Are Face Shields Effective?

face shield

No. That is the quick answer.

There are two main goals of a face covering like a mask are.
A face mask, especially if it is a medical-grade N-95 mask, can filter out the virus when breathing in. However, everyone does not use N-95 masks due to their availability and cost, besides other reasons.

The majority of people use a mask that is made up of several layers of cloth. The layers help create as many barriers as possible in the virus’s path to prevent it from reaching into or out of the wearer’s nose.

A plastic shield often leaves the bottom edge open, which would not be a problem if the breath flow was horizontal when it comes out of the nose. But that is not the way we breathe. The breath is directed downwards. The glass shield would hardly be used to prevent a virus from spreading from a contagious person if it is open at the bottom edge.

A shield in front of the mouth may help block the spread of the virus that spreads while speaking, albeit only to a limited extent.

The governments and the scientific community should help guide and enforce more effective designs of the shields. Most shields available today provide a false sense of protection both to the wearer and the people nearby.

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