3 July 2020,

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 people throughout the globe, has set the stage for an outbreak of proportions not seen in the final century.

For an infection with this virus to occur, it should come into contact with the eyes, nostril, or mouth. This occurs when droplets produced by an infected person (through talking, coughing or sneezing), land on the face of another 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 and then touching one’s own eyes, nostril or mouth, is one other way for an infection to occur. Due to this fact, 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 stop publicity to infectious droplets. Nevertheless, face masks 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 compelled to resort to scarves and bandannas in a final-ditch try to protect themselves while providing care. Even when plentiful, face masks will not be without problems. Once they turn out to be wet from the humidity in exhaled air, they lose effectiveness. In addition, some individuals contact their face more usually to adjust the masks, which increases the risk of infection if the fingers are contaminated.

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

We consider that face shields provide a better solution. There are various types, but all use clear plastic materials connected to a headpiece to cover the eyes, nose and mouth, thereby preventing infectious droplets from contacting these areas where 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, 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 availability chains of multiple industries, the current supply is less limited than for face masks. They can even be made at house with objects from office provide and craft stores.

Each 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 enormously reduce the necessity for face masks and extend the limited national supply of masks. Engineers have produced designs for face shields which might be within the public domain, and fabrication at scale is comparatively simple. To make sure that every health care worker has a face shield, production might want to ramp as much as meet the demand by means of current manufacturers and recruitment of additional factories. Because the design is easy, huge fast production wouldn’t be difficult.

As soon as the health care workpower is equipped, distribution to the general public ought to begin, with a goal to provide a face shield to every individual 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-dwelling approaches are wanted to “bend the curve” of this pandemic, the ensuing societal disruption limits the time that political leaders are prepared to sustain such measures. Once every person is shielded, nevertheless, reducing restrictions on movement would carry less risk. Common shielding may reduce reliance on social distancing since infectious droplets can not reach the face of susceptible individuals. Handwashing, nevertheless, would stay essential to keep folks from infecting themselves with virus discovered on the arms after touching contaminated surfaces.

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