Covid-19 has, understandably, caused many Americans to rethink their habits when it comes to cleanliness and protectiveness. Keeping ourselves and others safe from germs, both normal and lethal, has become a top priority. For our first responders and front-line workers who risk exposure daily, however, proper attire and equipment can truly be a matter of life and death. Here are the essential items or personal protective equipment.
It’s widely accepted that cloth face masks are the most effective item of personal protective equipment United States at the moment. There is much discussion, however, among lay-people, about what kinds of masks are best. It has been shown that gater-style masks are less powerful than originally thought. At the same time, simple, disposable cloth or surgical masks have proven to be significantly effective. N-95 masks are thought to be the most preventative, but as they are in short supply, they should be saved for medical personnel.
Face shields are very effective at preventing coronavirus and other airborne diseases from entering through the eyes. However, it is recommended that a shield be worn in conjunction with a face mask to provide tighter coverage around the nose and mouth.
Latex gloves are important for protection, but their purpose is often misunderstood. In normal clinical settings, disposable gloves are worn by doctors and medical staff to prevent cross-contamination. In other words, gloves can carry germs. It’s important for them to be worn to prevent the wearer when they are treating a patient, but they must be thrown away before treating another. Therefore, they can do more harm than good for members of the general public who are out and about.
Simple precautions go a surprisingly long way to slowing the spread of coronavirus. Wear face masks and shields to protect yourself and others!