The COVID-19 coronavirus has brought sickness, fear, working from home, frenzied hand-washing and social distancing to a nervous public.
It has also brought us thermometer guns and anti-spitting hats.
Here's a look at some weird products that have appeared during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
If you've tried to get on some international flights — or seen pictures of airport screening or car checkpoint temperature checks — you may have seen people having their temperature taken with a device that looks a bit like some kind of gun.
These aren't actually new products that have cropped up during the pandemic; they've been around. But for many healthy, young adults, they're still relatively unfamiliar. They've actually been used for a couple of decades, having been widely used as far back as the SARS outbreak of 2000. They use infrared sensors and let health care workers check temperatures from a little bit safer distance than traditional thermometers.
Medical experts say, however, that unfortunately the thermometer guns can be less accurate than traditional termometers, particularly when used out in the field.
Need to keep people out of your house but think putting a note on the door won't make the point? How about a sign that makes it clear you might be a hazard and they should stay away? You can order a hazard warning quarantine sign on Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) for about $6.
When you search for coronavirus protective gear, among the items likely to show up are "spit guards." They're really just plastic screens — but put on a nice hat, they can be marketed as a great gift for that at-risk person in your life. An Amazon seller called Gaabb has this "New Toddler Anti-Spitting Protective Hat."
If you have a sticker on the back of your car that has stick figure pictures of your family, but doesn't mention that coronavirus might be on board too, you can take care of that by getting a virus sticker. In this case, the virus has an underbite, which is not actually medically accurate.
You can also get one of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes urinating on the virus if that's your thing. Note: there's no indication whether this would kill the virus.
A Philadelphia-based startup run by Russians unleashed a friendly robot on New York’s Times Square to ask people whether they have certain coronavirus symptoms. As a Reuters story noted, the robot can’t actually detect the virus or diagnose anything. It asks about symptoms and if the person says they don’t have any, it reassures them that they might be OK.
Infrared thermometer photo via Wikimedia.