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EDITORIAL: Maintaining your face shield

THE controversial memorandum circular issued by the Department of Transportation on mandatory wearing of face shields finally took effect on Aug. 15. While people were compliant for the most part, we still observed some passengers and drivers still not wearing the plastic protective covering.

The memorandum, released on August 4, 2020, was met with some opposition as some quarters are describing it as an overreaction and not rooted in extensive research. Nevertheless, the government agency said it is better to err on the side of caution, citing evidence that the killer virus may be spread through small aerosol particles and respiratory droplets.

As DoTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said, “no amount of protection is too much when it comes to health and safety.”

If masks are not available, then face shields are the next best thing.

Research has shown, for example, that the risk of infection will drop by 96% of you wear a face shield even without a mask. Of course, prolonged exposure would increase the risks. Indeed, the face shield will offer another layer of protection for the wearer.

Unless the DoTr will rescind its order or President Duterte will override it, this is the new normal. The commuting public and PUV drivers have to wear plastic shields on top of their face masks.

However, apart from being inconvenient, especially those wearing corrective eyeglasses, contaminated face shields will become another source of transmission.

Here are some ways to maintain your face shield:

Some would spray alcohol or disinfectant on the plastic, but they can leave a residue
Avoid using harsh chemicals because they might damage the plastic
You can use water and soap and make sure to create a lot of foam. If the virus can be killed by washing your hands for 20 seconds, it will work also on your face shield.
Make sure to include the inside of the shield, the ear loops, the strap, and other components.
If you observe a cloudy streak or film on the plastic, use alcohol or disinfectant wipes.
Never touch the face of the shield, which may be contaminated.

While reusing the face shields is not advisable, we all know that is impossible in a country like ours. That’s why we make sure to clean them properly to protect ourselves from the invisible enemy.

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