There has been a great deal of confusion about whether or not we should wear masks in public during this coronavirus pandemic—and if so, what type?
The CDC has recently answered that question by recommending the use of cloth face coverings in public settings (where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, like at the grocery stores or pharmacies)—in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to help keep people who may have the virus and do not know it, from transmitting it to others.
With the supply of masks at an all-time low throughout the nation, surgical masks and N95 respirators should be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by CDC guidance.
Asymptomatic COVID-19 Spread
Recent studies have shown that a significant number of people with coronavirus are asymptotic (lack symptoms) and even those who eventually develop symptoms (pre-symptomatic), can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms themselves.
As a result of this new evidence (that shows coronavirus can spread between people in close proximity by speaking, coughing, sneezing, etc., even if those people aren’t showing symptoms)—the CDC is now recommending wearing cloth face coverings in public.
Social Distancing is Still Most Important
Even though the CDC has made this new recommendation for the use of cloth face coverings, it’s important to emphasize that staying at home and maintaining 6-feet social distancing while in public, are the most important measures we can take to slow the spread of the virus.
The CDC on Homemade Cloth Face Coverings
As per the CDC.gov website, cloth face coverings should:
* Fit snugly, but comfortably on your face
* Be secured with ties or ear loops
* Include multiple layers of fabric
* Allow for breathing without restriction
* Be able to be washed and machine dried without damage or change in shape of the mask
* Should not be placed on young children (younger than 2 years of age), anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the face cover without help.
No Sew Options
I don’t have a sewing machine at home, so no-sew mask options was a must-have!
Here are the examples provided on the CDC.gov website, for cloth masks made from t-shirts and bandanas:
I used cotton pocket squares, old cotton pillow cases and an old t-shirt to make my homemade cloth face masks (which could be a family craft project). I included a swiffer sweeper dry sweeping cloth in between the layers of fabric for my masks initially (after finding cloth material listed as its only ingredient, without any cleaning chemicals)—but have since switched to using paper towel sheets and/or coffee filters, since those are more often used around the mouth and for beverages that are consumed).
Take care and stay safe!