We are in trying times. COVID-19 has affected everyone globally forcing us all to make changes. These range from working from home to maintaining a safe distance from others in public. Cleaning our groceries before bringing them into the house and not visiting friends or family in person. We make these changes in the name of safety, not just our own but the safety of others. Our goal is to prevent the spread of the coronavirus wherever we are to flatten the curve and make sure our hospitals and medical professionals aren’t overrun. We do this by quarantining in our homes and limiting our exposure to other people. There are times, however, that we are forced into the general public for needs such as groceries or medicine.
By now we all know the precautions one must take when leaving the house. Mask, gloves, hand sanitizer are all mandatory. The issue that has come to the forefront is the lack of protective masks. Medical professionals are required to wear N95 masks which filter out 95% of airborne particles and reduces the wearer’s exposure to aerosols and large droplets. The CDC does NOT recommend that the general public wear N95 masks to protect themselves from COVID-19. These masks are critical for medical professionals and must be reserved for them. The CDC recommends the general public use cloth face coverings in a public setting. This ensures that if you are infected, even if you don’t realize it, you won’t spread it to others you come in contact with.
As there is a global shortage of masks, the CDC has step-by-step instructions on making your own cloth mask at home to use should you have to go out and come in contact with others. Check out below for a couple of instructions on how to make your own cloth facemask, some requiring NO sewing! Phew!
- Two 10”x6” rectangles of cotton fabric
- Two 6” pieces of elastic (or rubber bands, string, cloth strips, or hair ties)
- Needle and thread (or bobby pin)
- Sewing machine
1.Cut out two 10-by-6-inch rectangles of cotton fabric. Use tightly woven cotton, such as quilting fabric or cotton sheets. T-shirt fabric will work in a pinch. Stack the two rectangles; you will sew the mask as if it was a single piece of fabric.
2. Fold over the long sides ¼ inch and hem. Then fold the double layer of fabric over ½ inch along the short sides and stitch down.
3. Run a 6-inch length of 1/8-inch wide elastic through the wider hem on each side of the mask. These will be the ear loops. Use a large needle or a bobby pin to thread it through. Tie the ends tight. Don’t have elastic? Use hair ties or elastic head bands. If you only have string, you can make the ties longer and tie the mask behind your head.
4. Gently pull on the elastic so that the knots are tucked inside the hem. Gather the sides of the mask on the elastic and adjust so the mask fits your face. Then securely stitch the elastic in place to keep it from slipping.
For more instructions go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html