Are you going to the grocery store, picking medications from the pharmacy, using public transportation, or putting gas in your car? These are just some examples of when no matter how hard you try, maintaining social distancing is tricky and even unlikely. The newest recommendation from the CDC is wear a cloth face covering in all public areas.
Lots of people may be infected with and carrying the COVID-19 virus and not be aware of it because they’re not exhibiting any symptoms. It could be you! Wearing a cloth face covering helps form a barricade that can lessen the likelihood that the virus will be spread to others in your community. Always assume you have the virus! Be the hero who does not unintentionally spread the virus!
A cloth face cover does not replace social distancing. It does very little to protect you from the virus droplets that might be already in the air, but it does make it harder for your droplets to be released and infect others. Again, this is your chance to be a super hero!
Purchasing a cloth facemask is nearly impossible at this time and even if you do, they can be expensive. Luckily, making a mask is not difficult and you can make one with materials that you probably already have at home.
There are several ways to make a mask. Check out the CDC site: www.cdc.gov to find excellent tutorials. If you have a T-shirt, scissors, rubber bands or string, or even hair ties, you can make a face cover!
If you have a sewing machine, there is mind-boggling number of tutorials available on You Tube. Having made a good number of masks already, I would suggest using the CDC guide or the tutorial from the New York Times. https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/6860-printable-face-mask-tutorial/ded6e67bb78f2599a7ff/optimized/full.pdf?referringSource=articleShare#page=1
Fabric choices you may already have in your home include: used cotton shirts, sheets, tea towels, or scraps of fabric. When you are choosing a fabric, and it can be used clothing, tea towels, or scrapes of fabric, keep in mind that the ideal material to use is cotton cloth with a pretty good thread count. Test your fabric by holding it up to the light. If it blocks a decent amount, you’re good to go. You will only need two 10”x6” rectangles.
Elastic is as rare as toilet paper these days and I’ve discovered that sewing ties for the mask is very time consuming. Shoelaces are an ideal alternative.
Once you have your face covering, read the directions on the CDC site for how to properly wear and care for your mask.
Then, take a selfie wearing your mask and encourage your family and friends to make one too!