Amid concerns of a growing coronavirus threat at home — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just confirmed in California the first "community spread" case of the virus, meaning that the person with the disease has no idea where it came from — a relatively hilarious infographic created by the CDC in 2017 has been making the rounds on social media.
The guide, created with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, lists the best — and worst — facial hairstyles (with illustrations) for those who wear a tight-fitting respirator at work. The Zappa, Soul Patch and Zorro are all acceptable ways to wear your follicular face art, but the Dali, Fu Manchu and the Toothbrush (aka the Hitler) are all a no-no. (Hitler is always a no-no.)
The blog that accompanies the guide says, "Ensuring the respirator seal is a vital part of respiratory protection practices." And the same is true for those wearing a respirator to protect from disease transmission.
What is a respirator? According to the CDC: "A respirator is a personal protective device that is worn on the face or head and covers at least the nose and mouth. A respirator is used to reduce the wearer’s risk of inhaling hazardous airborne particles (including infectious agents), gases or vapors. Respirators, including those intended for use in healthcare settings, are certified by the CDC/NIOSH."
And while the CDC and NIOSH do recommend wearing one for safety at work, they don't recommend humans in the general public shave their Bandholz beards into pencil-thin 'staches and start wearing respirators to the grocery store.
"CDC does not recommend the routine use of respirators outside of workplace settings (in the community). Most often,spreadof respiratory viruses from person-to-person happens amongclose contacts (within 6 feet). CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, such as avoiding people who are sick, avoiding touching your eyes or nose, and covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue. People who are sick should stay homeand not go into crowded public places or visit people in hospitals. Workers who are sick should follow CDC guidelines and stay home when they are sick."
If you are concerned about contracting the disease and the thought of it makes you want to set up a bunker with canned goods, hand sanitizer and a poop bucket, the CDC does list ways to protect yourself on its site. Basically, wash your hands.