Once mocked, personal pods are now taking off thanks to COVID-19

Odd times call for odd solutions.

Protective pods are, well, a little odd. They look awkward by sheer design, unlike face masks that can be made a little fashionable without compromising their effectiveness. It's difficult to imagine anyone, even top tier models, donning a pod and looking chic. But thanks to COVID-19, personal pods are slowly but surely entering the mainstream.

Under The Weather is one of those companies to have seen its product — a pod for one — bought by health care professionals due to the coronavirus outbreak, including workers handling drive-thru testing. Here's what it looks like. No laughing matter.

Under The Weather

From rain to germs — As a company, Under The Weather has a simple task: make pods for personal use most optimal for poor weather. Initially, the company focused on weather-resistant pods, which seemed ideal for soccer matches impacted by rain. Of course, people mocked it. In 2020, however, Under The Weather now has a far more serious job: create personal pods to fight off germs. Its IntubationPod is particularly beneficial for health care workers who are constantly exposed to potentially harmful airborne particles. Think of it as a larger barrier against infection.

As the company notes, "Tested and proprietary weatherproof materials and construction ensure your [health care] employees are shielded, dry, and comfortable so they can focus on getting the job done."

Under The Weather

What about outdoors? — The company's Wearable Pods are designed for on-the-go mobility purposes. So if you're in the mood to step out with your pup or simply go on a solo-stroll, Under The Weather has options for free-standing tent-like wear. It slips over the upper portion of your body and allows the wearer to move freely.

Under The Weather also has a wheelchair-friendly version known as the ChairPod. Each pod comes with zippered panels and elasticized opening for the upper torso.

Under The Weather

Credit where credit is due — As people try to ease back into their day-to-day outdoor activities, a market full of infection-proof wearable items like pods is gradually growing. There is talk about sanitizer pods in gyms, child-sized pods for classrooms, and now these personal pods in the medical testing field and beyond.

It's premature to predict whether these pods will go mainstream but if the design is made more compact and sleek, we might see these contraptions become more commonplace.