Will the n95 mask shortage ever be fixed?

The primary reason for the scarcity of N95 respirators

The primary reason for the scarcity of N95 respirators is the demand for the N95 respirator. The demand for N95 respirators is gradually exceeding in the United States; this is because of a large number of coronavirus cases. The demand for N95 respirators is directly proportional to the number of coronavirus cases. More than one hundred thousand cases of the novel coronavirus are being reported in the United States daily.

This is a terrifying situation for the public and healthcare providers of the United States. Although COVID-19 is primarily less fatal than other viruses, thousands of people are dying at a drastic rate in the United States. The feeble healthcare infrastructure of the United States is another primary reason for so many casualties. As of December of 2020, more than two fifty thousand people have died because of the disease. 

Ignorance of the Trump administration

All of this could have been avoided if the situation had been taken seriously by the higher authorities — which is the Trump administration. When coronavirus commenced in the United States, the president of the United States — Donald Trump — said you do not need to worry about the fatality of this virus. This virus resembles the flu, and it is a far less lethal virus than the flu. 

While downplaying the fatality of this virus, Donald Trump said you do not have to worry about this virus. It is December 2020, there have been more than 13 million cases of coronavirus in the United States, and the death toll has surged to more than two fifty thousand. The United States would not be in this terrifying situation if the Trump administration had been smart in making a swift decision. 

Joe Biden on thousands of American casualties

The United States would not have suffered more than two fifty thousand casualties. Joe Biden — the new president of the United States — criticized the Trump administration severely and has said that they would do the right thing for the United States. According to Joe Biden, the virus will be eradicated within a few months. He wishes he could save all those people who have died as a result of the ignorance of the Trump administration.

Immense scarcity of N95 respirators

PPE

PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment. These resources are Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). PPE is protective equipment that keeps an individual safe from foreign bacteria, germs, and dirt. PPE includes surgical masks, N95 respirators, surgical gowns, gloves, hand sanitizers, and eye protection, etc. All of these things are somewhat helpful in keeping the wearer safe from infectious agents and viral infections. 

Because of the severe shortage of N95 respirators, a myriad of healthcare facilities in the United States lacks the crucial resources for preventing the spread of coronavirus. Healthcare providers — who have to be close to the patients to treat them — do not have ample amounts of N95 respirators for protection against particulate matter and treacherous airborne particles.

Therefore, N95 respirators are indispensable for protection against aerosols. Surgical masks are relatively less effective in terms of efficacy and filtration than N95 respirators. Therefore, doctors and nurses prefer to use more effective respiratory protection devices like the N95 respirator. Since there has been an acute shortage of this crucial PPE in the United States, it has become arduous for healthcare providers to get this essential PPE.

Ways to fix the severe shortage of N95 respirators 

First step

Although it may be hard to fix the immense scarcity of N95 respirators, it is possible to overcome this situation. Therefore, there are several crucial steps to cope with the acute shortage of products. The first step is to curb the spike in coronavirus cases. It can be done by maintaining social distance and sealing the places — coronavirus hotspots — where the number of infected patients is abundant. 

When the number of infected patients is less, the demand for N95 respirators will plummet. The demand for N95 respirators is directly proportional to the number of coronavirus cases. The greater the number of coronavirus patients, the greater is the demand for N95 respirators. Therefore, if the higher authorities manage to abate the number of coronavirus patients, the demand would plummet.

Second step

The second way to fix the shortage is to increase the manufacturing speed of N95 respirators. The greater the manufacturing spots in the United States, the greater number of N95 respirators would be manufactured. Therefore, the government must establish more manufacturing spots to increase the production of N95 respirators. American manufacturers like 3M and Honeywell have been doing good lately.

However, the demand has been exceeding at a drastic rate. It would be one of the most crucial steps to fix the scarcity of N95 respirators. 3M had added two buildings to boost the production of N95 respirators in the United States. Similarly, the United States government should do that as well.

Third step

The third way to deal with the immense shortage of N95 respirators is to introduce other types of respirators to the public. Surgical masks, cloth masks, and KN95 respirators are good alternatives to the N95 respirator. Therefore, the government must introduce these respirators to the public. Although these respirators may be relatively less effective than the N95 respirators, all of them are good enough to fight the coronavirus off. 

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