Martin Smith column: Formula One-inspired breathing device could be game-changer in current crisis

Snowflake generation? Maybe not.

Monday, 30th March 2020, 4:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st March 2020, 2:00 pm
Lewis Hamilton drives for Mercedes during a practice session. Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Perhaps this gender-tolerant, game-streaming, Greta-loving demographic has a bit more substance to it than some might have us believe.

I’ve never been one for dismissing the worth of millions of kids because they didn’t fight in a war, hammer lumps of metal for a living or know how a mis-timed slide-tackle felt when it hit you.

Far from it.

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Some of our kids wish they had been able to experience some of those things, others, quite wisely, are grateful they didn’t.

Including presumably those working alongside University College London engineers and Mercedes whose Formula 1 team have come up with an improvement to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure devices which can deliver oxygen to the lungs without patients needing a ventilator.

They may be a game-changer in the fight against Covid 19.

Around 1,000 of the CPAP machines can be produced each day by Mercedes-AMG-HPP from next week and they could cut the numbers needing intensive care by half.

The younger generation are living in a world we gave to them and, for the most part, making the best of it.

Now they will have their own tales to tell and they’ll be one-upping their parents’ stories of miners’ strikes, 20 per cent interest rates and loon pants.

Even two world wars didn’t close the shops, cinemas and pubs.

They’ll be able to tell their offspring they lived through one of the gravest times in our history, though of course, tragically some of them won’t.

Our young people are well represented among the 400,000 who volunteered to help the NHS cope with the coronavirus ‘peak’ in the coming weeks.

And we’ll need them all.

*You’re 24 years old, approaching your peak as a footballer, Europe’s top clubs are stacking up the cash to make your life-changing move a reality.

You’re a role model, a hero for your hometown club, you’re on the verge of the England team and you’ve advised your 290,000 Twitter followers to stay home, save lives and help beat the virus.

What should you do tonight?

Party till dawn, break the social distancing advice you publicly supported, crash your car into three others on your way out at 8am in who knows what state and ruin your reputation OR go to bed and dream of your golden future?

Mmm, let’s think….