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Old 03-26-2020, 04:26 PM
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I now have a home-made cloth mask. How to make it most effective?


Sewn by my talented husband based on a pattern I found online (JoAnn Fabrics). Made of 2 layers of cotton fabric with interfacing.

I know it isn't effective in a highly charged medical atmosphere, but it should help when going to the grocery store if only to keep my hands away from my face.

Do I need to wash it every time I use it? Anything else I need to know about using a mask like this?
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Old 03-26-2020, 04:34 PM
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First of all, I think it's supposed to have a filter. Second, I think masks are mainly supposed to protect other people from you, not you from other people, so unless you are sick, wearing a mask isn't going to do much. Notice that in hospitals, the patients don't wear them, except in some very specific circumstances (sometimes people waiting in the ER who have coughs or high fevers) but other people are often made to wear them around patients, especially babies, ICU patients, and burn patients.
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post
I know it isn't effective in a highly charged medical atmosphere, but it should help when going to the grocery store if only to keep my hands away from my face.
If that's what you're wearing the face mask for, a full face visor is safer and more effective.

To make the most of your home-made mask, you need to have several of them and change them every time they get damp from your breathing. The moisture is going to make germs and pollutants stick to the material and thatís something you want to avoid with it being so close to your mouth and nose. You understand viruses thrive in that warm moist environment you created for them with your breath, right?
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Old 03-28-2020, 11:19 AM
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High thread count, and thickness are plusses. Gotta have the right interfacing or you'll find breathing hard. Wife is currently looking through her stash of the stuff.
For stopping airborne droplets, I'd trust a well built home-made cloth mask much more than those cheesy paper things you see when you go out and about. Cotton is a lot fuzzier than unmodified cellulose, more hydrophilic too. It's the fuzz that catches microdroplets. No way you'll stop a lone naked virus particle, but the 5+ micron sized sneeze droplets should have a hard time getting through.
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Old 03-28-2020, 12:03 PM
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Best way to use? Stay home!


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Old 03-28-2020, 03:36 PM
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Best way to use? Stay home!
Exactly my advice. The best place for a homemade mask, maybe sprinkled with a little blood-red coloring, is hanging in a front window with a sign, GO AWAY!
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Old 03-28-2020, 07:36 PM
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Obviously, some have not seen the expensive leaky fakes being sold. With proper patter, sizing and materials, there is no reason home made cannot be as good or better than anything you can purchase online.
Even if a filter only filters 10%, that is a 10% improvement.
Go ahead and turn that down if you will.
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Old 03-29-2020, 02:17 AM
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Pop a tissue or baby wipe (dried out) inside the mask and replace regularly. Every little bit helps.
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Old 03-29-2020, 10:46 AM
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The don't wear a mask advice is (maybe) changing.

My main take-away is that it may help because it will slow the spread from asymptomatic folks to the healthy. Of course, it also would help if there were enough masks that the non-essential folks could get what they need.
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Old 03-29-2020, 10:55 AM
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I made one just to go to the grocery store this morning. Put in the wash when I came home. A small army of seamstresses in my county are sewing hundreds a day and distributing them to nursing homes, hospitals, etc. They are very grateful to get them. Over the past weeks I've seen the designs get more and more sophisticated. They now are sewing in metal nose bridges (a coffee roasting company contributed their sack sealers) with a pocket for an inserted disposabile filter, which they are now experimenting with.

The one I made was mostly to keep me from touching my face. I intend to make more and better ones, at least for my friends and family. If you have a sewing machine and know how to use it, they are very simple to make. Like all the home seamstresses I know, I have many yards of appropriate cotton fabrics.
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Old 03-29-2020, 11:12 AM
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Keep in mind that you should try to keep the outside of the mask as sterile as possible. If you touch it with contaminated hands or set it down on a contaminated surface, that contamination will now be very close to your face and be much more likely to get breathed in. Treat the used mask as being contaminated and be careful about whatever it touches when you take it off.
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:54 PM
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It's been said already, but I think it's worth reiterating: If you're asymptomatic, you may still be a carrier. The perspective shift from "I'm healthy" to "I could unintentionally kill people" ought to be an incentive to wear a mask outside the home.

Here's the New York Times article, which also suggests that wearing a mask provides a non-zero boost to protection for healthy individuals:
Quote:
More Americans Should Probably Wear Masks for Protection
Experts have started to question whether masks may offer at least some protection to healthy individuals and essential workers.

...
But studies of influenza pandemics have shown that when high-grade N95 masks are not available, surgical masks do protect people a bit more than not wearing masks at all. And when masks are combined with hand hygiene, they help reduce the transmission of infections.

When researchers conducted systematic review of a variety of interventions used during the SARS outbreak in 2003, they found that washing hands more than 10 times daily was 55 percent effective in stopping virus transmission, while wearing a mask was actually more effective — at about 68 percent. Wearing gloves offered about the same amount of protection as frequent hand-washing, and combining all measures — hand-washing, masks, gloves and a protective gown — increased the intervention effectiveness to 91 percent.
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Old 03-29-2020, 02:40 PM
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I happened to have a box of 3m n95 masks in the shed. What I found out about them is that every time I exhale, my breath blows right in my eyes. Yes I have the bendable metal strip tight around my nose, and the darn thing is very tight.

Also, it makes my nose run. Fun times.
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Old 03-29-2020, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VOW View Post
Best way to use? Stay home!


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Quote:
Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
Exactly my advice. The best place for a homemade mask, maybe sprinkled with a little blood-red coloring, is hanging in a front window with a sign, GO AWAY!
I guess my husband's efforts were a fucking stupid waste of time then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by susan View Post
It's been said already, but I think it's worth reiterating: If you're asymptomatic, you may still be a carrier. The perspective shift from "I'm healthy" to "I could unintentionally kill people" ought to be an incentive to wear a mask outside the home.

Here's the New York Times article, which also suggests that wearing a mask provides a non-zero boost to protection for healthy individuals:
Or maybe not.
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