Beware, all beardy bros and hirsute daddies! An odd but relevant CDC guide has been making the rounds as the agency prepares the nation for deep coronavirus pandemic panic, and it says your beards have to go.
The guide to "Facial Hairstyles and Filtering Facepiece Respirators" which you can see below shows how most forms of full beards, goatees, "chin curtains," "French forks" and mutton chops are not advised in the event that you want to wear a filtering face mask or respirator. Why? Because your facial hair interrupts whatever seal the mask is meant to form around your face, allowing virus-carrying particulates to enter. Therefore, only clean shaven men, or those with small mustaches and soul patches, can properly wear a face mask, while others are leaving space for contaminants and disease to enter through their beards.
As KPIX notes after picking up this story, this beard guide from the CDC is not new — it was actually created in 2017. But it resurfaced because of fears that we'll all be wearing N95 face masks soon, even though the CDC is currently only recommending the masks for healthcare professionals dealing with infected patients.
But over in the UK, fears are mounting and at least one health organization sent around the CDC facial hair guide this week as a precaution. Per the Washington Post, the University Hospital Southampton National Health Service Foundation Trust sent the beard warning out via email to all employees.
"I recognise for some this is a big ask, that beards are so popular at present," said Derek Sandeman, medical director of the trust, in the email. "However I do believe this is the right thing to do."
If nothing else, the guide is handy for describing beards and mustaches that you may not have known all had names. Who knew that that beard was called a "Garibaldi"? Or that a Hitler 'stache was called a "Toothbrush"? And everybody please stop with the chin curtains.
Photo: Jakob Owens