Goodbye Facemasks – Hello Face-Shields?
A Waterloo company – Canadian Shield has been making millions of face shields for essential workers and the healthcare market. They’ve now turned to the next market – consumers. Their founder, Jeremy Hedges, reported that over 1000 orders came in as soon as they began offering them to general consumers.
Many jurisdictions are requiring face masks be worn when out in public, and public health agencies world wide have moved to recommending they be worn to help prevent transmission. Face masks are bulky, uncomfortable and awkward and block most of the face making it difficult to read emotion. Face shields offer the benefits of being cooler in the summer and offer a clear view of the face.
Canadian Shield is hoping to be able to scale manufacturing to meet the anticipated demand. The shields are available now – online – through their website. They are currently donating one to frontline workers for every one they sell.
Several Canadian companies are making the the face masks which are thought to offer better protection to the wearer. Masks control the source of the spread, where shields protect the person wearing them. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that,
“Face shields protect your eyes, your nose and your mouth. Those are the three areas where the virus can enter the body.”
Hedges’ company Manufacturers printers, laser cutters, robotic kits and tech supplies. They had not intended shields to become a line of business but rather pivoted in the early days of the pandemic in response to the extreme shortage of PPE. It is this kind of entrepreneurial spirit and manufacturing power that many Canadian companies have shown during the COVID-19 crisis.