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"I cannot tell you what the future will bring," said Dr. Matthew J. Aliota, assistant professor of computer science at the University of Virginia, at a recent press conference. "But I can tell you that 3D printing will have a big impact on the future."
Aliota was referring to 3D printers and how they are used in the fight against COVID-19. Dr. Aliota and his colleagues have found a way to 3D print a kind of plastic that can withstand extreme temperatures. This plastic is then used in building fireproof walls to protect against COVID-19.
Scientists around the world declared COVID-19 a global pandemic just one year ago. "It's the fire from hell," as one scientist put it. COVID-19 starts with a fever that progresses rapidly to hallucinations, followed by fantasies of people with the virus, and from there, the fever rushes the body and the mind. It's a dreadful process, but at least now there is a way to protect against it.
COVID-19 first came about when a person who had been studying the Ebola virus in Africa had a fever. Doctors were unable to diagnose the type of virus, but what they had seen was its lethality, and they urgently started working on a vaccine. What they didn't know was that the virus was new and more powerful, and that it would be unstoppable.
3D printing could prove to be a very effective, if not the only, defense against COVID-19. "It's a real lifesaver," says Aliota.