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Editorial| Face masks not enough

We have become so used to wearing a face mask that we no longer bother about the things we complained about at the start of the pandemic. We have somehow solved foggy lenses, the  stinging discomfort on our ears, and are now trained to wear it as part of our grooming.

Just yesterday, using face shields with face masks became an additional COVID-19 health protocol for passengers in public transportation. We’ve seen a face shield worn by service workers but just like face masks, we never thought we would all be using face shields when we go outside our homes. Considering the number of COVID-19 cases still rising and the relaxing of rules imposed by the government to curb the transmission, we have to learn how to protect ourselves like never before. This pandemic has turned into our personal fight for survival.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) issued a memorandum requiring all passengers to wear face shields otherwise they will not be allowed to board public utility vehicles.

Face masks prevent droplets of the novel coronavirus from infecting people but the LTFRB believes this may not be enough, thus the face shield. A face shield is a curved plastic or Plexiglas panel attached to a headband worn over the face, reaching the chin. It protects the eyes, nose and mouth from infectious droplets.

The public were not really informed why face shields should be mandated. We might not have been listening enough as all we heard were sanctions on the drivers if they allow passengers to board without face shields:  P5,000 in the first offense; P10,000 on the second, and: P15,000 for third offense plus suspension or revocation of franchise and impoundment of the PUV units. 

We think the community should be made to understand the necessity of having to wear face shields and face masks at this time when we are still in the midst of doing battle with the pandemic.

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