The COVID-19 pandemic presents huge challenges. A newly emerged virus to which the world’s population has no immunity, coupled with the rapid movement of individuals 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 individual (through talking, coughing or sneezing), land on the face of one other person. These infectious droplets can journey as much as 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, nose or mouth, is one other way for infection to occur. Subsequently, the key to avoiding infection is to have these areas of the face covered.
In hospitals, face masks and goggles are typically used to prevent publicity to infectious droplets. However, 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 compelled to resort to scarves and bandannas in a last-ditch attempt to protect themselves while providing care. Even when plentiful, face masks aren't with out problems. As soon as they turn into 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 infection if the hands are contaminated.
Material masks, although better than nothing, have been shown to be less protective than medical-grade face masks.
We imagine 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, 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 stop the wearer from touching their face. Importantly, face shields are durable, could be cleaned after use, reused repeatedly, and for many individuals are more comfortable than face masks. Because these shields are reusable and are diversified across the supply chains of multiple industries, the present supply is less limited than for face masks. They can even be made at house with items from office supply and craft stores.
Every health care worker needs a face shield for protection at work. While face masks are nonetheless wanted in some conditions, implementation of face shields will vastly reduce the necessity for face masks and prolong the restricted nationwide supply of masks. Engineers have produced designs for face shields which can 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 will need to ramp up to meet the demand via current manufacturers and recruitment of additional factories. Because the design is simple, huge speedy production wouldn't be difficult.
As soon as the health care workdrive is supplied, distribution to the public ought to begin, with a goal to provide a face shield to every individual within the country. It must be worn anytime an individual leaves their house, while in any public place, and even at work. Although shelter-at-home approaches are wanted to "bend the curve" of this pandemic, the following societal disruption limits the time that political leaders are prepared to sustain such measures. As soon as each person is shielded, however, reducing restrictions on movement would carry less risk. Universal shielding may reduce reliance on social distancing since infectious droplets can't reach the face of inclined individuals. Handwashing, nonetheless, would stay essential to maintain individuals from infecting themselves with virus found on the arms after touching contaminated surfaces.
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