During the coronavirus pandemic, face masks and coverings have become a common thing in every day life. Some folks, however, choose to use face shields instead of masks and it looks like they may not be accomplishing anything.
While face masks and coverings are used to help stop the spread of COVID-19, a recent study in Japan shows that face shields may not make any difference.
“Judging from the results of the simulation, unfortunately the effectiveness of face guards in preventing droplets from spreading from an infected person’s mouth is limited compared with masks,” research leader Makoto Tsubokura told the Guardian.
The report adds:
The clear coverings were tested in a simulation by Fugaku, the world’s fastest supercomputer, which found that nearly 100 percent of airborne droplets less than 5 micrometers in size escaped through the shields, the Guardian reported Tuesday. One micrometer is the equivalent of one-millionth of a meter. The shields, typically used by workers in the restaurant industry, were also ineffective at trapping larger droplets measuring 50 micrometers — about half of which were also able to escape.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 6.92 million confirmed cases and 201,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.