Letters to the Editor

Let’s put those face shields back on

The Philippine Star

Recently I had my annual check up with two doctors separately in their clinics. They both were wearing face masks and face shields. Three days ago I visited my mother in the hospital and of course the guards, nurses, doctors and other health care workers there, including caregivers of patients, were wearing the same.

If the face shield is considered/required as an added protection in hospitals against the coronavirus, I can’t understand why some of our political leaders are questioning the “science” of wearing it and mandating that it is optional for our people, much less when COVID infections in the country are high or rising? Are they not happy that our COVID positivity rate has gone down to as low as 425 the other day (Nov. 30) from a peak of 26,303 last Sept. 11?

Don’t they realize that the wearing of a face shield is one of the reasons for the downtrend of our COVID positivity rate? Why do they always refer to other countries (as models) that don’t mandate their people to wear a face shield? Aren’t they aware that we are now doing better than them, with Europe and other nations experiencing another surge?

And given the current situation between their “model” countries and ours, can’t they see the connection or the difference between wearing a face shield and not wearing it for the general populace?

Or is it politics or election that is their reason?

The internet is replete with materials about the science and benefits (and sanity) of face shields. The National Center for Biotechnology Information or Pubmed.gov. has this report: “During testing of an influenza-laden cough aerosol with a volume median diameter (VMD) of 8.5 µm, wearing a face shield reduced the inhalational exposure of the (health) worker by 96 percent in the period immediately after a cough. The face shield also reduced the surface contamination of a respirator by 97 percent… Thus, face shields provide a useful adjunct to respiratory protection for workers caring for patients with respiratory infections.”

For its part, the medical bulletin JAMA Network stated and “warned” as early as April 29, 2020, “Face shields offer a number of advantages.”

We may be unique in this regard, but uniquely good. – Reni M. Valenzuela, [email protected]

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