As the world continues to navigate the best path to reducing the spread of the coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been regularly updating its recommendations for the public. Whereas civilians were previously told it was unnecessary to wear a mask, the CDC is now suggesting it may serve a helpful purpose on top of social-distancing practices.
In light of new evidence that shows that asymptomatic carriers may still be able to spread coronavirus without knowing they have it, “CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.” While there is currently little to no evidence that cloth masks do much to protect the wearer against exposure to someone else’s germs, “CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.”
Many people with sewing skills have started making masks for themselves, family, friends, and essential workers, using a number of sewing patterns that have popped up online, including on the CDC’s own website. But for those who don’t sew and don’t know someone who does, there are several tutorials on social media sharing a way to turn a bandana — the CDC recommends “tightly woven cotton” — into a face mask with some folding and the clever use of hair ties to keep it secured behind the ears.
Check out this how-to from hairstylist Bridget Brager:
If you don’t currently have a bandana or similarly sized scarf available to you and you’d prefer to not cut up a shirt or dress into the recommended size of about 20 inches by 20 inches, you may be surprised to find that quite a few online retailers have some fantastic woven cotton bandanas currently available. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites that will let you use the no-sew method and hair elastics to create a face mask that helps you do your part to prevent the spread of coronavirus while still feeling like you can embrace your personal style — because it’s OK to seek out normality and joy even (and especially) in strange and stressful situations.
Note: The CDC emphasizes that surgical masks or N-95 respirators should not currently be used by the general public. “Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance,” the website states.
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