As seen before, protective masks lower the chance of getting infected through any communicable disease. It helps keep out fomites from entering our respiratory system. Fomites are pathogenic particles present in our atmosphere. Although N95 masks are the standard protection equipment, still it is facing a rapid shortage. So, to overcome this situation, governments are advising people to make their own face mask.
But, many people throughout the world already use a handkerchief to cover their nose and mouth. There are, however, some, who have made face masks at home. If you plan to make one, make sure you follow the guidelines properly. Making a face mask is not an easy task. Earlier this week, Pub Med published a report which shows is 50% of the population wears the mask, only the rest 50% will be infected. But if 80% of the population wears a face mask, the outbreak will be contained substantially. Nevada’s health department in the USA has given a few guidelines on how to make a protective face mask.
What principles do you need to follow while making a face mask?
- First of all, make sure you use a breathable yet tightly knit fabric.
- The material you choose should be washable. Do not wear masks continuously beyond a few hours. Make sure you wash it from time to time.
- When designing the makeshift face mask, make sure it fits comfortably in your nose and chin. The masks should cover both sides of your lower face till just before the ear.
- The material chosen should be moisture retentive because you will be breathing in and out of it.
- The mask should fit well in your face. Typically elastic material works well when put around your ear.
- Avoid touching the front of your face mask at all times. This will prevent self-contamination.
- Do not share your mask with anyone, not even your family. It should be well taken care of when not in use
Finally, Health ministry comes with an advisory for home made masks to reduce covid19 risk
This is a welcome move as it mentions details regarding how to make the right kind of mask, directions to clean/store and other dos and don'ts
Now let's make mask a part of our WAY OF LIFE https://t.co/PDWMkWtfdu pic.twitter.com/nAelu6ZfOD
— Nitesh Kumar Seth (@imnitesh99) April 4, 2020
Making a mask at home is easy. Here is a list of the things you will need:
- 100% Cotton Material – Any used cotton cloth, piece of an old cotton vest or t-shirt will do.
- You will require four pieces of cloth strips.
- Scissors and a sewing machine. You can also hand sew them.
Homemade reusable masks can only reduce the chance of communicable infection through droplets present in the air. But, it still does not give full protection. You should wash your hands carefully for at least 20 seconds with disinfecting soap. And remember reusable masks are your private property. Do not share it with anyone. Stay safe in your house and maintain social distancing.
Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.