Face shields are an achievable way to provide protections that COVID-19 demands

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 individuals throughout the globe, has set the stage for an outbreak of proparts not seen within the last century.

For infection with this virus to occur, it must come into contact with the eyes, nostril, or mouth. This happens when droplets produced by an infected individual (through talking, coughing or sneezing), land on the face of one other person. These infectious droplets can travel up to 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 infection to occur. Due to this fact, the important thing to avoiding an infection is to have these areas of the face covered.

In hospitals, face masks and goggles are typically used to prevent exposure to infectious droplets. Nevertheless, 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 final-ditch try to protect themselves while providing care. Even when plentiful, face masks aren’t with out problems. As soon as they develop into wet from the humidity in exhaled air, they lose effectiveness. In addition, some individuals contact their face more usually to adjust the masks, which will increase the risk of an infection if the hands are contaminated.

Fabric masks, although better than nothing, have been shown to be less protective than medical-grade face masks.

We imagine 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 prevent the wearer from touching their face. Importantly, face shields are durable, can 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 provision chains of multiple industries, the present provide is less restricted than for face masks. They can even be made at home with objects from office supply and craft stores.

Each health care worker needs a face shield for protection at work. While face masks are still needed in some situations, implementation of face shields will enormously reduce the need for face masks and extend the restricted national provide of masks. Engineers have produced designs for face shields which can be within the public domain, and fabrication at scale is comparatively simple. To ensure that each health care worker has a face shield, production might want to ramp up to meet the demand through current manufacturers and recruitment of additional factories. Because the design is straightforward, massive rapid production wouldn’t be difficult.

Once the health care workforce is equipped, distribution to the general public should start, with a goal to provide a face shield to every person within the country. It needs to be worn anytime a person leaves their residence, while in any public place, and even at work. Although shelter-at-house approaches are needed to “bend the curve” of this pandemic, the ensuing societal disruption limits the time that political leaders are prepared to maintain such measures. As soon as every person is shielded, nonetheless, reducing restrictions on movement would carry less risk. Common shielding might reduce reliance on social distancing since infectious droplets can not attain the face of susceptible individuals. Handwashing, nevertheless, would remain essential to keep individuals from infecting themselves with virus discovered on the hands after touching contaminated surfaces.

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