PPE is aggravating but essential


Maeve Dietrich, Social Media and Photography Editor

As DGN has been given the opportunity to operate under a hybrid model, we have all added a couple of new items to our wardrobes- face masks and face shields. While it’s not New York fashion week ready or super uncomfortable to walk around with plastic and a sponge strapped to our heads, these PPE (personal protective equipment) devices are essential in keeping the school and it’s community safe. 

The kid behind you that sounds like Darth Vader in his face mask, he is doing his part. An experiment performed by a high-speed camera at The New England Journal of Medicine showed a mere sentence can spew hundreds of droplets out of the mouth, but when a damp washcloth is placed in front of the mouth, nearly all of them were caught. 

Face masks help prevent, however they do not provide immunity. So having another layer, such as a face shield, amplifies the prevention. The shields proved a 96 percent reduction in immediate exposure in a simulation study. A face shield protects a part of the face that a mask does and should not cover for the sake of others; the eyes. If you touch something that has the virus and rub your eyes you are exposing yourself. If you are wearing a shield you are unable to touch your eyes, just like a dog with a cone on its head- not enjoyable but safe. 

If PPE was not implemented, we would be in deep trouble. One unprotected cough can spread up to 3000 droplets. You might be okay with being exposed to Covid-19 because once you’ll be mildly ill then heal you have the antibodies. But you come in contact with lots of people every day at the grocery store, the doctor’s office and so many more essential places who you could infect and severely harm. So if there is an outbreak at DGN then there is an outbreak in the community, and being responsible for that because you did not want to wear a face shield feels selfish. 

The DGN community is in favor of staying safe. 76.5 percent of students who answered an Omega poll about PPE are satisfied by the current precautions the district has implemented. Over half of these students are aware of the possibility of slowing the spread and are willing to do what it takes.

If we want to stay in school, we need to be a bit over-cautious about PPE.  The least that happens is that we all look like beekeepers, and the most that happens is we keep the staff and student body safe.