PPE overkill, face shields do more harm than good

Maggie Ward, Feature Editor

For those of you attending in-person learning through the hybrid schedule, you know the struggle. The struggle of walking through the hallways, breathing through your mask, and that hot breath fogging up your newest accessory: your face shield. Not only are they the most modern fashion statement of 2020, but they are also unnecessary and bothersome. 

It is hard enough to breathe through the mask after clamoring up three flights of stairs to your math class at 8 a.m. Now, with the addition of the shield, sight along with breathing becomes a hazard as well. As cold weather becomes more common with the seasonal change, shields will fog up even more as we enter the school, making it harder to see while walking through the building.  

Although cases of COVID-19 are on the rise again, the use of face shields is overkill in terms of personal protection. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “There is currently not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of face shields for source control.”

For Americans all over the country, the CDC’s guidelines have been commandments to live by. Their word is the law, impacting everything from how we walk into a grocery store to how many people can ride an elevator at one time. That being said, if the CDC says we don’t need them, then I truly believe we don’t need them. 

Of course, they aren’t going to hurt. They could protect us from saliva particles spewing out of our classmates’ mouths or the sneeze launched from across the classroom. 

With an emphasis on “could”, Kathryn Jacobsen, a professor in global health epidemiology at George Mason University said, “Most face shields do not cover the mouth and nose well enough to trap particles that wearers expel.  

According to a poll given out to DGN students participating in hybrid learning, 76.5 percent of students feel more comfortable with the amount of PPE they wear nowthat being a face mask and shield. Even though I may be in the minority, being a high school student myself, I can understand why people would be complacent following these rules if it means going back to school.  

 Face shields seem like a false sense of security. If there’s no data proving any effectiveness with their face shield it does not seem necessary to use them.

“Face shields also usually do not have filters that reduce the risk of the user breathing in viral particles,” Jacobsen said. 

The plastic face shields we are required to wear most definitely do not have a filter. Consequently, any particles that it keeps out, it also allows for them to be trapped in.

Overall, face shields are an unnecessary hassle we are forced to deal with. Not only are they deemed useless by the CDC, but they are unpleasant to wear; making speech, sight, and hearing more difficult in an environment already littered with obstacles.