Following the long-awaited "freedom day" where England have lifted most COVID-19 restrictions, many people across the country have been quick to ceremoniously throw away their face coverings and feel a sense of normality again. However, despite more and more people becoming fully vaccinated, experts warn of the adverse effects if everybody were to ditch their face protection which we’ve outlined some of the reasons you should consider:
1. The Vaccine is Not Immediately Effective
It may seem counterintuitive, but health officials say that even after you receive your vaccination against COVID-19, it can take some time for the vaccine’s effectiveness to build up. For instance, if taken the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine it will take up to two weeks after your second dose to reach a 95% effectiveness rate. Therefore, the partial immune response may not be sufficient to protect you against the Coronavirus
2. The Vaccines Cannot Guarantee 100% Protection
Although the vaccines are incredibly beneficial and have enabled the country to ease back to normality, the vaccines offer approximately 94% to 95% protection. Though a 5% risk can seem minuscule, it is important to be aware that it exists as it can yield serious consequences.
3. To Protect Those With Compromised Immune Systems and Those Who Cannot be Vaccinated
Whilst vaccines are one the most effective public health solutions in tackling the virus, there remain some individuals who cannot receive them. Namely,
4. To Follow the Three Scenario Advice Set Out by Professor Chris Whitty, the Government’s Chief Medical Adviser
This guidance entails wearing a mask in crowded indoor spaces; if required to do so by any competent authority and when doing so will make others feel more comfortable.
5. To Comply With Business Regulations
Several major companies and governing bodies, such as TFL and Waterstones announced last week that they will still be asking customers to continue wearing face coverings. Supermarkets including Sainsbury's, Aldi, Tesco and Waitrose are still encouraging mask wear in stores. Find out more about which of your favourite stores require a face mask.
6. It Remains Compulsory in Hospitals, GPs and Healthcare Settings
Beyond the 19th of July, Hospitals, GPs and other health providers will still be able to require patients and visitors to wear masks unless they are exempt.
7. To Protect Yourself From Other Illnesses
Masks have been a common practice to prevent respiratory transmission of illnesses in healthcare settings for a long time. Some say this method dates back to the Middle Ages. As wearing face masks in public has become the new normal across the world, this has been a long-established practice in countries across Asia where other respiratory epidemics emerged. We can learn from this common practice that can offer us protection from droplets and sprays that may contain germs.
So, How Do We Overcome This?
The CDC recommends using a mask that is made from 100% cotton, which is more likely to be comfortable in the heat as it's breathable and soft. A light coloured mask is further recommended, as darker coloured ones will absorb more heat. Remember the government states a face covering should ideally include at least two layers of fabric.
It might be worth carrying a spare (or two) masks just in case your masks get sweaty, you will be able to swap it over for a clear one. Any dampness or wetness decreases the protection of the mask and can make it even more uncomfortable.
Particularly in the heat, face visors can not only offer full protection of the face including the eyes, which along with the nose and mouth can be a gateway for the coronavirus and other germs to enter the body but also are reported more breathable and ‘cooler’ in these weather conditions. More so, a face shield can also act as a continuous reminder for an individual to not touch their face, eyes or hair, thereby preventing any bacteria on their hands from reaching and contaminating their face.
If your mouth or face is covered, you might be less likely to take sips of water throughout the day. As we know when it's hot and sweating you need to drink more water than usual, this can be a key factor to staying protected and healthy in the heatwave.
Where and when it is safe to do, taking your mask off for a couple of minutes and relieving yourself from the covering will feel good and allow for a complete flow of oxygen.
We hope that we have helped you make an informed decision and provided you with some pointers for how to stay protected in this weather. To further support you we have designed a range of face protection, that offers comfort, medical-grade PPE, anti-fog technology and look great. Just get in contact with a member of our team for how we can help continue to keep you safe!