Unless you’re living on another planet, you know that coronavirus (COVID-19) has basically invaded, well, the world. You also know that some form of face protection—like a face shield or mask—is needed to enter any buildings, large gatherings aren’t encouraged and life as we know it is altered for the time being.
While we’ve been instructed to wear our face coverings, there has been a decent amount of confusion around exactly what they do and how they protect us from the virus. How can a piece of cloth or plastic keep us safe from something as intimidating as COVID-19?
To answer this question, we’ll need to start with the basics such as what exactly COVID-19 is and how it spreads.
What Exactly Is Coronavirus
It’s the star of most news stories, social media posts and work Zoom conversations. Even when we aren’t 100 percent focused on the virus, it influences our daily lives—causing us to work from home, stay at a safe distance from loved ones and just causing frustration. COVID-19’s infamy will lurk its way through history, even when it no longer makes a daily appearance in our lives.
But who (what) is the infamous star of 2020 when you strip away all the headlines and fear around it?
The first thing to know about coronavirus is that its true name is SARS-CoV-2, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. In fact, the word “coronavirus” is just a type of virus, so though COVID-19 is the star of 2020, it is far from the only virus of this kind. Surprisingly, Johns Hopkins Medicine said even the common cold is considered a coronavirus.
But this version—COVID-19—is gaining so much attention because it is the first of its kind and is so widespread, with The New York Times reporting as many as 6.55M cases and 194K deaths in the United States.
The recommendations for protecting yourself from COVID-19 have evolved significantly as we’ve grown to better understand the virus. Now, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following guidelines:
- Washing your hands frequently
- Maintaining a distance of six feet if possible
- Covering your coughs and sneezes
- Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that are frequently touched
- Monitoring your health daily
And, of course, they recommend covering your mouth and nose when around other people.
How a Face Shield Helps
To understand how a face shield can help, you first need to learn how COVID-19 spreads. According to the CDC, the transmission occurs “mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.”
Think about when you do any of these things. Even when you try to prevent it from happening, little particles or droplets escape from your mouth into the world, ready to travel and explore. In fact, those droplets can travel up to six feet, coming into contact with those around you.
This means the name of the game is to prevent these droplets from reaching their desired destinations. This is important even if you aren’t feeling sick (there are asymptomatic cases of COVID-19). That’s why face masks and face shields have become a regular sight while you’re out and about throughout your day.
In our previous post, we highlighted the pros and cons of wearing a face mask vs. a face shield. In that post, we shared insight from Amesh Adalja, M.D., who is a pandemic preparedness expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. According to Adalja, face shields protect the wearer’s eyes as well as their “mucus membranes.”
Face masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by blocking your particles from the world (think of this as an “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” mentality). But effective face shields actually help block those particles for the wearer. Think of face shields as your friend trying to protect you during a gym class dodgeball game. The balls (particles) are flying at you from all directions, but your gym class hero of a friend is all over it, shielding every ball (particle) soaring your way.
Protect Yourself with Our Anti-Fog Face Shield
The CDC recommends face shields that wrap around the wearer’s face and extend below the chin. Our anti-fog face shields do exactly that, providing superior protection for your entire face. These face shields also include anti-fog coating and an outer protective film, making them scratch-resistant. Learn more about them here!