A pandemic is upon us, but fear not since we’re in this together. Remember to take all the necessary precautions to emerge safe and sound when all this ends. Being just a bit careful and taking care of all aspects to keep yourself and your family protected is all it takes to get through these tough times.
Among all the rest of the things that can protect you from catching the virus, a face mask is an important one. However, there’s only a limited number available in the market, and that too is recommended for health care workers, patients, and their carers. If you’re not one of them, it’s considered your social responsibility to spare these essential resources for those who need it more than you.
This doesn’t mean you have to fight mask-less with this malicious infection. It only means you have to get down to work. Learn how to make your own face mask and keep yourself and those around you safe from the infection.
Who is entitled for a medical face mask?
Medical face masks, the N95s, and the surgical masks are short in the market they prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, and people are buying them in bulks. Instead of panic buying, think rationally, if you really need one, or could you do without it and leave it for someone else.
However, in some cases, it is more suitable for you to wear a medical mask, instead of a homemade one to protect yourself and others against this virus.
Before getting on to how to make your own face mask, let’s see if you’re entitled to a medical face mask. Here is a list of all those who will need to use a medical face mask:
- Health care workers or first responders who see Corona patients regularly.
- If you have a Corona patient at home that you are taking care of.
- If you are tested positive for COVID-19.
- If you are showing symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, or fever.
- If you are likely to be closer than six feet from a Corona patient.
How to make your own face mask
If you are not in the category under the previous heading, you should avoid using a medical face mask, and learn how to make your own face mask. Homemade face masks, too, do an excellent job of containing the contaminations and preventing the spread of the disease.
Different easy methods are available. You can choose either one to make your own face mask, depending on your skills and availability of resources. The entire point is to cover the nose and the mouth properly; as long as that’s achieved, the method you use isn’t so important.
If you can sew
If you have a sewing machine and know how to use it, this technique on how to make your own face mask is the best one for you.
What you’ll need
- Two pieces of cotton fabric cut into 7 by 9-inch pieces
- Two additional pieces of fabric cut into 1.5 by 40-inch pieces, for straps
- Thread and needle
- Sewing machine
- Place the 7x9 inch pieces of cotton fabric on top of one another, with the front end facing inwards.
- Sew all the edges using a sewing machine. Leave some space open on opposite ends of the longer side of the rectangles.
- Pull the structure inside out using the points you left open.
- Sew the gaps you left open on the longer two sides of the rectangle.
- Make three pleats, just like the ones you see on a surgical mask. Use a ruler to maintain equal spacing between the pleats and make sure they are facing a single direction.
- Sew the pleats onto the rectangle at the sides.
- Now take the fabric for the straps, fold it in half and sew the open edges so that the thread doesn’t start coming off.
- Lay one piece on one of the longer sides of the rectangles and sew them in place making sure that equal lengths are coming out from both corners.
- Now do the same for the other strap and attach it to the opposite side of the rectangle.
If you can’t sew
Sewing isn’t for everyone. There will be those who haven’t ever used a needle or thread. Don’t worry since there’s an even simpler method for you on how to make your own face mask.
What you’ll need:
- Coffee filter
- Safety pin
- Take a cotton T-shirt (preferably an old one that you no longer use) and lay it out flat on the table.
- Cut horizontally, about 7 to 8-inches length from the bottom of the T-shirt.
- Now what you have is a double-layered fabric with you.
- Using a safety pin, attach a coffee filter between the two fabrics. Make sure that you attach the safety pin to the piece of fabric that’s further from your face to prevent yourself from getting hurt.
- Cut smaller rectangles on the smaller sides of the rectangles you have already. This will get you a rectangle reinforced with a coffee filter in the center and straps on the sides.
- Place the mask on your face to cover your nose and mouth openings.
- Pull the upper two straps down from the back of your head and tie them around your neck.
- Pull the lower two straps up and tie them around the widest portion of your head.
- The mask should be a tight fit. If it’s not, cut some more until it works for you.
Different people are using different approaches to making their own DIY face masks. Once you have learned how to make your own face mask, you can make one for everyone in the family. Remember to wear one each time you plan on going out. When you return, pull it out from the sides, wash it properly, and leave it to dry.