Behind The Mask: America's New Norm
The COVID-19 pandemic seems to be slowing down here in America, and the rest of 2020 is looking a bit more promising. Life will definitely not be the same for a while as we adjust to the new normal.
States and businesses are in the process of adjusting to the new “norm” of wearing a face mask. Many stores now require that their customers wear a mask before entering the building, and capacity is limited. Although annoying, this small change is preventing the spread of the disease and saving lives.
Why Should We Wear a Mask?
The use of a face mask has been in debate over the past few weeks and now the CDC has made it clear that everyone should consider wearing a cloth face mask (N95 masks should be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders). This change is due to the recent evidence that the virus can be spread by “presymptomatic and asymptomatic” carriers.
Covering your nose and mouth will protect yourself and others. Unfortunately, if you are infested with COVID-19 you are contagious 3-5 days before showing symptoms. Droplets can remain in the air and on surfaces for long periods of time, thus putting everyone at risk. If someone sneezes and the droplets land on your mask, this reduces the chances of infection.
Making Your Own Mask
Can’t find a mask online? Create your own or buy one that matches your personality and/or lifestyle. Whatever you decide to go with, make sure you wear it regularly and keep your nose and mouth covered.
Face masks are now the emblem in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. Wearing a mask helps stop droplets that can spread into your respiratory system. Whether you are going back to work, to the grocery store, or visiting the doctor, wearing a mask will be essential during these times.
How To Make Your Own Mask
Thinking about making your own mask? The good news is that they are easy and inexpensive to make yourself. All you need is a good needle, thread, scissors, pins or clips, a ruler or tape measure, elastic or shoelaces (depending on the type of mask you want to make) and fabric.
Step 1: Assemble the Mask
- Pre-wash your fabric and dry it on high heat.
- Fold your fabric in half. Cut 2 10” - 6” rectangles.
- Fold over the long side of the fabric about ½ inch or so and stitch down. Cut the remaining fabric away. Then fold the short sides and stitch down. Leave about ¼ of an inch space in between so you can pull your shoelace or elastic through the fabric.
Step 2: Attach the Ties
- Fabric ties - Gently pull the ties of your choice through the fabric.
- Try the mask on to see if it fits, then tie a knot or sew together the ends.
Photos from the CDC website
Purchasing MasksIf making a mask is not your style, not to worry. Since wearing a mask will be the new safety fashion trend for some time, many retailers are taking advantage of offering cooler styles and prints. Some designers are offering a free “designer” mask with your purchase of clothing.
Check out the online shops below for some great options.
CDC’s Recommendations For The Proper Face MaskWhether or make your own or buy one online, the CDC recommends the following guidelines when it comes to your face masks:
- Snug Fit: It should fit very close and snug to your face.
- Secure Ties: It should be secured around your head or have ties that loop around your ears.
- Layers: It should include several layers of fabric.
- Breathable: It should allow you to breathe comfortably and without restriction.
- Machine-Washable: It should be machine-washable and dried without damaging the shape or the protection.
- Wash Daily: Be sure to wash your mask after every use.