Masks4All – I followed the CDC’s advice to make my own mask

A few days ago, the CDC released instructions for how to make your own facemasks to protect yourself and others during the COVID-19 crisis. With the extremely high prices of surgical masks due to price gouging in online marketplaces, purchasing a mask may not be an affordable option for all households. (Side note: if you’re worried about price gouging, check out some of our tips on how to avoid it and report it.)

COVID-19

Rishi Shah

A few days ago, the CDC  released instructions for how to make your own facemasks to protect yourself and others during the coronavirus crisis. With the extremely high prices of surgical masks due to price gouging in online marketplaces, purchasing a mask may not be an affordable option for all households. (Side note: if you’re worried about price gouging, check out some of our tips on how to avoid it and report it.)

In addition, given the shortage of critical medical supplies, including surgical masks, the CDC recommends that people use simple cloth face coverings to protect themselves instead of purchasing surgical masks or N-95 respirators. 

Whenever you need to leave your home, and especially go where it may be difficult to maintain the recommended distance of six feet from other people, such as a grocery store or a pharmacy, you should wear a cloth covering over your face in order to slow the spread of the virus. Such a covering can help protect you from people who are out and about and don’t know that they have the virus, such as asymptomatic people who don’t show any symptoms of having COVID-19 even if they are infected.

You don’t need a sewing machine or any fancy art skills to make your own mask – I managed it with just an old t-shirt and a pair of scissors.

Rishi Mask

Of course, not everybody can look quite as good as I do wearing a DIY facemask, but this is an easy and important precaution that you should take any time you go outside in order to protect your health. The CDC’s says face coverings should:

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

You can read the CDC’s full recommendations and instructions here.

Making and wearing a facemask is just one simple thing you can do to keep yourself safe. You should also check out some other do’s and don’ts from Maryland PIRG Foundation and U.S. PIRG Education Fund to keep yourself protected from COVID-19. Finally, you should read our full list of our consumer tips during the COVID-19 crisis

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Rishi Shah

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