Because of the spread of Covid19, Americans are encouraged to wear face masks when out in public. But in this pandemic, face masks are in short supply. Even most online stores are constantly out of stock. So, if you’re struggling to know where to buy facemasks, the good news is you can make your own. You can quickly turn a simple cotton bandana into a cloth face mask — and a stylish one at that.
The Coronavirus outbreak has sent lives into turmoil. Most people are freaking out about catching this nasty disease. And, there’s the constant stress and anxiety about its impact on your day-to-day life. You might be worried about layoffs, keeping your kids entertained during lockdown, or wondering if you still have to pay rent. So, keeping yourself safe and healthy is a top priority.
In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised everyone to wear face masks. If it’s not possible to buy a face mask, a cotton bandana or scarf can help slow the spread of Covid19. Of course, the best way to protect yourself is to keep your distance from others — at least 6 feet. But that’s not always possible, especially if someone coughs or sneezes near you.
This article answers your questions: where can you buy face masks? And, we’ll also explain how to make your own easy face mask with a cotton bandana.
Do Face Masks Protect Against Covid19?
There’s been conflicting reports about the effectiveness of facemasks in preventing the spread of Coronavirus. For example, in March, it was widely reported that the Surgeon General asked people to stop buying masks because they’re not effective in preventing the Covid19 spread.
However, the current advice from the CDC and President Trump is clear: Americans should wear face masks. Why is it important to wear face masks, even if they’re from cotton scarves or bandanas?
Doctors say that a person can be asymptomatic and carry the virus. This means that they can be infected but not have any symptoms.
Take, for example, Joe. He goes about his day-to-day activities and is feeling just fine. But then he starts coughing and gets tested. Yep, he’s come down with Covid19. The problem is that two weeks up until his symptoms appeared, he’s probably infected a load of people. Even speaking near someone without face protection is enough to infect them.
Now, if Joe had a facemask — even a cloth bandana — he would have avoided spreading the disease as much. Remember as well, that masks can also offer some protection against catching the virus. Masks lower the amount of virus particles from leaving an infected person and getting into the air where another person can inhale them.
Of course, you should remember that your eyes aren’t in your mask. Stick to the advice and wash hands regularly, use hand sanitizer when necessary, and avoid touching your face — especially your eyes.
Where to Buy Face Masks
Because they can protect you and others from infection, you’re probably wondering where you can buy a face mask.
The CDC says that surgical masks and N95 respirators are currently in short supply. They’re only for healthcare workers. This means that we shouldn’t be buying or — even worse — stockpiling those sorts of filtering masks. These types of medical-grade masks are the most effective at filtering out virus particles in the air.
Healthcare workers are exposed to far more of the virus than your average Jane and Joe Citizen. Jane and Joe Citizen can be adequately protected with a cloth, DIY mask. But healthcare workers are better protected with surgical and N95 masks.
If you don’t want to make your own mask, you can buy cloth face masks online. One great place to buy these is on Etsy.com. This online store has a whole range of washable cloth masks in a ton of interesting and cool designs. Here are a few more reasons to buy on Etsy:
- Support small businesses — Many Etsy sellers are self-employed folks who are struggling to earn a living in these hard times. So, you are doing something to help them out when you purchase from this type of seller.
- Faster shipping — Buying from U.S. sellers means that you’ll get your cloth face mask quickly. There is no waiting from overseas shipments that may take months to arrive due to the pandemic.
There are also other online outlets where face masks are for sale. For example, Buck Mason is producing trendy antibacterial face masks for sale online. Also, Los Angeles Apparel, Sanctuary, and Hedley & Bennet are all making washable face masks to meet consumer’s needs. Who would have thought that in 2020, we’d be trying to make fashion statements with facemasks?
Since it was announced that everyone should be wearing face masks, you’ve probably searched online for where to buy facemasks. So, what should you do if you come across N-95 masks or something similar? Remember that the advice is that these types of masks must be prioritized for medical workers.
How to Make a Mask with a Cotton Bandana
What if you want to make your own face mask — either because you don’t want to wait or are broke due to Covid19 layoffs? Turning a cotton bandana into a cloth face mask couldn’t be easier. All you need is some cloth and a couple of rubber bands or hair ties. There is no sewing, stitching, or craftwork involved.
Instructions on how to make a face mask the easy way
Do you want to protect yourself while going to the store? It couldn’t be simpler to make a pleated facemask to protect yourself and others. Fold a bandanna or handkerchief a few times and secure it with rubber bands. It’s as simple as that. You can even cut a square piece of material out of an old t-shirt.
The CDC website has detailed instructions on making face masks to wear in public. There you can find details on how to make a face mask without sewing and how to sew one. They even have helpful instructions on how to make a face mask with a filter.
How to Use a Face Mask to Protect Against Coronavirus Infections
For a homemade face mask to be effective during the Covid19 pandemic, you need to use it correctly. For example, even with a face mask, you should avoid touching your face and even the facemask itself.
Here’s some additional advice on how to use a face mask to protect yourself and others:
- The cloth mask should include multiple layers of fabric and fit snugly around the side of your face
- Make sure the mask doesn’t hinder breathing
- Regularly wash the face mask in a washing machine to keep it clean
- Wash the facemask after every use
- Wash your hands before putting the face mask on and after removing it.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing the face covering.
Remember that, even with a facemask, you’re at risk of getting Covid19 if you constantly touch your face or don’t wash your hands. Wearing a face mask reduces your risk of contracting the virus, and also reduces your risk of infecting others. But it’s not as effective at preventing infection as, say, a vaccine will be. And face masks work best if everyone is wearing one.
Covid19 Protection: In Conclusion
During this pandemic, the CDC advises that all Americans should be wearing face masks for protection. You can easily make a folded protective mask using a cotton bandana. You can do your bit to help slow down the spread of the virus if you have to leave the house to get essential supplies.