Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) During & Post Pandemic
In the past few months, the world had to adapt to a new type of lifestyle that no one would have expected to have to abide to. Covid-19 took everyone by surprise when it reached most of the countries in the world within a matter of months.
One of the main problems that coronavirus cause to humans compared to other viruses is that it is highly contagious and spreads like wildfire. Healthcare professionals & patients depend on PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) every single day to reduce the spread of germs and infections. During these times healthcare systems were being exhausted by the amounts of patients requiring medical care and not enough healthcare professionals to assist them. This meant that even the PPE resources were in a higher demand but low in stock around the whole world. The worst thing about healthcare workers not having the enough safety gear is that they will be in a greater risk of danger than the average person because of the regular exposure to sick people.
Let’s take a closer look to what PPE can do to protect us from viruses:
Face Masks/ Respirators (N95)
Face Masks are one of the most basic PPE everyone needs to protect themselves from being infected. Showing no symptoms does not necessarily mean that one is not infected. Studies show that individuals could still be carriers and infect others. Coughing or sneezing in your hands or elbow does not fully contain droplets being sprayed.
When using a facemask this will do so and will protect others around you being in a risk of being infected.
The World Health Organization (WHO) in an official document mentioned that N95 respirators are one of the most effective facial protective gear one should use to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
· Masks seals around nose & mouth
· Filtration of airborne particles
· Low risk of being infected
· Good breathability
· Shape that will not collapse easily
Face Shields became very popular with those who continued working with people (not only in the health sector). These shields offer good protection to those using them, but why were they popular? Sometimes even more than face masks. These are the most common responses taken from people who regularly used them:
· Comfortability for long duration of times
· Visibility (Fogs less easily especially for those wearing prescription glasses)
· Maintains less odour than face masks
Gloves offer more security when it comes to reduce contamination when touching things. These are normally used when people go to places where it is inevitable to touch objects such as grocery stores. It is important that one should dispose these immediately
after use and not to be used for long period of times. It is also highly recommended by WHO to wear 2 pairs of gloves for better prevention. Below are few of the reasons when and why this type of PPE should be used:
· Prevent hand contamination
· Highly recommended for places where there is limited access to soap & water (which are still the bests prevention of contamination)
Hand Sanitizers (Alcohol-based)
Hand Sanitizers were in great demand over the past few months which resulted in lower amounts available in stores. People were trying to find substitutes or sometimes even making their own sanitizers.
The U.S.A. agency FDA (Food & Drug Administration) which protects the public health, highly recommend that consumers do not make their own hand sanitizers. The reason behind this is, that if made incorrectly, apart from being ineffective, in some cases they might cause skin burns.
Hand sanitizers are also the second-best option after washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water. As mentioned before these options are mostly applicable for places with limited access for both water and soap.
Bollards (Crowd Control)
Throughout The past few weeks businesses have started to open again after a long period of inactivity. The owners showed great enthusiasm as they could start recovering their losses after this period.
Of course, the government had to make some new regulations in place for the opening of businesses to be done in a safely manner. One of these regulations required businesses to make queueing systems which abide by the rule of social distancing. This could not be done only by personnel working in that place.
Crowd control Bollards is making life easier for those responsible to keep social distancing. One can also note that these bollards were applied to most businesses which makes the customers and the employees feel safer on the workplace.
Although it seems that the worst part of this pandemic is behind us now, and bit by bit everything is going back to normal, we need to accept the fact that we are now living in a different times than those before this pandemic outbreak. This means that precautions still need to be taken by every individual especially when it comes to being in places with a substantial amount of people in the same place, being indoors or outdoors.