There may be something even more effective than a mask when it comes to protecting yourself and others from COVID-19.
“We kind of feel helpless. And for me, to get that little piece of control back – helping the community is kind of how I do that,” said Ashley Pangold of Port Charlotte.
When coronavirus came on the scene, Pangold focused on helping the helpers. She created a network of sewers to make masks for essential workers and community members in need, donating more than 8,400 masks. She didn’t stop there.
“I also noticed one of the local hospitals here; their nurses were looking into making face shields out of 2-liter soda bottles,” she said.
Pangold says she didn’t get a lot of requests for face shields at the time, but that may change as more health care leaders speak out about their benefits.
“The face shield offers some benefits because it covers the entire face, the eyes in particular, whereas a mask will only cover the mouth and the nose,” said Dr. Loureen Downes, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Florida Gulf Coast University.
Downes says face shields are also reusable, easy to clean and they’re transparent so talking to others is easier.
Face shields have also been proven to reduce exposure to other droplet-sized respiratory viruses.
In a piece recently published in the Journal of American Medical Association, one simulation study finds face shields reduced viral exposure by 96% when worn by a health care worker within 18 inches of a cough.
When it comes to drawbacks, Downes says, “Not really, nothing really coming to mind, except that it’s bulkier. Maybe you can’t put it in your purse as you would a smaller face mask.”
As for Pangold, “I went to Walmart this weekend and I noticed three people and I knew that those were my masks,” she said. “Honestly, it’s such a good feeling to know that I helped protect these people.”
She has yet to see any drawbacks from her efforts either.
If you want to make your own face shield, Pangold says it takes her about two minutes to put one together.
For step-by-step directions from Pangold, click here.
For more information and directions from AARP, click here.