Are You Wearing a Face Mask?

April 4, 2020

By Anna Varriano

I’m curious. Who is considering wearing, already wearing, and/or sewing face masks?

The recommendation regarding face masks during this pandemic seems to be changing by the hour. While staying home is still the best way to protect yourself from the coronavirus, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) now says that masks are effective as an additional measure when you go out.

An interesting article I just read on the topic included a table showing what materials are most effective for making masks (vacuum cleaner bags rated the best) and a great video tutorial for making a mask. Here’s the video:

It’s important to be aware of when and how to wear a mask, as well as the issues related with wearing masks, which to my understanding include:

  • not wearing them properly
  • re-using single-use masks
  • not disposing single-use masks properly
  • not washing home made cloth masks between uses
  • not washing home made cloth masks properly between uses
  • to understand that when masks get moist with condensation, their effectiveness decreases

The CDC has posted more information on how to wear, remove, and wash/sanitize cloth face masks, as well as tutorials on how to make them with various fabrics. Click here to learn more. 

After humming and hawing about mask, yesterday I decided I would make a bunch for myself and my family. I am making 2 masks each, so we have one ready to go while the other one is being washed. I followed the pattern in the video I shared above. I chose this pattern because this mask fits well and it is reusable – and I have a sewing machine. (If you don’t have a sewing machine, check out this non-sewing pattern of how to make masks using T-shirts). Here are the materials I used, as this is what I had on hand (very festive!):

Here is what the finished product looks like:

Since this pattern has a ‘filter pocket’ on the inside of the mask, I’ll be inserting a fresh filter each time I put on a clean mask. I have some old vacuum cleaner bags, so will be cutting those up to into rectangular shapes to fit. I’ve also heard you can use Swiffer-like cloth as filters, but the mask will still be useful without a filter.

Finally, I would like to thank all of you who are working through this pandemic to keep us healthy, safe, fed, occupied, and connected … and to everyone, stay safe, stay healthy (please eat healthy – check out my RECIPES tab!) both mentally and physically, stay positive, and stay home if you can.


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