To Beard or not to Beard During the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic
A beard, the hair you have been growing on your face, chin, upper lip, cheeks and around the neck. The hair you have grown to love, it’s a big part of life and your identity. You have watched it grow, from a small stubble to wiry whiskers, it has taken time, patience and commitment to cultivate and groom a soft, healthy and full beard. It’s a moment your most proud of when your facial fuzz is fully grown, and now you are being told to remove your beloved fuzz due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Doctors, paramedics, police, and other essential workers are being told to remove their beards for their own safety during the Coronavirus crisis. Face masks are now an everyday essential item and for best practice beards everywhere are being removed. This is to ensure when wearing a PPE mask in the work place an effective seal is created around the face and keep essential workers safe and healthy.
So, what should you do?
The ABC quoted Dr Karl Kruszelnicki advising all Australians to follow the lead of emergency service workers and remove beards. Dr Karl said beards and moustaches are a good location for virus partials to ‘hang out’ and ‘wait’ until they inadvertently get into your system, through a simple touch of the face, eyes or mouth, or chew of the beard. A beard is also an issue when wearing a face mask, he said. You don’t get a good seal around the face and a beard can allow contaminated particles of air gaps to sneak in behind the mask.
But does the beard need to go? Dr A. Adalija said facial hair does not create a risk to the grower. A disease infection specialist, he said there is no evidence to back up if your beard makes you less or more vulnerable. Adalija does agree facial hair can be a place for germs to ‘hang out’ and a cough or sneeze by an effected person could potentially infect other people in contact.
My opinion, losing your beard will be a hard moment but it’s the least of your worries at this stage. Your beard will grow back with time and it will hopefully only be a short-term phase.
If you do shave it off, set yourself a goal to grow it back bigger and better than before. Use a safety razor and wet shave every day, this will greatly help when you’re ready to regrow your beard, stimulating the hair and growth. During the lock down phase, keep yourself fit and heathy, sleep, eat and exercise well. This will hopefully help increase testosterone, blood flow and nutrients your whiskers will need to thrive again. And lastly keep your skin well, routinely washing the face, exfoliating and moisturising.
Good luck and stay safe.