blunt musings about Covid-aware hygiene standards, especially national and industry-specific standards. Come along with us for an untamed ride of nuance and perspective through the wilderness of covidian concern.


AMC standards. The most comprehensive set of hygiene standards in the theater industry are those of the AMC theater chain. Here is a list of their official covid-era hygiene steps, which is impressive to say the least:

  • social distancing
  • masks required
  • reduced auditorium capacities
  • cashless transactions
  • hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes
  • simplified menus Refills and condiments by request only
  • daily associate health screenings
  • frequent hand washing encouraged
  • self-check reminders (don’t come if sick)
  • enhanced cleaning procedures, advised by Clorox
  • electrostatic disinfectant sprayers
  • upgraded NMERV 13 Air filters
  • HEPA filter vacuums

Apparently, AMC is serious about getting their customers back. I have been seem numerous movies, in theater, since the pandemic started, and these improvements are clearly visible to the customer.

June 14, 2021

Musing #1: National vs Local

  In the next four posts, we provide some blunt musings about Covid-aware hygiene standards, especially national and industry-specific standards. Come along with us for an untamed ride of nuance and perspective through the wilderness of covidian concern.


Musing #1: Industry-specific versus national standards. An educator in a previous post bemoaned the lack of national standards for cleaning shared equipment in schools. I suspect he felt that local educational practices were either insufficient, thinly followed, or poorly communicated. Thus he pined for more and stricter guidance from on high. 

I wonder if national or even state standards are in fact superior to industry-specific and location-contextualized standards? I am reminded by the complete lockdowns of hair salons in California, while here in Colorado, salons go on about their business in complete safety, following sensible safety standards—with no resultant infections. Can bureaucrats, sitting at a distance, really make the kinds of safety decisions that best fit a local educational community? I think not. 

The CDC recently posted the study results of a potential Covid spread in a Springfield, Missouri hair salon. Two stylists, who subsequently serviced more than 139 patrons, were initially infected. After testing these paying customers, the CDC found “all test results were negative”. Their conclusion? “Adherence to the community’s and company’s face-covering policy likely mitigated spread of SARS-CoV-2”. See the study summary for yourself. The bottom line is that I am suspicious of state or national standards over the local or industry-specific standards.  Looking at the California example, it is all-too-easy it is to overthink the situation and punitively disconnect safety standards from actual science.

June 7, 2021

Systematizing VR Hygiene

 Over the last two posts we spoke about the Hologate standards for cleaning shared VR environments. Yet the Hologate standards also implore us to systematize and be more intentional about our hygiene efforts with VR systems in education. The standards emphasize the need to ensure that “staff understands that constantly cleaning and disinfecting is now one of their top priorities”. 

In reviewing their standards, I strongly support their admonition to “slow down and adjust the throughput expectations for your team and customers to make accommodations for these added cleaning procedures”. 
Turnaround time on educational facilities or shared equipment in K12 or higher ed settings will need to be adjusted upwards. Similarly, their suggestion to “take photos and video of your team in action and post on your social media channels to let everyone know what you are doing” is sound advice. It instills confidence in an environment that has become all-too-scary on its own. Such a smart public-facing posture is vital, since educational environments tend to be more afraid of Covid-19 than commercial environments are.