• White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has been one of the highest-profile voices of authority urging all Americans to wear a mask when they venture outside, face coverings being regarded as one of the only tools we have to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
  • However, he doesn’t necessarily think you should stop there. If you can, Dr. Fauci thinks we should also wear eye coverings like googles or glasses where possible.
  • For now, they’re the kind of thing that only some health care workers are encouraged to wear. However, Fauci thinks there “might” come a time when that recommendation is widened.

This far into the coronavirus pandemic, everybody knows by now — whether you agree with this guidance or not. Wear a mask in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. It’s simple enough, and in lieu of any kind of national mask mandate … well, we kind of have one anyway, right? Most every retailer you can think of, along with restaurants, air carriers and more now require their guests and customers to wear face masks at all times. Still, we probably don’t need to remind anyone that this recommended practice hasn’t exactly been met with universal acceptance throughout the pandemic. Irrationally virulent anti-face maskers keep going viral for their refusal to wear face coverings. Along these same lines, over the last couple of weeks or so, Delta Airlines has put more than 100 people on a kind of internal no-fly list over their refusal to follow instructions in the airplane cabin to wear a face mask.

So, we’re barely adequate as a nation right now when it comes to wearing face masks, to keep ourselves from spraying the virus everywhere we go and into the personal space of people we come into contact with. But White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci … let’s just say, if he had his way, all of us would be wearing something else, too, in addition to our face masks, when we leave our houses.

Dr. Fauci, who’s also the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during an Instagram live conversation Wednesday evening that “If you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it.”

This is something that’s not currently included, mind you, in the guidance we have now from organizations like the CDC. The CDC, for example, only says health care workers should add this extra layer of protection “in areas with moderate to substantial community transmission.”

This came up during Fauci’s conversation with Jennifer Ashton, chief medical correspondent for ABC News and Good Morning America. She asked him, at one point, whether he thought eye coverings of some sort, like goggles, could eventually become part of formal recommendations, too. They “might,” Fauci conceded, “if you really want perfect protection of the mucosal surfaces.” Eye coverings are “not universally recommended,” he continued, “but if you really want to be complete, you should probably use it if you can.”

This certainly calls to mind some of our earlier coronavirus coverage, including some findings showing that coronavirus can actually live in the eye for several days. Still — yeah, not too excited to see the fight that would ensue if eye coverings eventually become part of the equation, as a complement to face masks.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.