Neck Gaiter Controversy: A Deeper Look Into Face Coverings : Goats and Soda – NPR

A fan wears a neck gaiter as he enjoys the L.A. Dodgers play the San Francisco Giants in Los Angeles.

Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times by means of Getty Images

hide caption

toggle caption

Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A fan wears a neck gaiter as he enjoys the L.A. Dodgers play the San Francisco Giants in Los Angeles.

Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Weekly, we answer “regularly asked questions” about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you d like us to think about, email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: “Weekly Coronavirus Questions.” In between face guards, neck gaiters and safety glasses, the options for defense are getting more complicated. What face covering setup uses the very best safeguard from the infection? Theres been a lot of face covering news today. A study from Duke took a look at the effectiveness of a variety of coverings and resulted in headings like this from The Washington Post: “Wearing a neck gaiter may be worse than no mask at all, scientists find.” Fans of neck gaiters– those tubes of material you slip over your head and that pull up over the nostrils and mouth– were up in arms. The Philippines ruled that you have to use a plastic face guard when going outside. One thing is clear from the research: Wearing a face covering can conserve lives.

Edmond says the best method combines a face and a mask shield to provide optimal defense from viral particles for yourself and for others. As a general rule, Diaz states its critical to consider your own health danger when figuring out a mask or face covering regimen. “If Im going to the grocery shop, where I dont expect that there are going to be individuals really close to me, I will typically wear a shield, unless the shop states particularly I have to wear a mask,” he says. If the mask has a filter behind the valve– which numerous fabric face masks with valves have– then it needs to be OK, says Raina MacIntyre, a leading mask scientist and head of the biosecurity program at the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

When it comes to bigger viral beads, he states, a face shield is likely more protective than a face mask.

Edmond says the safest method integrates a face and a mask shield to provide optimal protection from viral particles for yourself and for others. “If Im going to the grocery shop, where I dont prepare for that there are going to be individuals very close to me, I will normally wear a guard, unless the store says particularly I have to wear a mask,” he states. If the mask has a filter behind the valve– which numerous cloth face masks with valves have– then it should be OKAY, states Raina MacIntyre, a leading mask scientist and head of the biosecurity program at the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

And runners might likewise be following the standards of social distancing, which would further decrease threats to others– which is why some reports have said you shouldnt be so hasty to trash your gaiter. Theres the concern of full-on plastic face shields. When it comes to larger viral beads, he says, a face guard is likely more protective than a face mask.

However theres still a lot we dont understand. The neck gaiter debate shows why theres still confusion. Outside exercisers frequently like gaiters– theyre easy to pull up and down, and there are no ear loops that might pinch the ears or simply slip off. This week, a research study from Duke appeared to conclude that wearing a gaiter is worse than no mask at all when it came to defense. (The researcher hypothesized that the gaiters permeable texture would likely split large COVID-19 particles into lots of smaller sized ones, which then can stick around in the air for longer.) And the media was fast to get on the story. Dr. Michael Edmond, transmittable disease professional at the University of Iowa, has a few indicate make about the research study. “One thing to realize is that they [tested only] one gaiter, made of neck fleece– which is a very thin fleece,” Edmond states. Thats an artificial material. He says: “I d be interested to understand if the gaiter tested was made of a different fabric with numerous layers if it d be more protective.” In other words, he d like to see more data prior to knowing whether to mark down all gaiters. Whichs true in general about face coverings that seek to protect others from any viral particles released by the user– and secure the mask-wearer as well. Dr. Vicente Diaz, who focuses on ocular inflammatory and transmittable diseases at Yale Medical School, agrees, He states while Dukes research study offers a great beginning point, there are lots of other factors to consider in evaluating gaiters– like testing circumstances and the particular gaiter used.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *