In our current state of the world, the coronavirus pandemic is the leading topic on everyone’s minds. Many of us have the luxury of being able to stay home, limit our exposure, and do everything we can to stay safe. However, some of us simply do not.
For many people, social distance (unfortunately) isn’t possible.
There are so many people in the United States who have jobs that are deemed essential—and that’s not just medical workers (though, they’re absolutely essential employees).
When the coronavirus outbreak began, as a nation, our perspective on what essential meant was flipped—mail delivery people, food service workers, grocery store employees, pharmacy techs, janitors, and thousands of other occupations were finally given the credit they’d deserved. They’d been essential and important all along, but it took a pandemic for some to take note.
But now that they’d been deemed essential, they were needed at their places of employment—they couldn’t just go home and limit their social exposure like many of us could. And for those people, PPE was—and is— absolutely vital.
But why exactly does PPE matter for those who can’t social distance? Keep reading to learn more.
They’re Unable to Abide by the Three Pillars
There are three very important social pillars that are necessary to abide by in order to do everything in your power to not only keep yourself safe, but also to keep others around you safe.
These three pillars were implemented in order to help people do everything they could to stay healthy and slow the spread of this highly contagious virus.
- Practice Social Distancing
- Frequently Wash Hands
- Wear Proper PPE, Masks, and Medical Supply Products
Following the three pillars stringently doesn’t guarantee that you won’t catch or spread the coronavirus disease, but it does help to decrease your chances and slow the rate of exposure—in other words, these three pillars are vital for flattening the curve.
Essential workers and others who are unable to social distance (for whatever reason) aren’t able to abide by every pillar on this list, which means it’s incredibly important that they lean even harder against the other two pillars to protect themselves and those around them.
PPE, masks, and medical supply products help to limit our exposure by limiting the aerosols and droplets that we emit when talk, sneeze, cough, and more. Without a mask, the range of our droplets and aerosols reaches several feet around us, putting everyone in our wake at risk. But with a mask, that exposure is limited.
Check out this video for a clearer illustration of how masks can limit the spread of infectious droplets and aerosols.
The Less Social Distance, the More Risk Assumed
While the coronavirus is a very complex, difficult to understand disease, part of how its spread is actually very simple—the more people you come into contact with, the more likely you are to spread or contract the virus.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledges and confirms that COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact form person-to-person—namely people who are within 6 feet of each other.
This happens through either respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks (a process called direct transmission) or when a person touches an infected surface (a process called fomite transmission).
When an essential worker—or someone who is unable to social distance—comes into contact with person after person, their risk of contracting or spreading the disease increases substantially. Without proper protection equipment (PPE), frequent handwashing, and other efforts to lean on for their safety and the safety of others, the risk of their exposure to the infection will continue to skyrocket.
While no PPE, mask, or medical supply product will make someone 100% invincible, some masks can block up to 95% of those aforementioned aerosols and droplets, dramatically limiting exposure for those workers and the people they come into contact with.
PPE can’t cure the coronavirus—it can’t even promise everyone with 100% certainty that they won’t contract or spread it. But it can dramatically slow the spread of the virus and increase the likelihood that the wearer of the PPE (and those around the wearer) will be safer, healthier, and in better shape.
They Need to Protect Themselves—But Also Those Around Them
One of the most complicated factors of the coronavirus is that not everyone who has it will show symptoms, feel sick, or even ever know that they had it.
According to current knowledge, researchers, scientists, and doctors assume that about 25% of cases of coronavirus are asymptomatic—meaning the symptoms never occur, so a person might not know they’re sick.
But here’s the thing about being asymptomatic—just because someone doesn’t feel sick, look sick, or appear to have any symptoms of COVID-19 doesn’t mean they’re not highly contagious.
An essential worker could feel fine, not appear sick, and never know they had COVID-19, but if they’re not using proper protection, they could easily spread that to someone they come into contact with.
While PPE is vital to keep these essential workers safe, it’s also important in order to keep others safe, too.
Have questions about PPE, medical supply products, and masks? We can help. Expedited PPE is committed to providing you with the PPE you need to do your job while staying safe and healthy. Check out our learning resources center here to uncover the differences between all kinds of PPE and learn what might be necessary for you!
Are you an essential worker who isn’t able to social distance? We encourage you to scroll through our PPE offerings right here. We’re committed to providing dedicated people like you with quality, reliable, compliant PPE, masks, and medical supply products you need to stay safe!
Have questions? Chat with us here!