Using doubled up 600-thread count pillowcases or flannel pajamas, you could make a mask that provides up to 60 percent filtration. Other materials that can be used to filter out dangerous particles include HEPA filters, vacuum cleaner bags, and quilter’s cotton. But be careful of materials like household air filters that may contain fiberglass. They could still damage your lungs, even if they filter out virus particles.
Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source began advising Americans to wear face coverings in public to “slow the spread” of COVID-19.
However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports the supply of surgical masks (and other protective gear) could run short during the pandemic meaning little availability of masks for the people.
The FDA is aware that as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to expand globally, the supply chain for these devices will continue to be stressed if demand exceeds available supplies,” the agency said in a statement Trusted Source.
The solution, according to health officials, is to improvise.
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams posted a video to Twitter earlier this month explaining how to improvise your own face mask.
But making DIY protection involves careful consideration of what you have to work with.
Some materials can filter particles better than others, significantly affecting how well your homemade mask may protect you from infection.
— Daily Health Tips (@DailyHealthTips) April 19, 2020
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,” the CDC said in a statement Trusted Source.
But the CDC emphasized: “It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus.”
Initially, people in the United States were told by the surgeon general and World Health Organization to not use face masks because they were unlikely to help, and because they were needed by healthcare providers.
But experts insist that has now led to confusion, as the CDC now supports homemade masks.
Read more: Are face masks effective against COVID-19?
It’s very unfortunate that the CDC and the surgeon general’s office initially, because they were panicked at masks being hoarded and unavailable for health workers, chose to address that by telling people that masks aren’t helpful.
Masks are always helpful, whether they filter well or not, they are very helpful at protecting other people as well, especially from silent infections.
Online Int’l News with additional input by GVS News Desk