Short and sweet. The mask shortage within testing facilities, schools and universities has become a problem and a bit of a hot topic during the COVID-19 outbreak, especially in the United States in the midst of the 2020 presidential campaign. Whether you think Trump should have or could have prevented the shortage and so many of the casualties, or there was some other reason for the problem in the US, the truth is that we all have the resources available to prepare our own washable and thus reusable masks. Cotton cloth from any t-shirt and a pair of scissors are all that are required. Creating your own masks frees up resources so that facilities like COVID testing labs have better access to manufactured masks specifically designed for laboratory use. Below are two of my favorite DIY masks.
The simplest and most easily washed facemasks can be made using a t-shirt and scissors, and only require cutting a single piece out of the fabric. Check out the YouTube video here for simple instructions. Credit to The Telegraph for the instructional video. I really like this mask because it only requires the washing of a single piece of cloth rather than strings and a face cover, as in the next example. Using this method, you could prepare as many as four masks from a single t-shirt. Be careful with your dirty masks when you’re not wearing them.
The best looking DIY masks that I’ve seen can also be made with only a t-shirt and scissors, and the tutorial for making them can be found here. Credit to Jan Howell for the video. This mask is great — comfortable and more professional looking. However, the washing of the separate parts makes it less desirable. Either way, it is a great alternative to using disposable masks.
Please do your part in protecting the health of the people around you (and yourself), and if possible, please find the time to create your own reusable masks so that the shortages in your country and in the world can start to fade into history. Many of us have dropped the ball in the initial response to this pandemic, but we can all catch up and prevent the situation from growing worse. Be considerate, be respectful, and be a patriot. Wear a mask.
Speaking as an American citizen… In the United States, we are all in this together. We may have differing opinions on our government, especially the executive branch, but we all live together, work and play together. This is not a political issue. This is a public health issue. Please treat it as such.