I know, it’s getting a bit tedious. And it sure looks somewhat silly to wear masks in public (especially DIY masks) when you’re not used to it. But it does help to curb the spread of a certain virus.
**** This post is sponsored since I received a pack of free cloth masks.****
Why you need a mask
While a regular cloth mask or even the simple ones you can buy online or in stores doesn’t protect you from the virus, it helps somewhat spreading the disease or at least many particles (such as other viruses or plain saliva) onto others.
There are a lot of recorded cases where carriers were unaware and this way you can increase the chances of you not accidentally spreading it. With the situation only slowly improving and no definite vaccine being created anytime soon, it remains paramount to look after your health and keep a distance to others.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where you can’t really make a huge berth around others, think inside spaces like grocery stores, pharmacies, public transport and even work.
Here in Germany, masks are mandatory in exactly these places and there are heavy fines for not cooperating. My hometown even made the news a couple of times as it introduced the strictest rules in the entire country. (That gained a huge backlash and now they loosened it up a bit.)
How to make a mask
You can find plenty of guides online on how to DIY a cloth mask. You don’t even need a sewing machine and excellent sewing skills to do so. (If you want an alternative, totally non-helpful guide, check out my video on making masks out of random items.)
I won’t get into detail on how to do it properly. You can for instance check out the following video guides:
- No sewing: a mask made from bandana and hair ties
- With sewing machine: good to get different sizes
- Sewing by hand: this is a non-pleated mask
- Here’s the CDC guide on DIY mask making (with and without sewing)
How to get a mask made
While you can fashion makeshift masks out of old clothes, towels, etc, not everyone has the time, means and skills to do so. Let’s be honest, my family tried making a few and they all turned out so wonky!
Around here, local tailors have started producing a few masks themselves, but they are typically priced at 5 USD each, which is a bit steep but also fair. They are washable and reusable after all.
But you definitely need a few due to the fact that you can only wear them for short periods and change them out right after wearing.
Due to the increased demand for masks the past weeks have seen shortages and price soars which are lessening only now. But keep in mind, proper medical masks are needed for medical workers.
So it’s actually great that the fashion industry has turned their current manufacturing work to mask making.
One of such companies, RushOrderTees, reached out to me and seeing that their masks are really affordable and some of the profit gained from the masks is directly funnelled into the Philly Pledge COVID-19 Relief Fund.
You can opt between different packages, which makes the masks even cheaper. In general, they offer them for 1.54 to 2.49 USD per mask. And shipping is free! They come with two sets of ear holes, so they can be worn by bigger and smaller faces. They fit me without a problem.
Here’s an exclusive code for 10% off the 12 pack of face masks: FACEMASK10.
Safety and hygiene tips for mask wearing
While people do stick to the rules on wearing masks while grocery shopping etc here in Germany, you can still see many of them not committing to proper application.
It’s really simple though: You wash your hands properly (sanitiser only does so much and is no substitute for soap and water and the 20 second rule). Then you apply the mask to cover mouth and nose, fit it properly at your ears so it doesn’t wiggle free.
Don’t touch it unless you want to take it off. Before and after taking it off, you are supposed to wash your hands properly again. Don’t reuse the mask. Get a new one.
If your mask gets too damp or even wet, it’s not longer useful and actually becomes a breeding ground for bacteria so you might be more likely to get sick. Here’s a more detailed guide on cleaning your mask as you need to take into account materials and potential filters used.
More health tips
- How to prepare for allergy season
- How to not fall sick on the road
- Healthy & quick eating habits to establish