The Coronavirus will not leave us anytime soon. We all have learnt a way to live with it and protect ourselves with a face mask. But, there are some of us who are not too clear or confident about how a face mask can help in preventing the spread of this disease or getting infected by it. We have all been directed repeatedly by the government and media to wear a face mask in community gatherings and public areas.
How does a Fabric Mask Help Against Spreading COVID-19?
A fabric face mask or a face mask made out of some other material such as plastic, does not protect the wearer. Instead, it protects the people around you from catching the disease, in case you are infected. Often, the people carrying this disease are asymptomatic. They may be unaware of themselves being carriers, and may unknowingly spread the disease to other healthy people, who may have weak immune systems. A fabric mask prevents spread of the disease through your mucus or saliva in case you cough or sneeze.
Fabric Masks or Surgical Masks:
It is mandatory for everyone to wear a fabric or a surgical mask before stepping out in the public. But the main problem with surgical masks is that you should keep disposing of them after every 2 to 3 days. Each mask is available in medical stores for 10 INR, but when you have to keep on disposing them, it does turn out to be a costly affair.
Furthermore, surgical masks and N95 masks need to be used by healthcare workers on the frontline. If the general public uses cloth masks, there will be ample supply of surgical masks for these frontline healthcare workers.
You get a lot of fabric masks in various stores and online as well. These are all differently priced. But, when you measure the importance of these masks in the world today and the compulsion under which everyone needs to invest in them, it makes more sense to make your own fabric masks at home.
Fabric masks can be washed easily and used again. You need not dispose of them after one-time use. This makes it more practical to invest in fabric masks.
In this article today, we are going to discuss how to make your own fabric face masks at home. Making these at home will turn out to be economical, and also a lot more fun. Once you learn how to make these masks at home, you can easily create your own masks matching with your different dresses.
Do-It-Yourself Fabric Face Mask Activity:
Whether you know how to sew or you are just looking for a quick way to make your own face mask easily, here is a quick activity that you can try. You do not need any sewing skills or a sewing machine to make this mask.
- Ruler or tape measure
- Rubber bands or some other hair ties
- Old t-shirt or some other piece of fabric
- Place an old t-shirt flat on the floor or table and smoothen any creases.
- Measure 7 to 8 inches in width and 10 to 12 inches in length and cut a square piece.
- Cut your rectangle cloth piece. This will be your mask. Now you need to make the ties.
- Place this rectangle piece of fabric on a flat surface and fold the material from the bottom to the middle.
- Next, fold the material from the top to the middle.
- Now fold it again from the bottom to the middle.
- Loop a rubber band or large hair tie around each end of the fabric about 2 inches in from the end of the fabric.
- Now, fold the right side in towards the center and the left side in towards the center. Ensure that both the ends meet.
- Now grab the mask by the rubber bands or hair ties and loop these over your ears, securing the mask over your nose and mouth. The ties should be tight enough to hold the mask in place and yet loose enough to make you feel comfortable and allow easy breathing.
This way, you can make your own fabric face masks at home. But, do you know that you are supposed to follow some instructions and safety measures before putting on and taking off your mask?
Safety Measures for Putting on and Taking off a Face Mask:
It is also important how to handle a mask. Before you wear a mask, wash your hands with water and soap for 20 seconds. Alternatively, you can use a sanitizer. When wearing your mask, avoid touching the fabric and just hold it by the ties and fit it snugly. Similarly, while taking it off, wash your hands with water and soap or use a hand sanitizer. Secure it by the ties, unhook it from your face and drop it in the washing machine or wash it immediately and put to dry. Also, remember to wash your hands again after removing the mask.
How Often Should You Wash a Fabric Face Mask?
A fabric face mask should be washed regularly. Wash it with hot water and detergent. Dry it on a high-heat setting or under direct sunlight. Always keep more than 1 fabric face mask so that you always have one when the other is in the wash.
Important Tips Regarding a Fabric Face Mask
- Your fabric face mask should cover your mouth and nose properly. Always measure the mask over your face to ensure it fits you before you cut it out.
- Your mask should cover your nose and mouth properly.
- Do not place the mask under your chin or below your nose. That spoils its basic purpose. Ensure that you keep it over your nose and mouth at all times when in public. Do not lift it up to talk to someone.
- Avoid touching the mask when you have it over your face. This will make the infection (if any) come on your hand and then spread to someone else unknowingly.
- Social distancing is a separate and mandatory protocol that needs to be followed. A face mask does not replace the need to be socially distant. Ensure that you stand 6 ft away from everyone while in public.
- A cloth mask is not recommended for children below the age of 2 years or for those who already have difficulty in breathing.
These are some of the basic protocols that you need to follow before wearing a mask. Follow the instructions given above to make your own fabric face mask.
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