The information about face masks we’ve been receiving over the last several weeks has been confusing. At first the general public, at least in some countries, was advised not to wear face masks when they go out into public. Later the conventional wisdom became that while face masks were probably a good idea they need to be left for medical providers and first responders. Now we are advised to wear homemade cloth masks when we go out into public, and there are a lot of different ways to go about making or procuring them.
N95 masks are still supposed to be used for medical personnel only, and in fact there is such a shortage that states are bidding against each other to purchase them. Many hospitals are asking people to donate any personal protective gear they have from their businesses – from tattoo shops to painters to nail shops and more. Leaving the PPE for professionals to use to fight COVID-19 is crucial right now.
If you aren’t handy at all, there are plenty of people selling homemade masks on sites like ETSY. If you are moderately crafty, you can make a homemade mask from a bandana or a scarf and rubber bands or hair ties. If you can sew, you can make a good reusable mask fairly simply with layered fabric rectangles and elastic.
Using your mask properly is crucial. If you are constantly touching your face to adjust it, you are better off not using it at all. Make sure your hands are clean when you put it on, then don’t touch it until you take it off. Wash your hands immediately and wash the mask with hot water and dry thoroughly.
Learn more about face masks from the infographic below.