The coronavirus outbreak has shut down many businesses and sent tens of millions of Americans into their homes. However, the quarantine isn’t total. Essential workers are still going to work, performing their usual duties. Meanwhile, everyone else still needs to venture out occasionally to buy groceries, run errands, or just to spend a few minutes in the sun.
Masks make public situations safer in areas hit hard by COVID-19. Authorities in many states and municipalities have recommended the use of face coverings to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. However, getting masks can be difficult sometimes. Reports of shortages remain common. Also, purchasing mass-produced items can be expensive and come with long shipping delays.
Homemade masks provide a solution. The ability to create your own face coverings allow you to keep everyone safe when you go out in public.
Here’s how to create your own face mask:
Are Homemade Facemasks Effective?
Before we get started, we have to answer an essential question: are homemade masks effective in fighting an infection?
The short answer: yes…though not entirely. Studies have found that homemade masks do cut down on the likelihood of spreading disease. However, they aren’t as effective as mass-produced surgical masks.
For instance, one study from 2013 found that surgical masks were 3 times more effective than the homemade version. Still, the data showed a significant reduction in the number of microorganisms exhaled by people wearing the DIY face coverings.
The study concluded that homemade masks should be seen as a “last resort,” though they provide better protection than no mask at all.
Creating Your Homemade Mask
Homemade face coverings can take different forms. If you have a DIY spirit (and some sewing skills), you can create a rather elaborate mask. In a pinch, though, you don’t have to go that far. With just a few minutes and some simple materials, you throw together a passable cloth face covering to increase everyone’s safety when you’re out in public during the coronavirus outbreak.
The CDC provides some basic concepts to keep in mind when you use a homemade face covering:
- Fit: Make sure the mask fits snugly on your face. Also, secure it to your head, either with ear loops or by tying it in the back.
- Depth: Stack your fabric in multiple layers. This will make the mask more effective. For instance, one study suggests using a nylon stocking to increase protection.
- Keep Breathing: Safety is important, yes. But you still need to function while wearing your mask. Make sure it’s comfortable and that your breath isn’t restricted.
- Reuse: In order to use your mask over a long period of time, you need to be able to wash it. Your homemade mask should be machine washable (and machine dryable), and sturdy enough that it doesn’t lose its shape or get damaged over time. Otherwise, your mask becomes a one-time piece of equipment.
Points for Style
The coronavirus outbreak is a strange time for a lot of reasons. Among these oddities, it has created a strange time for fashion. Suddenly, everyone is walking in public, looking like either a hospital worker or a bank robber.
Safety doesn’t have to be drab and boring. With homemade masks, it’s possible to insert a level of creativity. Choose fabrics and patterns that provide some color and humor. It can add a pinch of levity to an otherwise frustrating situation.
The COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted many businesses. However, many companies remain operational and, eventually, life will return to normal. As such, recruitment and team building remain important priorities, even as we wait for the coronavirus concerns to pass. Partnering with a strong staffing firm, like SmartTalent, can prepare you for any labor market.
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