How to make your own face mask
I’m writing this just as discussion is beginning to swing in favour of the public wearing face masks. The scientific evidence seems to be showing that they are very effective in preventing the spray outwards of tiny droplets of spit as you speak. They probably aren’t much good at stopping the wearer inhaling virus particles. In other words, they could be part of the armory for stopping the spread of the corona virus, particularly from people who are infectious but not showing symptoms.
One argument against a governmental recommendation is the fear that masks, already in short supply for the NHS and Care workers, might be used up by the public who have a lesser need.
So: WHY DON’T YOU MAKE YOUR OWN FACE MASK? They are really easy to make, very cheap and use materials to be found in most households. Considering that even a scarf wrapped over the face is extremely efficient in stopping viruses spreading away from you, these masks are certainly better than nothing.
To make one mask you need two sheets of kitchen paper, one sheet of tissue, four rubber bands, masking tape or Sellotape and a three inch length of wire. You will also need scissors and a hole punch if possible.
I have five masks which I keep in isolation in my car (which I am not using for driving). Each one is put in its own plastic bag immediately after use. Then I wash my hands. I use the masks in strict rotation. A mask won’t be used again for at least seven days, at the current rate of use. So any viruses caught in the fabric should be well and truly dead by then.
Don’t forget, however, that masks don’t stop you catching the virus from someone else. You will still have to observe careful social isolation and avoid contact with people, even at a two metre distance. The purpose of you wearing a mask is to stop you spreading your viruses to other people.