A Little Guide to Personal Masks
28-APR-2020 06:10 PM PDT UPDATED
Here you'll find advice on where to buy, how to make, and wear masks for personal use. New information and guidance from experts and health agencies on how to best fight COVID-19 is changing daily so we're tracking new developments in The Latest section.
What you should know about personal protective masks
Experts agree, in addition to social distancing you should cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. At the time of this writing, 7 US states and numerous local governments have issued public health orders to cover your face with a mask when you are out in public to help fight Covid-19. The Centers for Disease Control are recommending them for all Americans over 2 years old when leaving the house. Chances are if you are reading this you should be wearing a mask when you're out in public.
When we talk about masks, we're talking about simple cloth face coverings. We're not talking about something fancier like the N95 respirators used by doctors, nurses and other medical personel who are in direct contact with sick patients. These masks are in short supply and are best reserved for health care workers. If you want to help workers that need masks, please donate to Operations Masks, if you have masks to give please visit Mask Match or find out other ways to help out with the PPE Coalition.
Luckily, hundreds of companies and home crafters have answered the call for personal masks and are making a variety of styles available to buy online. You can even make a mask from everyday materials.
Why wear a mask?
Aside from violating a government issued health order, you should cover your face for a few reasons.
The main reason is to help protect others from you! You might unknowingly spread COVID-19 while speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if you are not showing symptoms. It sounds strange but recent studies show that many people who have COVID-19 never show or feel symptoms. The best way to protect people you might encounter in public is to cover your mouth and prevent transmission from you to them.
Secondly, the CDC says to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands because that is a key way the virus is introduced to your body. Wearing a mask is a great way to prevent yourself from touching your face.
Lastly, if you have a link to something I've missed or found a great scarf or mask I should list on the site, please contact us .
Buy a mask
We've curated a selection of high quality masks from around the web. Here's our complete list of over 50 available masks. We are providing this information as a public service and do not make any money thru links to masks. Please note: We have ordered many of these masks and have seen long fullfilment times. Our advice is to order from a few sources if possible.
Make a mask
Everything from "no-sew" options all the way up to sewing a pocket into a mask for a HEPA filter. Follow the advice below and you should have no reason not to have your face covered
How to make a mask with no materials
A Doctor Explains how to make a face mask (with HEPA filter)
How to wear
It sounds easy enough but experts suggest proper fitment if wearing a professional mask, so it might be helpful to hear these tips even if you're just wearing a scarf.
The World Health Organization aswers the question "Can masks protect against the new coronavirus infection?"
General Instructions for Disposable Respirators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
3M, a maker of disposable masks, shows fitting instructions for one their 3M Health Care Respirator & Surgical Mask
You should cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. However, cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
The Latest on Masks
Recent updates from the world of personal protective masks
This is a "best effort" guide and should not be construed as medical information. See your doctor or a medical professional for medical information. We don't make money from any of the links on this page and are providing them as a courtesy. We don't make any warranties or representations for any of the links or information herein. If there is anything incorrect please use our contact information provided above and we'll do our best to correct as soon as possible.
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