Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation to wearing cloth face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19, numerous DIY cloth face-covering tutorials, both sewn and non-sewn, have surfaced online. As medical-grade N95 respirator masks and surgical masks are becoming increasingly difficult to acquire, making our own masks can help to avoid consuming critical supplies of medical-grade masks from our frontliners.
According to the CDC, our DIY mask should be used with five simple steps to increase its protection. Firstly, it should be fitted against the side of the face and secured with ties or ear loops. It should also include multiple layers of fabric, and allow for breathing without restriction. Finally, the mask should also be able to maintain its shape without damage after being laundered and machine dried.
The CDC warned, however, not to touch our eyes, nose, and mouth while removing our DIY mask, and to wash our hands immediately after. They should be washed routinely for hygiene purposes, and it is advisable not to be worn by children below the age of two. Similarly, anyone experiencing trouble breathing or unable to remove a mask without assistance is advised against wearing a mask and should stay home during this time of social distancing.
Finally, it is essential to remember the use of DIY masks should not create a false sense of security. Even while wearing our face covering, social-distancing of at least six-feet and washing our hands frequently remains the best way to slow the spread of the virus.