Coronavirus: clinical mask shortage – Try home made masks – Better than nothing

Home made masks

Corona infection is continuously increasing worldwide and is on peak with a million people being affected. Not following the proper guidelines by published by Governments and WHO will hamper the efforts to control this pandemic. So better to follow the preventive guidelines published by Health Experts so that the whole world is able to manage and control this giant human enemy. Wearing Masks is one of the most important guidelines. But due to current situation of COVID-19, Medical stores are short of masks. In such cases home made masks can be a better alternative.

Please note that we are not saying that home made masks are better than clinical masks. Home made masks can be an alternative if clinical masks are not available. Also note that wearing mask alone will not fight this deadly Virus. There are other guidelines which government has released and need to be adhered to.

Homemade masks are not recommended for the sick or or those working with the sick, the government said in a new advisory, pointing to their need for special protective equipment.

Different types of Masks?

What are the two primary types of face masks? When we hear about face masks for COVID-19 prevention, it’s generally two types:

  • Surgical mask
  • N95 respirator: An N95 respirator is a tight-fitting face mask. In addition to splashes, sprays, and large droplets, this respirator can also filter out 95 percent small particles. This includes viruses and bacteria .

Home made masks are the ones which are made from cotton fabric. It is a face mask which can me made at home or bought at shops selling them.

What is being recommended by health experts across the world

The Goverments Advisory says that home made masks can be used by healthy people when they go outside. This is for their own personal hygiene and protection of communities where they live.

As per government advisory – ” “This face cover is not recommended for either health workers or those working with, or in contact with Covid-19 (the disease caused by the virus) patients or are patients themselves,” – Click here to read

There is increasing evidence that the virus can be spread by pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers. And hence wearing a mask can reduce the risk of infection. But what is masks are not available? and hence health experts have started recommending home made masks as a alternative till clinical masks are available.

As per one of the reports cited by government

Analyses show that if 50% of the population were to wear masks, only 50% of the population would be infected by the virus. Once 80% of the population wears a mask, the outbreak can be stopped immediately. ( Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30229968/ )

Home Made Masks

I have done my own learnings on the various types of masks which are available and going through so many article which are available on the internet, I came to know that only N95 is good in completely stopping the Virus and that to if it completely covers the nose and mouth .

We are in an unprecedented times. It is a tough time for all of us.
But we have to make this situation light and come out of this Corona virus anxiety. These Inspirational quotes will help you keep motivated!
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Coronavirus scare

Because of increasing cases in the world and the shortage of masks, people have started making their own masks from various materials like scarfs and antimicrobial pillowcases.

Are home made masks effective?

Now you can debate if home made masks are effective or not. But looking at current scenario where the clinical masks are in short supply, a home made mask can be a solution. Not only our government, but governments and health experts across the world are ok to the idea of healthy people covering their face with home made masks. The governments across the world acknowledge the shortage of clinical mask and sanitizes.

I have also experienced that many shop owners are denying the service if the customers are not wearing masks. I think from safety perspective and to reduce the risk of infection it is a genuine ask.

Many health expert agree that using these masks reduces the risk of infection.

How to make a mask at home

There is a detailed manual which has been published by government. You can download it from here

A protective mask can be made with simple household materials.

  • A double layer of 100% cotton cloth is about 70% as effective as a surgical mask at capturing small particles (up to five times smaller than corona virus)
  • This material is breathable
  • It is easy to find around the house
  • These masks can be easily reused

You can make the mask using the sewing machine or you can also stitch by your hand. You have to make sure that it fits well. Recommended size: Adult: 9 inch x 7 inch Child: 7 inch x 5 inch

Ensure that the mask fits around your mouth and nose and there is no gap between your face and the mask. When wearing the mask, the side facing you should show pleats facing downwards.

You must never reverse the mask for reuse. Always thoroughly wash mask after every use .

Points to remember

  • 1. Thoroughly wash and clean the mask (as shown in next page) before wearing it.
  • 2. Wash your hands thoroughly before wearing the mask.
  • 3. As soon as the mask becomes damp or humid, switch to another mask and clean the used mask.
  • 4. Never reuse a mask after single use without cleaning it .

Download the detailed document here

What else you can do to be safe

The World Health Organization has declared the corona virus a pandemic, and the number of cases continues to rise worldwide. These basic steps can help you reduce your risk of getting sick or infecting others. I know that you know this already, but nothing wrong in reiterating.

  • Stay home. Venture out only if it is absolutely necessary.
  • Wash your hands. With soap. at least for 20 seconds
  • Stay informed.
  • Keep calm and keep yourselves healthy
  • Don’t stockpile masks.
  • But do stock up on groceries, medicine and resources

Final Comments

We are not a health expert and what we are suggesting is some ideas and information which you can use in these tough times. Home made masks are good option which you can try. It is better to than nothing to have. As we always say .. .., lets simplify the life .. and we can with what around us!

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