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Covid-19: Do we really need to wear face shields? This is what a doctor has to say

Published on:28 May 2020, 15:21pm IST
There is a lot of buzz about wearing a face shield while stepping out to prevent a covid-19 infection. But should you do it?
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Face shields are only for professionals like doctors and lab assistants. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Covid 19. This word, rather we should say this pandemic, has turned the world upside down. We haven’t just added to our lingo with terms like “quarantine”, “lockdown”, and “social distancing”- but have entered a new reality.

The fear around covid-19 has risen to such an extreme that we sanitize our hands after touching anything and everything. And not just our hands, but groceries, packets, boxes, and everything else in our space is duly sanitized. 

Leaving home without wearing a face mask seems like a criminal offence and shaking hands or hugging someone is now a taboo. The fear of covid 19 has taken over and is giving birth to new gear and equipment, like face shields. 

coronavirus
Handshakes? No please! Thanks to Coronavirus, gone are those days when we all used to shake hands to greet one another. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

Face shields are the next frontier in our fight against covid-19
You must have been hearing a lot about wearing a face shield when stepping. Yes, we’re talking about that plastic face cover. You might have also noticed that many people have started donning them already, right from shopkeepers, ATM guards, and police personnel. 

But do we really need to wear a face shield? Or is it just a part of the mass hysteria in a bid to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection?

We got talking to Dr Behram Pardiwala, an internal medicine expert at Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai to share his thoughts on the matter. 

You don’t have to wear a face shield at all, says Dr Pardiwala
“This is a sheer overreaction of the people and nothing else. Only professionals who are taking samples of the infected patients, are doing throat tests, taking a swab test, basically who are coming extremely close with a covid-19 infected patient need to wear a face shield”, said Dr Pardiwala.   

In fact, a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, also suggests that as healthcare workers are more prone to get this infection they require a face shield the most. 

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Dr Pardiwala also says that shopkeepers and even police officers don’t have to wear these face shields as they can still maintain a distance from people. Plus they are not the ones diagnosing them.

Rather, this is your best bet against covid-19, according to the doc
According to Dr Pardiwala, staying at home is the best thing that we can do. And when you do need to step out, he recommends wearing a proper triple-layered mask or an N95 mask, gloves, and goggles. 

prevent coronavirus
N95 facial mask is an effective way to curb coronavirus transmission. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“Wearing a cloth mask or wrapping a handkerchief can be dangerous so you must avoid that. Also, replace your mask after its expiration point”, says Dr Pardiwala.  

The bottom line on face shields?
Don’t follow things blindly. We understand that you don’t want to leave any stone unturned to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from coronavirus, but following proper protocols and staying up-to-date with the latest guidelines is more important than giving into fads. 

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.