Why Are People Wearing Water Bottles On Their Heads?

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Pictures of people wearing water bottles on their heads in China, Hong Kong and even Canada are going viral.

Find out what’s going on, and why they are wearing water bottles on their heads!

Why Are People Wearing Water Bottles On Their Heads?


Why Are People Wearing Water Bottles On Their Heads?

Chinese families fearing the Wuhan coronavirus are apparently taking the drastic (but creative) step of using large water bottles as makeshift masks.

By sawing off the bottom of these water bottles, they provide 360-degree protection against respiratory droplets by people passing by. Leaving the spout uncapped allows them to breathe through the top.

The clearest example was taken by Beijing lawyer Chen Qiushi of a man wearing an N95 respirator and a water bottle at the Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital.

Man wearing N95 respirator and water bottle at Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital

Although some people claim it’s due to a lack of surgical masks, they are seen wearing surgical masks and even N95 respirators underneath these water bottles.

It is more likely that they feared getting infected through the eyes, although that can be prevented by wearing protective eyewear or even goggles.

Recommended : Wang Guangfa : Wuhan Coronavirus Can Infect Through Eyes!

Here is a family wearing water bottles on their heads as they take the MTR in Hong Kong, presumably to the airport.

Family wearing water bottles in MTR Hong Kong Family wearing water bottles in MTR Hong Kong

And this lady was spotted wearing a water bottle and surgical mask at the Vancouver International Airport.

Lady wearing water bottle in Vancouver International Airport Lady wearing water bottle in Vancouver International Airport Lady wearing water bottle in Vancouver International Airport

While people wearing water bottles on their heads may seem crazy and funny, the origin of this practice is rather sobering. And this idea may have even more merit than we realise!


How Did Wearing Water Bottles On The Head Start?

This practice of wearing water bottles on the head started in China, with the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

Apparently, the Chinese government was initially slow in responding to the crisis, and the medical staff in Wuhan ran out of protective gear.

Wuhan medical staff with protection

Thinking out of the box, they used plastic garbage bags as makeshift gowns, and sawed off the bottom of water bottles to create this face mask + eye shield combo.

To be frank, this ghetto mod is a cheap and effective way of protecting their face and eyes against respiratory droplets from patients, especially with crazy patients who sometimes spit at them.

These water bottles are also easier to remove without accidentally touching their faces than separate face masks and eye shields.

It is very likely that people who crowded those hospitals in their panic to get tested or to seek treatment saw the practice, and adopted it.

Recommended : Wuhan Coronavirus : Protect With Surgical Mask + Eyewear!


Should We Wear Water Bottles Too?

Unless you are in a Wuhan coronavirus hotspot and lack access to proper protective gear like surgical masks or N95 respirators and protective eyewear, the straight answer is NO.

In fact, as WHO recommends, unless you are in a Wuhan coronavirus hotspot, there is NO NEED to wear any protective gear.

Just take the common precautions we already need to take to combat influenza – keep away from suspected or confirmed cases, and always clean our hands with soap or hand sanitiser.

Wuhan Coronavirus : Hand Sanitiser or Soap? Which Is Better?

But after we all stop laughing at how ridiculous they look, it would pay to keep this idea in mind.

If a pandemic does occur, whether due to the Wuhan coronavirus or some other virus, using a water bottle as a face mask + eye shield combo may be a good idea if we run out of protective gear.

Recommended : Wuhan Coronavirus : Hand Sanitiser or Soap? Which Is Better?


Where To Buy Surgical Masks / Protective Glasses

if you need to buy surgical masks, please make sure they are proper 3-layer surgical masks, and not 2-ply face masks or fashion masks. Here are some online purchase options :

Recommended : Surgical Mask : How To CORRECTLY Wear + Remove!

If you really want a cheap, cool-looking protective glasses that cover both ocular orbits, this is what I’m using – the Honeywell A700 safety glasses.

Honeywell A700 safety glasses

Here are some online purchase options if you are interested to get the Honeywell A700 as well :


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