Wearing goggles to the grocery store may seem extreme, but choosing to do so ultimately amounts to investing in a bit of extra prevention during an immensely serious pandemic. After all, the United States has been the country worst-affected by Covid-19, with more than 4.3m diagnosed cases and over 150,000 deaths. In his broadcast, Fauci noted that residents of Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana should be particularly careful, as their states are “starting to show that very subtle increase in percent positives among the total tested, which is a surefire hint that you may be getting into the same sort of trouble with those states that the southern states got into trouble with.”

The question remains – if goggles are useful in the battle against Covid-19, why are we only talking about them now?

According to Dr Warren Dinges, a Seattle-based board-certified physician in internal medicine and infectious diseases, the new emphasis on goggles probably reflects our growing understanding of the role of aerosol particles in Covid-19 transmission. “When something is airborne … little droplets remain in the air longer and you could then walk into a stream of suspended droplets that could then transmit the virus to you,” he says. “And by wearing goggles you would prevent those airborne droplets from landing on your [eye] mucus membranes and causing transmission.