Saturday, May 18, 2024

Ozone being used to Combat Covid-19 at Lake Chapala

By Kristina Morgan-Meadows, April 4, 2020

We are all watching as the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths mount in Mexico and throughout the world. Thus far Jalisco has a much lower number than most of Mexico’s states, possibly due to Jalisco Governor Alfaro’s early aggressive steps to quarantine people, limit all but essential services, and restrict airline flights between Jalisco and the US.

These steps are hopefully slowing the spread of Covid-19, but at the same time, they are wreaking havoc at personal and economic levels.  In Mexico, the average worker earns about 15% of the average US wage and frequently has no savings or other source of income. [1] This means they often live week-to-week or day-to-day. Few have the luxury of not going to work or shutting down their businesses. For many it’s simply a question of either risking contraction of coronavirus or watching their children go hungry.

Mexico isn’t alone; most major economies are entering some form of lockdown. Essential services remain open subject to precautionary measures. This includes eating establishments that offer food by takeout and/or delivery only.  Overall these steps are causing significant disruption to the economy and drastically changing the way we will live and work for at least the next few months. To mitigate these effects, any and all helpful measures are appreciated and are being investigated. One of these is Ozone [O3].

Utilizing Ozone for Protection

Ozone is a useful tool being increasingly used to combat the virus in Mexico and beyond.

Ozone therapy has been in use since the 1800s. In 1896, Nikola Tesla patented the first O3 generator in the US. When released into the air or infused into water for disinfecting, the Ozone created by these generators is the strongest disinfectant available to the public. [4}  Proper utilization of ozone enables businesses to more safely welcome customers and keep employees working.

In addition to three public disinfection tunnels recently installed in the state of Nuevo Leon [2], the Mercado de Abastos (Abastos Market) in Guadalajara is the world’s first market to install an Ozone tunnel.  As our region’s primary wholesale food distribution district, around 50,000 people typically pass thru this market daily. [3) Vendors and customers can now enter the market through this tunnel.

The objective of the Ozone tunnel is to kill environmental fungi, viruses and bacteria. According to Martín Ramírez Falcón, director of Ozone Safety, passing through the tunnel disinfects an individual’s clothing, hair and skin, offering protection for 50 minutes of shopping time.  (It is not advisable to inhale the Ozone while passing through.)  Extra precautions include the use of antibacterial gel, and nose/mouth masks. [3]

Ozone at our Local Level   

Vicky, co-owner of Vicky’s bakery, prepares bread using precautionary conditions that include an Ozone generator for sterilization.

Inspired by online research and the measures taken at the Abastos Market, Vicky Espino and David Cordero, owners of Vicky’s Sourdough Bakery (Panaderia) on the Libramiento in Ajijic, appear to be the first to use Ozone in their shop at Lakeside Chapala. After closing for two weeks, they have now installed an ozone generator, and are using it to disinfect ambient air and infuse Ozone into water used in disinfecting surfaces, utensils and produce.

As a further measure, David and Vicky have had a pass-thru window constructed for customers, so no one needs to go inside to pick up or place orders.  A single designated person handles money using a sterile plastic bag and surgical gloves, while another hands out the food. Of course continuously changed masks and gloves are additionally used, and customers are also asked to observe all precautionary protocol.

Altogether, these procedures and measures minimize contact and time, and ensure the safest possible exchange of goods.  A visit by a health department official yesterday resulted in a big thumbs up for Vicky and David.  

“We are all in this together, ” says David. “It appears that taking steps to protect our neighbors and our customers is the best way of protecting ourselves, as well.”

Like David and Vicky, many area businesses and individuals are working hard to observe and institute all possible measures to minimize the impact of Covid-19.  These efforts are vital and greatly appreciated. In this way, experts agree, our community stands its best chance of surviving this crisis both physically and economically.

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Editor’s Note:

Vicky and David’s bakery is located at Libramiento 103-A, across from Centro Laguna. They are accepting pre-orders for bread, English muffins and more at 333-950-1024.



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