Until recently, the World Health Organization said the only people who needed to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic were caretakers of a person suspected of having COVID-19, or those who are coughing or sneezing.
But with each passing day, we’re advised to take more and more precautions ― and now the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises everyone to wear face masks in public, even for those of us who don’t display symptoms or know of exposure to an infected person.
In light of the shortage of face masks for health care workers, people wearing masks for personal use need to stop buying masks that professionals need to stay safe.
For most people, the best solution is to make our own. We’ve shared tutorials on how to sew a face mask that’s effective against the coronavirus, as well as versions that require absolutely no sewing whatsoever.
But we may have just found the easiest DIY face mask of all ― the bandana face mask. All it requires is a bandana and two rubber bands. No sewing or glue required.
Don’t have a bandana? No problem. The standard size of a bandana is 22 inches square, or 56 square centimeters, so you can find a piece of cotton fabric that has a similar weight. An old bedsheet, a pillowcase, a T-shirt, pajamas or a dress shirt you don’t wear anymore will do just fine.
Don’t have rubber bands? Stretchy hair ties (the kind you secure a ponytail with) will do the trick.
This YouTube tutorial from Kristin Omdahl is the only one you’ll need. Just keep in mind when fitting your mask that the edges should fit snuggly against your skin.
If for some reason your video player isn’t working, or you’d rather see the directions laid out in step-by-step photos, check out this similar tutorial from Japanese Creations.
Keep in mind that this type of mask isn’t ideal for health care workers dealing with COVID-19 because it allows tiny droplets to seep through parts of the mask. But these masks are helpful for those of us venturing out in public to buy groceries or run essential errands.
WHO reminds us that masks are only effective when they’re used in combination with frequent and proper hand-washing. And if you do wear a mask, you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
And of course, follow all state and local protocols and avoid leaving the house unless it’s absolutely necessary.
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