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Why We’re in the Clear Shield Business…

OUR STORY

Because of our manufacturing capabilities (making auto floor mats and clear drawer and shelf liners for the home), we’re now making clear face shields. In developing these shields, we worked directly with MD Anderson Hospitals according to the Johns Hopkins Institute’s exact specifications, and they’ve been widely embraced in customer-facing service / consultant businesses. In addition to schools, churches and childcare, we have served a wide range of businesses: fitness groups, service consultants, professional organizers, dentists and ortho clinics.

“Safety and health for our community is a priority for us in reopening. As soon as we saw from the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and our local public health office that face shields would be an acceptable alternative to face masks, we knew this was a direction we wanted to move in.”
- Lauren Lek, head of school at Academy of Our Lady of Peace, in San Diego, CA 
“Some Experts Say Face Shields Better Than Masks for Coronavirus Protection” (aarp.com – 6/15/2020)


LET’S START BY SAYING THIS

We’re quite honest with ourselves. Meaning that, we’re not virus experts.

But we do notice human behavior.

In public, compared to shields, face masks are smaller, cheaper, and seemingly easier to take on the go. 

But we’ve been noticing something as we go out and about... 

Understandably we feel comfort when we see everyone wearing face masks. And yes - sometimes they're the most appropriate (and maybe the only) option. 

But something significant is oddly disappearing... Especially in public spaces...

Eye contact.

Why? 

Obviously, avoiding eye contact won't make you any safer from COVID-19... 

I feel the answer may be something deeper...

Engagement. Emotion. Empathy. Smiles? 

Those get a big boost from the rest of one's face.

And I think when those things are behind a mask, we tend to dismiss the other person — albeit unwittingly. Unintentionally, of course. Or as an orthopedic specialist remarked, “masks can be pretty de-humanizing”.

Is it a coincidence that many Hollywood villains are behind a mask?

 

That’s not to say that good guys don’t wear masks. But (with few exceptions), it’s usually just around the eyes. Perhaps there’s a reason…

BUT WHAT ABOUT PROTECTION?

Researching online, there’s been plenty of chatter about that, but not much definitive data. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) labels various PPE comparisons as "low-quality evidence”. 

The long and the short... (If they aren’t used together):

  • Shields directly cover all-sized droplets, and yes, because aerosol droplets can hang in the air longer, they can / may enter from the sides or underneath.

  • However, in a simulation study, face shields were shown to reduce immediate viral exposure by 97% when worn by a simulated health care worker within 18 inches of a cough. (Are Face Shields Even Better Than Face Masks at Preventing Coronavirus Infection? (self.com 6/3/2020)

  • Homemade cloth masks are largely one-way – preventing large droplets from escaping. They’re more porous than surgical, N95 or K95s, and a more immediate risk to the wearer.

  • N95s or KN95s have the best coverage for inhaling and exhaling, yet have zero protection of the eyes, from which one can easily get infected.

  • Transmission of germs from the hands to the face is common from constantly pulling and adjusting the mask.

    “From surgical-style disposable masks to washable cotton face coverings to coveted N95 masks, there has been a run on face masks of all kinds since news of the pandemic spread. But one piece of personal protective equipment that has been largely overlooked by the public is the face shield. A simulation shows that exposure can be reduced by 96% when wearing a face shield that covers your eyes, nose and mouth. Plus, they can be easily wiped down and sanitized.” 

    "Are face shields better protection against COVID-19 than face masks?” (MSN - 5/26/2020)

If you have to choose one by itself, consider the following:

  • Comfort: Our shield is far superior to a mask. breathing fresh air; lightweight (3 oz.); no pain in the back of the ear from the masks

  • Human interaction: Your voice isn't as muffled; they can see you talking; they can see your facial expressions.

  • For those that wear glasses: Masks direct your breath straight to your glasses and quickly fogs up. Clear shields do not. And ours are made with marine-grade vinyl. We treat them with an anti-fog layer, though we’ve never had a fogging problem without it.

  • Re-usability: Shields can be wiped down with disinfectant and used over and over. Gloves pick up everything and keep it until you throw them away and put on a new pair. Masks are similar (though, you can throw the homemade cloth masks in the washing machine).


    JUST TO BE PERFECTLY CLEAR

    We’re not saying to ditch face masks. We’re not saying to go against the mandates of your state county and city officials. But it doesn’t hurt to check… one client in Ohio called his local health department and got permission to use a clear shield in lieu of a mask.

     Sure we could cite more expert opinions, stats, etc. But this isn’t meant to be a research paper. We still know disturbingly little about COVID-19. If you’re around those in higher risk age groups, or those that might be carriers to higher risk age-groups, the best possible solution is to use both.

    But, there are well-documented trade-offs with all single-use PPEs. We’re simply stating that, where human engagement is at a premium – SMILE! There’s a very safe alternative.

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Rob Camper

Chief Brand Officer, Co-owner

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P.S.

  • We manufacture everything in Houston, TX. 
  • And because of our printing capabilities, we can customize the label however you'd like. No extra charges or setup fees. 
  • In case you have additional needs for open space applications, we’ve also developed portable, retractable (and storable) clear room dividers for floor and desktop. 

Let us know if we can provide more info. We’d be happy to provide references. 

We just want to help. And to let people see smiles.

 

 

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