The COVID-19 pandemic presents huge challenges. A newly emerged virus to which the world’s population has no immunity, coupled with the speedy movement of people across the globe, has set the stage for an outbreak of proportions not seen within the final century.
For an infection with this virus to occur, it should come into contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth. This happens when droplets produced by an infected person (via talking, coughing or sneezing), land on the face of one other person. These infectious droplets can travel as much as 6 feet, which is the reason to promote social distancing. Touching a surface that’s contaminated with infectious droplets after which touching one’s own eyes, nostril or mouth, is another way for an infection to occur. Due to this fact, the key to avoiding infection is to have these areas of the face covered.
In hospitals, face masks and goggles are typically used to stop publicity to infectious droplets. Nonetheless, face masks shortages are occurring because of interruptions within the provide chain, which is deeply rooted in China and disrupted by the pandemic. Some health care workers have been pressured to resort to scarves and bandannas in a last-ditch try and protect themselves while providing care. Even when plentiful, face masks usually are not without problems. As soon as they turn into wet from the humidity in exhaled air, they lose effectiveness. In addition, some individuals contact their face more often to adjust the mask, which increases the risk of infection if the hands are contaminated.
Material masks, though higher than nothing, have been shown to be less protective than medical-grade face masks.
We believe that face shields provide a greater solution. There are many types, however all use clear plastic materials attached to a headpiece to cover the eyes, nostril and mouth, thereby stopping infectious droplets from contacting these areas where the virus can enter the body. They cover more of the face than masks and forestall the wearer from touching their face. Importantly, face shields are durable, could be cleaned after use, reused repeatedly, and for many people are more comfortable than face masks. Because these shields are reusable and are diversified across the supply chains of multiple industries, the present provide is less limited than for face masks. They can even be made at dwelling with objects from office supply and craft stores.
Every health care worker wants a face shield for protection at work. While face masks are nonetheless needed in some situations, implementation of face shields will significantly reduce the need for face masks and prolong the restricted national supply of masks. Engineers have produced designs for face shields that are in the public domain, and fabrication at scale is relatively simple. To ensure that each health care worker has a face shield, production will need to ramp as much as meet the demand by means of present manufacturers and recruitment of additional factories. Because the design is easy, massive fast production wouldn’t be difficult.
Once the health care workpower is equipped, distribution to the general public should begin, with a goal to provide a face shield to every individual within the country. It must be worn anytime a person leaves their residence, while in any public place, and even at work. Though shelter-at-dwelling approaches are wanted to «bend the curve» of this pandemic, the ensuing societal disruption limits the time that political leaders are keen to sustain such measures. Once each particular person is shielded, nevertheless, reducing restrictions on movement would carry less risk. Universal shielding could reduce reliance on social distancing since infectious droplets cannot attain the face of vulnerable individuals. Handwashing, nevertheless, would stay essential to keep folks from infecting themselves with virus discovered on the arms after touching contaminated surfaces.