The public is advised not to purchase surgical masks or N95 respirators as healthcare workers are facing shortages.
There's a lot of buzz around face masks during the Coronavirus pandemic. Here's what you need to know. Do NOT purchase surgical masks or N95 respirators. Medical staff are already suffering from shortages and need these to treat patients. What's more important is to wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water before touching your face. Practice social distancing; maintain at least six feet of distance from others and staying home as much. "Homemade masks are partially effective," said Dr. Koushik Kasanagottu, an internal medicine resident at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Maryland. They offer a physical barrier from viral particles, he said, but they don't have the filters that N95 respirators do, reports CNN. You can make your own, according to CDC. with items found around the house: a T-shirt and rubber bands. Just take a look at Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, sharing ways to create your own face-covering in a few easy steps below:
Make sure not to take your mask off in public when you leave your house wearing one. Avoid touching it as it can get contaminated. Once you return, untie it from the back; don't touch the front of it. Wash your hands and the mask immediately. They're better than nothing, especially for people who only go out in public to make a quick trip to the grocery store or pharmacy, noted Anna Davies and Raina MacIntyre, public health researchers and authors of two separate studies on the effectiveness of cloth mask.
If you'd like a DIY-sewn face mask, here's what you'll need, according to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin.
Sewing machine OR needle and thread
Pencil or marker
A handful of sewing pins
Iron2 pieces of tight-weave cotton fabric, 9 x 6 inches (per mask)
4 strips of fabric, 2 x 16 inches (per mask)
And that's it, you're done! Don't forget to look at the instructions on how to use the mask properly in the earlier half of this post. Stay safe!