Could masks be the key to solving the coronavirus economic crisis?

Giving away masks that offer sufficient protection could be the solution for opening up the economy.

Various N95 respiration masks at a laboratory of 3M, that has been contracted by the U.S. government to produce extra marks in response to the country's novel coronavirus outbreak, in Maplewood, Minnesota, U.S. March 4, 2020. Picture taken March 4, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/NICHOLAS PFOSI)
Various N95 respiration masks at a laboratory of 3M, that has been contracted by the U.S. government to produce extra marks in response to the country's novel coronavirus outbreak, in Maplewood, Minnesota, U.S. March 4, 2020. Picture taken March 4, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/NICHOLAS PFOSI)
The coroanvirus pandemic forced the closure of many of the world's economies, however the battle is not yet lost if a relatively cheaper solution can be thought of - mass distribution of masks that offer an almost absolute protection from the virus.
Chief Medical Officer at HemaClear Professor Noam Gavriely, who invented the Virimask, recently claimed that understanding the scientific and quantitative parameter of the coronavirus pandemic could actually offer a path to a new approach to cope with the effects of the virus, while eschewing the economic damage. 
While some of the currently widely used masks, including cloth masks, single-use surgical masks, do not offer sufficient protection, N95 and N99 masks offer more protection that may lead to possible reopening of the economy
While N95 masks only block up to 95% of harmful particles at a size bigger than 0.3 micron, N99 masks block up to 99% of particles bigger than 0.1 micron, for this reason Gavriely suggest that N99 masks are preferable.
However, both masks are considered as "half-face" masks meaning that they cover the face and the nose only, leaving the eyes unprotected. 
According to Gavriely, protecting the eyes is necessary since their relatively large surface is made up from respiratory epithel, a permeable tissue which could serve as a hotbed for coronavirus.
But what's the solution? Gavreily suggest that governments invest in N99 masks or other masks that offer a similar protection and distribute them to the entire population.
This could potentially prevent a collapse of the health system due to the increasing numbers of coronaviurs patients and wider reopening of the economy. 
The novel idea is not unheard of, as Gavriely compares it to what Israel did during the Gulf War: distributed thousands of gas masks in fear of a possible chemical attack from Iraq. 

Virimask, which was developed by HemaClear, is similar to N99 according to Gavriely, but offers integrated eye protection in addition. 
Gavriely's idea may not eliminate the problem, but it could certainly mask it, allowing many to live with the virus - at least until a vaccine is found.