Friends--homemeade masks can help prevent the spread of disease BUT YOU HAVE TO DO IT RIGHT.
Let me repeat that--when I say "wear a mask" I am NOT saying "wear a med-grade mask or N95 respirator that a nurse needs more than you."
Hard truth, no homemade mask of non-med grade materials will filter as well as an N95. But we shouldn't let perfect be the enemy of good--condoms aren't 100% effective but we certainly recommend wearing them, right?
(And this tested T-shirt material, which is...not the greatest choice, TBH.)
Testing the Efficacy of Homemade Masks: Would They Protect in an Influenza Pandemic? - Volume 7 Issue 4 - Anna Davies, Katy-Anne Thompson, Karthika Giri, George Kafatos, Jimmy Walker, Allan Bennetthttps://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/disaster-medicine-and-public-health-preparedness/article/testing-the-efficacy-of-homemade-masks-would-they-protect-in-an-influenza-pandemic/0921A05A69A9419C862FA2F35F819D55
Let's move on to best practices.
Use good fabric.
Unless you have access to med-grade fabric (there's been some success with autoclave sheets: https://anest.ufl.edu/clinical-divisions/mask-alternative/)...
The University of Florida Health’s department of anesthesiology has developed 2 prototypes for masks that can be produced in large quantities using materials already found in hospitals and medical...https://anest.ufl.edu/clinical-divisions/mask-alternative/
Use high-quality, densely woven cotton broadcloth/quilting cotton. https://newsroom.wakehealth.edu/News-Releases/2020/04/Testing-Shows-Type-of-Cloth-Used-in-Homemade-Masks-Makes-a-Difference?utm_source=Hootsuite&utm_medium=wake+forest+innovation+quarter&utm_term=23c5517b-5156-49dc-8189-0c0c4fb231eb&fbclid=IwAR2y5XnwDWHTih4UcGnNPhWsFB4qvtaOesHjphl9NvP-ZiwRsQ1kNTgdUfY
Homemade masks can play an important role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic but the type of fabric used is key to their effectiveness, according to tests performed at Wake Forest Baptist...https://newsroom.wakehealth.edu/News-Releases/2020/04/Testing-Shows-Type-of-Cloth-Used-in-Homemade-Masks-Makes-a-Difference?utm_source=Hootsuite&utm_medium=wake+forest+innovation+quarter&utm_term=23c5517b-5156-49dc-8189-0c0c4fb231eb&fbclid=IwAR2y5XnwDWHTih4UcGnNPhWsFB4qvtaOesHjphl9NvP-ZiwRsQ1kNTgdUfY
And that's important, because a dirty mask is not helpful.
There's some evidence that DAMP masks could be worse by harboring virus LONGER. bmjopen-2014-006577
Both work to create a mask that fits over the curves of your face--the pleats spread out, and the shaped version is sewn in two halves and makes a shape like a bra cup.
Pro: VERY EASY. Minimal fabric. Uses ties, not elastic.
Con: Only one layer of fabric, which isn't as good as 2+ layers. (You could simply sew two layers together)
Pro: Two layers with a pocket for an extra filter, multi-sized for fit
Con: More advanced sewing required. Has elastic (can be eliminated and still works)
Pros: Double layer, no elastic, can fit OVER an N95 to extend its life according to designer
Cons: More advanced sewing required.
A.B. Mask - for a Nurse by a Nurse: ***This was designed for love, not profit. Respect health care workers. Please respect my intellectual property. All masks made with this pattern are to be donated...https://www.instructables.com/id/AB-Mask-for-a-Nurse-by-a-Nurse/?fbclid=IwAR0tySS7nkg1Q2RJqq4C35fC_GA81maLRsrWmzlPrbcCgJgUrrSHuIMMEc8
All this DIY mask requires is a bandana (or a large square of fabric) and two rubber bands (or hair ties).https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-to-make-face-mask-bandana_l_5e876472c5b63e06281d87d9?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAF2EAu_zpbI31HJTsgtKKDabdrzl03YLVhrE0eYK7kOxCydNAaTzTe3pHOtQgSr2-BTFLUR6DNKU7VFdiVCFNPQJNbiU8qTN0wyDuNmXztIgzmA3ZU4RrRa6KeuU0vFMcMUbj018dNgTQs30mLJnIL-CCe3ke86qUr4M5UcWHxFD