With health care workers facing a shortage of masks during the COVID-19 crisis, many Americans have taken to making their own face coverings to help ease the shortage. In the Upstate, Bon Secours Health System family nurse practitioner Elizabeth King and her husband are making face shields out of two-liter Pepsi bottles.
Following the CDC’s recommendation that bandannas could be used by health care workers as a last resort, King went online to research ways to make masks or face shields and found that others were using plastic soda bottles. To see if it could work, she took a bottle and cut off the top and bottom. When she saw that it could work as a shield, she reached out to Pepsi and received an initial donation of 50 two-liter bottles to use for this project. With the bottles in hand, King’s husband went to work.
“He came up with [the idea of] bending plastic molding heated with a heat gun,” King said. “Then he puts it [the bottle] on a frame he made to bend it into a U-shape to go around the forehead. He takes screws and washers to the bottle and adds a sponge to it where it won’t sit so close that it will fog up. The bottom [of the shield] curves to provide protection.”
Once the face shield is made, King said that they are using leftover upholstery provided by a neighbor for the fabric to tie the shield on.
King has given 45 face shields to Bon Secours Health System. With the additional 100 bottles donated by Pepsi, as well as other donated materials from Lowes and Home Depot, she expects to turn in 100 additional shields this week.