With novel coronavirus still keeping its hold on the world, the UK remains under lockdown conditions.
At present, people are only allowed to leave the house for limited reasons including:
- Shopping for essentials
- Helping those classed as vulnerable
- Work that is considered essential
However, a number of questions are continually being raised relating to the best way to protect yourself when you need to leave your home.
With PPE dwindling at alarming rates a number of people have complained of the way people have been misusing protective products such as gloves and masks, with no scientific evidence that they provide any protection to members of the public.
While the World Health Organisation still maintains that the only effective way to protect yourself is to practice effective hand and respiratory hygiene.
Still, on a daily basis increasing members of the public can be seen wearing single use masks and gloves to carry out their daily errands, believing they provide additional protection.
However, with shortages, mixed messages and people not knowing where to turn for the most reliable information, the amount of rumours and myths are likely to increase before behaviours change.
While you may believe wearing gloves or masks is giving you protection from the dangers of Covid-19, the harsh truth is that you could be spreading the virus, therefore contributing to more deaths by misusing PPE.
Reusable gloves, while effective in the protection of medical professionals, are only designed for single use.
Even when only worn once, as soon as you touch something else with that pair of gloves they immediately become contaminated. In a medical setting a pair of gloves would only be worn for one task, then removed and replaced with a new pair each time any future tasks took place.
When worn to supermarkets or other similar settings, glove wearers, unless changing their gloves after touching each individual product – which most are not – actively contribute to contaminating every surface they come into contact with.
Surgical masks, while providing less of an infection risk, also come with no real protection, neither to the wearer or those around them, as once worn they are only effective until they become damp. Those choosing to wear them from the second they walk out of their door are likely to find their masks are ineffective before they even reach their destination.
Results of the public’s use of PPE is now beginning to have adverse effects on our NHS, with the WHO warning that “mask wearing Brits are denying NHS staff of crucial and potentially life saving protection”.
With the World Health Organisation warning of a “false sense of security” being formed around those wearing medical PPE, many people are now calling for the public to stop using them, and instead continue to adhere to the original hygiene and protection guidelines set out by Public Health England.
The public are also reminded that a two metre distance should be kept between themselves and other individuals when outside, whether wearing PPE or not, in order to stop the spread of infection and flatten the curve.
(image source: Anomaly Hi Vis, video)