With the advent of the coronavirus outbreak, a lot has happened to our environment. The outbreak has changed the course of our lives and being honest we might have to live with the changes that accompanied it. Before this time in the history of mankind, there have been few instances where masks have been the norm of the day. You can count them and name them in some seconds because they are few.
Before the disease outbreak in China, you can only find an activity such as distancing among military personnel when they are in training or an act of combat. Similarly, the act of washing the hands as frequently as one can is a ritual that is common to health professionals and those working in the hospital. This is also found among waste disposal officers because of the intricacies of their profession.
When it comes to the wearing of facemasks, such behavior before now is seen among disease specialist, surgeons, and their assistants in the surgical theater. If you will look out of the healthcare system, the other place where you will see such is among high way robbers or bank robbers. These people wear these covers to conceal their faces from being identified. But things have changed.
Presently, these kinds of behaviors are considered the norm of the day in our society. The reason for this isn’t far fetched, it is simply because of the notorious coronavirus. Right now, it is even illegal for you not to be on your face mask in some states as such an act is met with legal punishments. Apart from this, medical experts have advised that it is safe at this time to be with a facemask when you are going out in the public.
To support this, state authorities and officials are developing approaches and strategies to motivate their citizens to put on facemasks especially when they are in the public. Some states have instructed their domestic companies with mask producing capacities to step up production to meet the demand of the citizens. Other states are undergoing donation and support strategies to ensure that their people have an adequate supply of this gadget.
These actions were not purposeless and no government is interested in wasteful ventures. The act and strategies were tailored to the achievement of the coronavirus transmission reduction goal. These authorities are indirectly motivating their people to adhere to the recommendations of health regulation agencies and world medical experts.
These recommendations include daily and frequent washing of hands with soap and water or frequent sanitization with hand sanitizers containing at least 60 percent alcohol, physical or social distancing, and the wearing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
One of the important personal protective gadgets advised for the public is facemasks. This can either be a cloth facemask or covering a surgical mask, or an N95 mask. People tend to go for the N95 masks because it offers a high level of protection than the other masks. This has lead to an increase in demand for these masks which overtime exceeds the level of production.
To help with this, the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised that N95 masks be reserved for health professionals and other frontline workers who are in dire need of them. The public is protected if they use the cloth masks and comply with the other protective measures.
Shortage of N95 masks
Report from different hospitals across the United States is that there is a critical shortage in the supply of N95 masks and health care organizations are calling on the government and external assistance for help.
According to the American Hospital Association, the situation regarding N95 masks remains fragile and challenging. It is as if the appeal for more is not reaching the ears of the necessary authorities as health care workers need these facemasks and because of its shortage have resorted to reusing them over time.
There are a lot of reasons why the N95 masks are in shortage which has led to a lot of illegal and unapproved practices among workers and authorities alike. One of these reasons is the continual dependence on external countries for supply. As long as this continues, the shortage situation is set to persist. It is unsafe to depend on other countries for your supply as these countries as well need to meet their domestic demand before considering exportation.
Another reason is that some of the domestic companies producing masks in the country also have other branches outside the country. These branches are situated in these regions because of quick and cheap access to production materials. When the facemasks might have been produced by these countries, they are imported back into the country. Because of the border closure restrictions put in place by different countries, the importation of these facemasks is also affected leading to artificial scarcity.
There is also a notion common in the country. The country often assumes it can produce whenever needed. This affects and influences the need to produce and save for the future. The cost of goods continues to increase which influences the cost of production. If these goods have been produced earlier, it would have been cheaper. The only cost will be to ensure their maintenance and safety.
Which state has the highest N95 masks available?
Every state relies on contributions from the government, domestic producing companies, and donations from associations, societies, institutions, individuals, etc.
The number of cases differs because of so many factors that influence the number of supplies that should be available.
The city of New York has recorded one of the highest numbers of cases but might be falling behind in N95 mask supplies when compared to other states which cases are not up to it. To get the number of N95 masks available in each state demands keeping the record of internal production and external supplies including donations given to each state which most of the time is not available. The evident problem is that there is a shortage of available N95 masks.
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is an obvious decrease in the global supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Hence, there is a need for conservation strategies by healthcare organizations and personnel.
Meanwhile, the recommendations are intended to augment and not to replace specific controls and procedures developed by health care organizations such as the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies.
The coronavirus pandemic is at the next phase and every state is trying its best to make sure that the transmission of the disease is curtailed. It is the responsibility of everyone to ensure that the menace of the virus is put to an end. It is good to note that the purpose of the whole process is to put an end to the tyranny of the virus.