Face shields are an achievable way to provide protections that COVID-19 demands
The COVID-19 pandemic presents monumental challenges. A newly emerged virus to which the world’s population has no immunity, coupled with the speedy movement of individuals across the globe, has set the stage for an outbreak of proportions not seen within the final century.
For 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 (by way of speaking, coughing or sneezing), land on the face of one other person. These infectious droplets can journey up to 6 ft, which is the reason to promote social distancing. Touching a surface that’s contaminated with infectious droplets after which touching one’s own eyes, nose or mouth, is one other way for infection to occur. Due to this fact, the important thing to avoiding infection is to have these areas of the face covered.
In hospitals, face masks and goggles are typically used to forestall publicity to infectious droplets. Nevertheless, face mask shortages are occurring because of interruptions within the supply chain, which is deeply rooted in China and disrupted by the pandemic. Some health care workers have been forced to resort to scarves and bandannas in a last-ditch try and protect themselves while providing care. Even when plentiful, face masks aren’t without problems. Once they turn out to be wet from the humidity in exhaled air, they lose effectiveness. In addition, some people contact their face more often to adjust the mask, which will increase the risk of an infection if the arms are contaminated.
Cloth masks, though higher than nothing, have been shown to be less protective than medical-grade face masks.
We consider that face shields provide a greater solution. There are various types, but all use clear plastic materials hooked up to a headpiece to cover the eyes, nostril and mouth, thereby preventing infectious droplets from contacting these areas the place the virus can enter the body. They cover more of the face than masks and stop the wearer from touching their face. Importantly, face shields are durable, will be cleaned after use, reused repeatedly, and for many individuals are more comfortable than face masks. Because these shields are reusable and are diversified throughout the supply chains of a number of industries, the present supply is less restricted than for face masks. They can even be made at dwelling with gadgets 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 conditions, implementation of face shields will enormously reduce the need for face masks and lengthen the restricted nationwide supply of masks. Engineers have produced designs for face shields which might be 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 via present manufacturers and recruitment of additional factories. Because the design is straightforward, massive rapid production wouldn’t be difficult.
Once the health care workforce is supplied, distribution to the public ought to begin, with a goal to provide a face shield to every particular person within the country. It needs to be worn anytime an individual leaves their dwelling, while in any public place, and even at work. Though shelter-at-house approaches are wanted to “bend the curve” of this pandemic, the ensuing societal disruption limits the time that political leaders are keen to maintain such measures. Once each individual is shielded, nonetheless, reducing restrictions on movement would carry less risk. Common shielding may reduce reliance on social distancing since infectious droplets can not attain the face of vulnerable individuals. Handwashing, nevertheless, would stay essential to maintain people from infecting themselves with virus discovered on the hands after touching contaminated surfaces.