A Polish scientist was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2021 for her work on COVID-19.
Tarnow-born Dr. Lidia Morawska was named âinnovatorsâ on Time’s list to ârecognize the importance of aerosol transmission and bring together data that would convince the World Health Organization and other organizations authoritative to do the same â.
The article went on to praise his work in making closed environments such as schools and workplaces safer for people around the world.
Working with the World Health Organization (WHO) as a contributor and advisor to WHO air quality guidelines since 1990 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Morawska, has been tasked with lead a multidisciplinary group of 239 scientists on the importance of airborne transmission of charged particles of SARS-CoV-2 viruses.
The group’s work was published in November last year with recommendations implemented by the WHO and national bodies such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
In his research brief, several key tips, which most of us will now know very well, are presented, such as staying 1 to 2 meters from each other, avoiding overcrowding in confined spaces such as public transport common and recommend the use of germicidal ultraviolet lights.
Morawska concludes in the article that: âThe measures we are proposing offer more advantages than potential disadvantages, even if they can only be partially implemented.
In May of this year, Morawska was again the lead scientist of the team that published its findings on âA Paradigm Shift to Combat Indoor Respiratory Infectionsâ in the prestigious journal âScienceâ.
The article was a call to arms to governments and health organizations around the world, insisting that they treat airborne illnesses, whether COVID or seasonal flu, as seriously as they take it. do for food safety, sanitation or alcohol consumption.
The proposals being that more stringent regulations and standards be introduced regarding âthe design and operation of buildings, regarding the air we breatheâ.
In an interview with the Brisbane Times, Dr Morawska said: âIn the 1800s there was a paradigm shift in thinking about drinking water, countries took steps to ensure safe drinking water and public health accordingly. We should think of clean air the same way we should have virus free air indoors. “
She also highlighted how useful masks are as a last line of defense for workers at high risk against the spread of COVID-19, but questioned the importance of hand sanitizing and cleaning surfaces when the virus is mainly in the air.
Instead, she insisted that fixing the ventilation issues could be the main factor in preventing recurring blockages.
The Morawskas first moved from Poland to Canada to do postdoctoral research at McMaster University in Hamilton in 1987 and later at the University of Toronto.
Credited by nearly 1,000 scientific publications, his work has focused on the impacts of airborne particles on both humans and the environment.
Since 2003, Morawska has worked as a professor at the Queensland University of Technology and last year became Vice-Chancellor of the Global Center for Clean Air Research (GCARE) at the University of Surrey.