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I don’t even have to tell you by now that the CDC suggests we wear face coverings when we leave the house. Some states are even making masks mandatory when out in public.
I also don’t have to tell you that we should save all the N95 masks for the healthcare workers who are on the frontlines, dealing at the heart of this virus.
That leaves all the other masks for us — and a lot of times, that means a homemade fabric mask. They can be a lifesaver — literally.
But, how exactly should these masks be made? Well, there are FIVE things the CDC recommends when making and wearing a face mask.
Five Things The CDC Says Should Be A Part Of All Cloth Face Coverings
1) The Face Covering should fit SNUGLY on the sides of the face — but it should still be comfortable. You don’t need to cut off the blood supply to your brain. Ha!
This is usually accomplished by putting pleats in the mask, or “gathering” the sides, so they fit better to the face.
2) Each face covering should be SECURED to the face — this can be done with elastic that goes over the ears or ties that go around the head.
Since elastic is in such short supply, I have been using ribbon to make mine — a grosgrain variety that is between 3/8 and 7/8 wide works well.
3) There should be MULTIPLE layers of fabric included in the face covering.
My favorite design of cloth mask includes a pocket, and you can put bandanas, coffee filters, or even scraps of fabric in the pocket. This puts layers between your nose and mouth, and the outside of the mask.
4) The face covering should allow you to BREATHE without restriction.
Breathing is pretty important. If your filter apparatus doesn’t allow you to breathe, it may not be the filter you want to use.
5) The face covering should be WASHABLE, without damaging or changing the integrity of the mask.
Cotton fabric is usually GREAT for this task. Bandanas, cotton blend fabrics, and the like are PERFECT.
And now you know how to have a proper face mask.