People working in hazardous environments have long been familiar with PPE, short for “personal protective equipment.” Still, it was far from a household term at the end of 2019.
That changed in an instant with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you go looking for a PPE definition, you’ll see it became one of the hottest topics of 2021.
We’re all grateful that the PPE shortages that rocked the world at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic aren’t a huge issue anymore. That doesn’t mean figuring out the best places to buy PPE for COVID and other uses is a simple task.
It’s not simple, anyway, if you don’t know where to look. Lucky for you, you’re in the right place to learn where to find vital PPE gear. Take a look at this list of options you have for getting protected.
Organizations Can Request Free, High-Quality PPE
When 2020’s PPE and medical equipment shortage hit, governments had to step up and fill the void. In the United States, organizations can request PPE from their state governments and federal organizations such as FEMA to keep staff and clients safe.
The most obvious advantage of this source is that the PPE is free. Another advantage is that governments providing PPE assure their supply is high-quality. If the equipment is defective or fails, it may be easier to hold them accountable than, say, some random seller on eBay.
Medical institutions also have the assurance that the equipment meets FDA regulations. The best of the best isn’t necessary for everyone, but medical professionals and researchers should have it on hand.
You never know who you can trust on some marketplaces. Government stockpiles of PPE take away that uncertainty.
There are a couple of notable downsides to this method: Limited supply and long wait times. As you might imagine, free PPE is in the highest demand.
Governments don’t have unlimited access to medical supplies, so there’s a limited supply. Your organization might find itself waiting for a long time before their request is filled.
As we escape the worst of the pandemic, the situation may start becoming less dire. Less disease, demand, and panic should make these supplies easier to access for as long as they’re needed. Still, it’s important to have a backup plan in case this godsend of an opportunity doesn’t come through.
People in Risky Situations Can Rely on Professional Suppliers
Some people live and/or work in risky situations but may not have the backing of an organization to provide PPE for them. This group includes—but isn’t limited to—immunocompromised people, healthcare providers, retail workers, volunteers, and educators.
It’s much harder for individuals to access free government PPE supplies. This is frustrating for a lot of people, but there are some reasonable explanations for the restrictions.
Confirming who people are they say they are to avoid bad actors and fraud is a challenge for governments. Doing so takes tons of time and labor—As a result, the undertaking is also expensive. It’s easier to verify organizations requesting supplies.
There’s close to no limit on the number of individuals that might request free PPE if governments offered the supplies. Limiting eligibility to major organizations and governments cuts down on the number of applications that come into these programs. That makes it easier to sort through who gets supplies and who doesn’t.
If you work and/or live in a risky situation, nobody can blame you for doubting some of the no-name sellers offering supplies online. COVID-19 continues to kill many people even as vaccinations increase and transmission falls. You don’t want to put your life in the hands of seller “randomguy857” on Wish.
Sometimes, as described above, organizations can’t get ahold of limited free supplies. Private specialty companies often fill in the gap in these cases.
There are companies dedicated to providing a consistent medical mask supply for people in high-risk situations and for organizations that can’t access government stockpiles. They offer a safety net for those who can’t risk running out of PPE.
Everyday Protection Is More Casual
Those looking for everyday protective equipment have a wide range of options for PPE. Not everybody needs medical-grade equipment, so they don’t need to rely on professional sources like the prior two places.
The everyday person also has the choice to use a reusable mask that may not be acceptable, say, for a medical professional. Solutions like N95 equivalent reusable masks are excellent for most.
Further, people don’t have to worry about their protection much once they’re vaccinated and wait the necessary 2-3 weeks for protection to build. Vaccinated folks have to keep wearing masks and continue social distancing, though. They could carry the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, without realizing it.
There are some standards folks should still adhere to when picking out masks for day-to-day use:
• Make sure the masks have at least three layers
• Consider layering masks if they’re thin and don’t have certifications like N95 or KN95
• Always cover your nose and mouth, avoiding gaps
• Don’t use a face shield that isn’t flush to your face instead of a mask
• Don’t use masks with valves because they don’t filter your breath
• Never use neck gaiters because they disperse viral particles
Apart from those basic guidelines, you have a lot of flexibility. The common online marketplaces you buy everything else at have all you need in terms of PPE. Knowing the standards above and paying attention to the seller and product reviews will help you find the best PPE.
Get Your Life on Track and Be Healthy
This information on where to get PPE will help you stay protected through the end of the pandemic and during post-pandemic life. Moving past this difficult time and learning a new lifestyle is going to take hard work and commitment.
PPE is one small part of the overall strategy we should all adopt as members of the world community. If you want more valuable information to help you live a better, healthier life, look no further than this site. Click on another article here to learn something else new and life-changing today.