To Mask or to Shield by Jackie Deal

“Cover your mouth when you sneeze.” Remember Mom barking that at you? So you sneezed, or coughed, into your hand and then proceeded to spread your nasty snotty germs everywhere you touched. Forgive Mom, she didn’t know any better. Now the advice, gleamed from kindergarteners is, “Cough into your elbow.”’ Yah, it’s doubtful you’re going to touch any surface with the inner aspect of your elbow.

But with the Corona virus on the rampage we need more protection than just our elbows. Enter the ubiquitous, hated mask. It’s steamy, foggy, miserable and you’re constantly adjusting it. Act two: enter the Face Shield. That’s those futuristic looking plastic shields medical people and clerks are beginning to wear. Are they as good? As safe?

Let’s research it and see. First off, they’ve been approved by the Governor, or at least included along with masks as approved face coverings.

Dr. Adalja, M.D., a pandemic preparedness expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, says, “There’s a lot of at least biological possibility to suspect that [shields] are definitely better than homemade face masks, and maybe even better than other types of masks as well, because they not only prevent you from spreading it … [and] because it also covers your eyes, it provides more protection to the mucus membranes of your face where you might be getting infected.” Another benefit, says Adalja: “With a mask, you may find yourself constantly adjusting it and therefore touching your face and possibly transferring the virus from your hands, but wearing a shield doesn’t really put you in a position where you’re touching your face so much, because it’s not as cumbersome to wear.” (Love that first sentence, it takes her 30 or more words to say: “There’re just as good or maybe better.”)

James Cherry, M.D., a distinguished research professor and infectious disease expert at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, says that while experts aren’t yet sure about how vulnerable our , “With many viruses, the eyes are important.” He points to measles and adenoviruses as examples of viruses that are known to infect people through their eyes.”

You probably don’t realize how many times you touch your face even without a mask and wearing a mask only increases that. Who are we protecting? Us or them? Originally it was said that masks stopped us, if we were a nonsymptomatic corona victim, from spreading viruses to others. Then they’ve kinda equivocated (fancy word for can’t make up their minds) as to who’s protecting whom.

I’ve been told that shields were, and maybe soon will be, available at Bi-Mart and Costco. Ask for them, wear ‘em. Masks or shields: whichever floats your boat, butters your bread or protects you from Covid.

This entry was posted in General Interest, Life at Timber Valley, News and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.