How the COVID-19 pandemic has changed people’s views on drones
I know you are probably sick and tired of hearing about Covid-19 and fed up of all the negative news we have had so far this year – when we are only 7 days in. Here at Coptrz we wanted to bring you some good news about Covid-19 (for a pleasant change!), and you already know we love a story that includes using drones for good purposes.
It is hard to remember a time before the pandemic, where we could attend football matches, nip to the cinema for something to do and even go to the pub for a drink with friends. However, I want to cast your minds back to a time where people considered drones as little more than expensive toys. People believed drones were an invasion of privacy, a hazard to aeroplanes and potentially harmful to human beings.
Fast forward to January 2021, drones are now beginning to pave the way in ending this pandemic. Covid-19 has showcased the versatility and necessity of these incredible pieces of kit. Let’s take a look…
Tackling the Pandemic
When you think about what has been effective in helping the world tackle Coronavirus, you most likely think of NHS workers who are on the frontline, scientists who have been working on discovering a vaccine and supermarket workers who have kept shelves stocked.
Let’s be honest, drones don’t come to mind at all when you think of helping against the fight of Covid-19.
What you might not know is that drones have played a crucial role in transporting medicines, PPE, food and water to areas that are off-limits.
We are all very aware that Covid-19 is easily spread between people when they come into contact with one another. Drones have played a crucial role in limiting interaction and therefore stopping the spread of coronavirus.
Case Study: Isle of Mull
Drones are delivering urgently needed medical supplies, including coronavirus test kits and PPE to the Isle of Mull, just off Scotland.
The supplies are about 12 miles over sea and health authorities are hoping that by using drones, tests will be carried our quickly and therefore patients diagnosed faster.
The flights take around 15 minutes. Before the introduction of drone technology, the supplies were being delivered by road and a 45-minute ferry crossing.
You can see the route the drone takes below:
Monitoring the Masses
As well as this, drones have been incredibly important when it comes to monitoring. Drones have been deployed to ensure that gatherings cannot escalate, especially in areas where coronavirus is known to be spreading quickly. From street parties to protests, drones have been able to help police understand where they are needed most.
Governments around the world have been incredibly important when it comes to monitoring large groups of people gathering under lockdown rules.
Police in Surrey used a drone to break up a gathering that didn’t follow social distancing rules in April last year.
Surrey and Sussex Police have been using a drone to monitor gatherings since the first lockdown came into place last March. The drone approaches people who are seen to not be following coronavirus restrictions and then plays them a recorded message.
The message says: “Attention this a Police message. You are gathering in breach of government guidelines to stay at home in response to the coronavirus. You are putting lives at risk.
“Please disperse immediately and return home.”
Drones for Good: Passing on the important message
UAVs have also been used around the world to pass on vital information.
Drones, when fitted with speakers, have been utilised in areas with high levels of COVID-19, meaning that vital instructions and important guidance can be dished out without having to risk the disease spreading.
Similarly, drones are now being modified so that they can spray disinfectant over specific areas. A method which is far superior to human cleaners due to it being so much faster. In China some drones have even been fitted with kit that will allow them to test people’s temperatures, which massively reduced the need for face-to-face consultations and diagnosis.
When the pandemic was at its height, drones were also used to help map out areas where temporary hospitals could be set up if required. They were used to particular effect in Wuhan but were also harnessed in Germany, Italy and France.
Onto the Future…
Although it might feel like it right now, coronavirus won’t be around forever.
There is no denying that drones have played an important role in helping humanity cope with – and hopefully overcome – Covid-19. As more people catch on to the potential that drones have, they will only become more popular within other sectors.
Want to know more about drone technology and what it can do for you? Get in touch today and a member of our team will get you started on your journey.