Clearshield is the face covering for people who can’t wear masks but do want to protect themselves and others from infection.
Many people have serious physical and mental problems wearing face masks and the Government says it’s OK for anyone who feels uncomfortable wearing a mask to go mask free.
There’s no need to give a reason (I believe this is something to do with privacy laws) you just self certify yourself as exempt. (Transport for London even lets you print out a badge you can wear).
The most common reasons people give for being uncomfortable wearing a mask are Asthma and COPD (which affect 9.2 Million people in the UK), skin sensitivity, “Mask Anxiety” hyperventilation (hypercapnia) at the thought of breathing your own Carbon Dioxide, and finally an inability to communicate.
Wearing masks continuously in a work environment can also lead to symptoms such as fatigue headaches, seizures and coma. Fogged up glasses is also a common problem.
The thing is, masks and shields help prevent coronavirus. They help A LOT!
People who find it hard to wear masks are often older people and others in high risk groups so we don’t think it’s appropriate for the Government to advise them to forgo such a significant method of protecting themselves and others from coronavirus infection.
Or to put it another way it sounds like total madness.
Clearshield is designed to be worn by people who can’t wear a mask. Allowing them to protect themselves and others from the main method of infection: exhaled droplets!
Clearshield, puts a solid, clear barrier between you and the exhaled droplets. It’s not sealed to the face so it has no impact on your breathing and doesn’t fog glasses. It’s very light, adjustable and comfortable.
It’s also very easy to clean with a hygiene wipe and it’s reusable making it very affordable compared with disposable hygiene masks which create a Biohazard when they aren’t properly disposed of (and most aren’t).
Unlike most facemasks Clearshield doesn’t encourage face touching, one of the main routes of viral transmission, and one of the main reasons the Government was reluctant to mandate face mask usage.
Here’s the Science on protecting yourself and others by covering your face:
As I’ve just mentioned the main method of transmission are droplets of saliva, phlegm and mucus exhaled when an infected person breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes. These droplets travel straight forward at least 2 meters (6 Feet+) and will infect anyone they hit including you.
If infected people are wearing a mask or shield it catches these droplets before they can infect you. If they aren’t wearing a mask but you are, then YOUR mask will catch these droplets before they hit and infect you.
This is the number one reason you MUST wear a mask
This isn’t the only means of transmission of course. Some of the droplets fall onto surfaces like tabletops and railings where they can transfer onto people’s hands and then onto their mouths, noses and eyes (This is another way transmission is reduced by wearing a mask, if your mouth and nose are covered you’re not going to touch them are you).
Recent studies have now shown that the virus also lives in micro droplets or aerosols, these are exhaled together with the larger droplets that infect you directly and because they are so small and light they can hang around in the air for many hours in closed rooms, they may be small enough to get through masks and the best way to deal with them is to keep the windows open.
Micro droplets are less of a risk because they carry so much less virus and it’s well know that the less virus you acquire (This is called viral load) the less severe your symptoms.
As a last note it’s possible but not at all common to catch coronavirus through your eyes, either from droplets, micro droplets or by touching contaminated surfaces and rubbing your eyes. Mask don’t help here, Full face visors help more but come with a whole host of other problems so I’m not going to go there in this article.
PS: Because it’s not sealed Clearshield doesn’t offer the same high level of protection as KN95/N95 Medical masks but the Government has asked that members of the public don’t use these as they are reserved for medical professionals.
They are also the least suitable masks for anyone who has the issues discussed in this article
PPS: No face covering is perfect, but any face covering is better than none. It’s up to each of us to make the best choice given our own circumstances.