Covid shields: Are they safe enough to protect us against Covid-19?

 Covid shields: Are they safe enough to protect us against Covid-19?

Doctors treating covid-19 patients often wear plastic shields as a part of their personal protective equipment. However, these face shields have also become common in other settings such as bars, beauty salons and shops. Many people use them as an alternative to fabric face masks when they leave the house during the pandemic.

Pros

Protect the entire face

Face masks often tend to slip under the nose or sometimes even completely off the face. Unlike masks, it is difficult to wear a covid shield incorrectly. You just have to make sure that it is positioned properly. According to a health care explainer front the University of Iowa Health, the forehead band should sit ½ inch to 1 inch above the eyebrows and the bottom of the shield should be below chin level.

Easy to find

Just as cloth masks found everywhere these days. Face shields are also easily available from high-end retail shops to convenience stores. You can also easily find them over the internet with a pack of two reusable shield costing between $10 and $20. Whereas more elaborate models will cost you about $50.

Cons

Not as effective at protecting others

One reason why CDC recommends face masks is because they serve as a “source control”. This means they help prevent the virus from transmitting from people who have covid-19. The face shields block the respiratory particles from travelling into the air and then to other people. They can significantly reduce the spread of disease when worn correctly and universally. The face shields also have an ability to drop respiratory droplets from spreading to others, however, CDC says it is unclear how.

Uncomfortable

Face shields have a few drawbacks, including the fact that they are quite uncomfortable. They can be bulky to wear, especially because the shield wraps around your entire face to maximize protection. They can also fog up. What’s more, people who wear the face shields on top of their masks may often find that they need to speak more clearly or louder while communicating with others. If you find face masks uncomfortable then adding an extra layer will likely be more uncomfortable.

Low quality models

When buying a face shield you need to make sure that it provides sufficient coverage. For example, there are some models that only shield the mouth and nose. Likewise, just as face masks, the shields need a bit more routine care for effectiveness. The reusable shields have to be cleaned and disinfected after every use. The wearers of face shields should also wash their hands before and after removing it. In addition, when removing it, avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth.

Even with face shields and face masks, it is important to follow other guidelines such as avoiding close contact with people outside your home and steering clear of crowded settings. Especially indoor spaces where there is poor ventilation. Wash your hands often and disinfect surfaces that are touched often. No amount of personal protective equipment is a 100 percent safe!

 

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