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  • Deanne Pandey

Face Masks or Face Shields?



The havoc caused by the infamous virus continues to affect lives, globally. While scientists and medical experts are working day and night to develop a vaccine to combat the virus, as of now there is no definitive cure for it. This is why practising social distancing, wearing face covers or face masks while stepping outside and washing hands frequently rank on the top of the list of precautionary measures. After months of precautions, consciously sanitising and washing our hands, and wearing masks, shields and gloves before stepping out; we are still constantly surrounded by the spread of the virus. Naturally, many steps are taken to create awareness and stop the spread of the virus. Yet, there are many questions that might cross our minds. One of them being whether face masks are sufficient or are face shields required? Face masks and Face shields are both protective, although the use differs as per the area and number of people around. While earlier face masks were seen as the go-to protection gear against this battle with coronavirus, more and more people are opting to wear face shields. For the uninitiated, face shields are actually made of a clear plastic sheet which covers your whole face instead of just the mouth.

Indeed masks play an important role. Face masks help prevent the spread of the virus. Because it’s possible to have coronavirus without

showing symptoms, it is best to wear a face covering even if you think you are healthy. A mask helps contain small droplets that come out of your mouth and/or nose when you talk, sneeze or cough. If you are positive and


are not showing symptoms, a face mask reduces your chance of spreading the infection to others. If you are healthy, a mask may protect you from larger droplets from people around you.Your mask should cover your face from the bridge of your nose to under your chin. It should be loose fitting but still secure enough to stay in place. Make sure you can talk with your mask on and that it doesn’t irritate you, so you are not tempted to touch it or pull it out of place, which could put you at risk from touching your face or limit its effectiveness. On the other side, Masks are awkward and uncomfortable,

and they can be difficult to use correctly, If they aren’t applied and removed with clean hands, they can actually transmit infection rather than prevent it. These apprehensions raise a question against the credibility of masks.

Face shields on the other hand, which shields a person’s face with a clear curved plastic panel, are more comfortable, easier to put on and take off, reusable, and simple to clean. As a result, it prevents you from touching your own face which isn’t exactly possible with face masks. Face shields can also be reused by cleaning effectively with water and soap or disinfectants and may prove to be affordable for a lot of people. They allow others to see their expressions or read their lips, paving for better communication without the need to take off the shield.

Now the questions arises, when to use a mask and when to use a face shield? For an instance, in a medical setting such as a clinic, hospital or pathological labs, where there are more chances of spread or salons, field work etc. where people work in close contact- face shields are better. Although, for grocery stores, markets, jogs, desk jobs etc., face masks are


better. Ultimately, it is important to understand that both face-coverings are important tools to prevent the transmission of coronavirus and their usage depends on the public setting you are in.

Stay safe, Stay Home and Take care!


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