The importance of wearing facial protection is undeniable. The CDC recommends that everyone wear a face mask/shield. They “are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings” (CDC, 2020). Although all face covering is beneficial to act as a barrier between a person’s respiratory system and the corona virus, a shield might be a smarter choice. A shield can offer benefits that a mask cannot, such as eye covering, full protection from touching your face, and an easy way to clean.
Over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic, scientists have reported that the virus can enter through the eyes. COVID-19 attaches to cells inside the body known as ACE2 receptors. Normally it is “found on lung, kidney, heart, and gut cells” (Sheridan, 2020). However, scientists have recently found ACE2 on cells in the nose and in the eyes. Although the virus cannot enter through the eyes, they can become carriers of the virus and easily spread to the mouth and respiratory system on the carrier and on other people in contact with the carrier. With a face shield, this problem can be easily avoided.
Face shields can also prevent wearers from touching their face. We are “constantly touching surfaces contaminated with pathogens” (Zia, 2020). Pathogens attach to our now contaminated hands and when they contact our face, the pathogens enter our body through our mouth and nose. This is how we get the virus. “Touching your face is an act that most people perform without thinking” (Wood, 2020). To break this cycle, we need to make it harder for people to come in contact with their face and the easiest way to do that is to wear a face shield.
For safety reasons, a shield must be disinfected. It is likely that a shield has been contaminated if it has come in contact with the virus. Not cleaning your shield after each use can reverse the protective effects of the mask. A cloth mask is much harder to clean and you must often change it, but a shield can be easily wiped down with alcohol in a matter of minutes.
Considering all these points, wearing a face shield not only helps prevent the spreading of the Coronavirus, but it also can help keep you and your loved ones safe and virus-free.
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