Covid 19 has brought about several changes to average people in the world, namely masks, face shields, social distancing and sneeze guards. A number of studies have been carried out to see how each of these products is effective. First, we will start with the studies on coughs and sneezes. This is something I never really thought about before Covid and in a way it’s a little disgusting to know but here goes:
A cough can travel as fast as 50 mph (over 80km/h) and can expel almost 3,000 droplets in just one cough. By the way, the droplets are made up of mucus, phlegm and other wonderful substances that come out of us and carry viruses, germs etc. (I told you it was disgusting).
A sneeze is even faster because when we sneeze it can come out at a speed of up to 100mph (over 160 km/h). It can expel up to 100,000 droplets or 33 times more mucus, phlegm etc. than a cough. Those are a lot of germs and viruses that are flying around when we sneeze.
Masks, face shields and social distancing are all good at preventing us from inhaling the droplets. Some are better than others. When social distancing cannot be achieved such as at a pharmacy, at the bank with the teller, with the cashier at the grocery store, receptionist, or employees that work side by side etc. the solution is sneeze guards.
Sneeze guards are most effective when used alongside other proven methods including enhanced cleaning and good hygiene practices. You want to clean those sneeze guards at the end of the day (I hate to think of what might be on them after many people have been by and spoke, coughed, or sneezed). Make sure to use the appropriate cleaning products when cleaning them, wear a mask and gloves and dispose of everything and wash your hands once you are done cleaning the sneeze guards.
I read that apparently one germ can multiply more than 8,000,000 times in a single day. This is why sneeze guards are so useful for protection against sneezes. They help to protect you from Covid but also from the flu and perhaps even the common cold.
You can choose from plexiglass or sneeze guards constructed of polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is harder to scratch and provides excellent resistance for long term use. It can be leaned on and won’t break as easily as plexiglass, but both provide good protection against germs and viruses.
There are many manufacturers of sneeze guards and some companies have had to recreate themselves to survive the economic impact of closed businesses. One of those manufacturers is IEG, creators of the Flexi-Felt floor protectors who also manufacture sleds and toboggans. They have a CNC machine and took advantage of it to begin manufacturing sneeze guards. They already offered the hands free for health door openers and with their 3D printer they also began manufacturing face shields. By doing this they provide essential equipment to the market and are able to survive the economic downturn.
If you still don’t have sneeze guards but are thinking of getting them, you should. Even if the Covid is significantly reduced or eliminated, sneeze guards will remain in place to protect clients and employees from other viruses and germs. It is the new normal.