The COVID-19 pandemic presents monumental challenges. A newly emerged virus to which the world’s population has no immunity, coupled with the fast movement of people across the globe, has set the stage for an outbreak of proparts 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 contaminated person (by way of speaking, 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 is contaminated with infectious droplets after which touching one’s own eyes, nostril or mouth, is one other way for infection to occur. Subsequently, the key 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. Nonetheless, face mask shortages are occurring because of interruptions in 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 to protect themselves while providing care. Even when plentiful, face masks will not be with out problems. As soon as they turn into wet from the humidity in exhaled air, they lose effectiveness. In addition, some individuals touch their face more often to adjust the mask, which increases the risk of an infection if the fingers are contaminated.
Cloth masks, although higher 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 lots of types, however all use clear plastic materials attached to a headpiece to cover the eyes, nose 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, 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 provision chains of multiple industries, the current supply is less restricted than for face masks. They will even be made at residence with items from office provide and craft stores.
Each health care worker needs a face shield for protection at work. While face masks are nonetheless needed in some situations, implementation of face shields will greatly reduce the need for face masks and lengthen the limited nationwide provide of masks. Engineers have produced designs for face shields that are within the public domain, and fabrication at scale is relatively simple. To make sure that every health care worker has a face shield, production will need to ramp up to meet the demand by way of present manufacturers and recruitment of additional factories. Because the design is straightforward, massive rapid production would not be difficult.
As soon as the health care workpower is supplied, distribution to the general public should begin, with a goal to provide a face shield to each person in the country. It must 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 following societal disruption limits the time that political leaders are willing to maintain such measures. Once each person is shielded, nevertheless, reducing restrictions on movement would carry less risk. Common shielding might reduce reliance on social distancing since infectious droplets cannot reach the face of susceptible individuals. Handwashing, nevertheless, would stay essential to maintain people from infecting themselves with virus found on the hands after touching contaminated surfaces.
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