What would be the alternative to foggy glasses, and being a hot sweaty mess under the face mask? More and more experts are suggesting Face Shields as an alternative. In a recent study, ClevelandClinic.org is breaking down on the cons and pros of each. During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, people commented that face shields are unnatural to wear and people look rather unusual wearing them. In recent months we experienced opposite beliefs. More and more people are wearing shields as a more comfortable alternative and some experts even argue that the effectiveness of a face shield is superior. Cleveland Clinic also points out that face shields have been used in healthcare settings for a long time and recently became a staple for healthcare workers who have to intubate patients with COVID-19.
The simplicity of the face shields give them an edge among the general public. Cleaning the shield is a simple process that anyone can do by using normal household liquid soap and water. In opposite masks are designed to be worn only one time and discarded. Despite the manufacturer’s and expert’s suggestions, people tend to wear a single face mask for multiple days, even weeks. Face masks are very difficult to sterilize because of the woven particles. It requires special antibacterial and antimicrobial procedures and equipment that increase the cost of mask ownership.
Additionally, experts support a 2014 study published in the National Library of Medicine “It protects you, the wearer,” Dr. Esper says. “But if you cough, because the face shield is away from your face, those droplets can still get out better than if you have a mask on.” Dr. Esper adds, “You don’t get to feel the breeze on your face, but you do get some fresh air, rather than trying to breathe through a cloth mask”.
Dr. Esper points disadvantage of the face shield “We know this virus likes to live on plastic a lot better than it likes to live on porous materials like cloth, paper or cardboard,” he says. “Clean your face shield once you take it off. You can sterilize it with an antibacterial wipe, alcohol pad, or good old soap and water.”
By simply keeping a face shield clean, not sharing it with another person, and keeping away from sharp objects that can cause the screeches on the plastic surface, you are prolonging the longevity of your protective equipment.