With the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic only just beginning to spread here in the United States, people are terrified — and rightfully so. The US was far too late with its response, so efforts to get people to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus are going to have a limited impact. Even now, with many businesses across the country closed, people continue to question the severity of the virus. All it takes is one weak link to speed up the coronavirus outbreak, and we have millions of weak links right now.

It’s no surprise that many people are overreacting and stockpiling all sorts of products, from Purell and Clorox wipes to hand soap and even toilet paper. None of those items were at risk of being in short supply until Americans flooded stores across the country to buy them, but now there’s no telling when sanitizers will be widely available again.

Face masks are another product that people bought up as fast as they could, and that’s actually dangerous because health care professionals in some regions are now at risk of running out. They’re bound to become more widely available soon, but when they are you shouldn’t buy any. Instead, there’s a relatively simple way to make medical-grade face masks yourself using only a few simple items.

This simple DIY face mask procedure was shared recently by YouTuber Raphaela Laurean, and most of the things you need are likely lying around your home. In fact, you’ll probably only need to order two things, a MERV 13 Pleated Air Filter and a Carbon Pad Charcoal Sheet for Air Filters. Those two purchases will give you enough material to make plenty of masks.


Vinegar: Helps to kills bacteria and viruses
Merv 13: Filters small particles
Activated Carbon: Filters small particles and reduces odor
Maxi: Wicks moisture away from your mouth

It’s actually a very smart DIY and while it’s likely not quite as effective as a true N95 face mask, it should be more than enough to protect you from becoming infected with COVID-19 or from infecting others as long as you continue to practice social distancing. Here’s the full video with the tutorial that shows you how to make the masks:

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