To slow the spread of COVID-19, Americans are now being encouraged to wear cloth face masks when leaving their homes, particularly when venturing out to places where social distancing is difficult. But with masks already in short supply even for health care workers, what’s the average Joe or Jane to do?
Make your own.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has posted handy how-to instructions both for folks with sewing machines, and those without. Surgeon General Jerome Adams has gone one better, demonstrating via video how to create a no-sew mask out of common household items, such as an old T-shirt and rubber bands.
The fabric used should be suitable for machine washing and drying, and masks should routinely be run through the laundry if worn frequently.
The CDC also has guidelines for how to correctly wear a cloth mask, noting that the coverings should never be placed on children under the age of 2, or worn by anyone who already has trouble breathing.
According to the CDC, a mask should:
—Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
—Be secured with ties or ear loops
—Include multiple layers of fabric
—Allow for breathing without restriction