Essentials required for making a good face mask for the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is dangerous, and everyone has been advised to stay at home and practice social distancing. Somehow, movement is allowed but for specific time intervals and that too at select places. Going to the medical school students, the grocery store or any other essential place is allowed.

Social distancing measures have been relaxed a bit. People can get to see the hairdresser, the beauty specialist and even go to work with ease. However, the new normal routine has made things different.

Needless to say, many have been sitting at a distance from their coworkers in order to protect them against the coronavirus. Everyone wears a face mask these days.

In many places, everyone is required to wear a facemask made of a cloth covering the face (from the nose to the chin). As per researchers’ findings, around 25 to 50 percent of people can get infected, can carry the virus and spread it without showing or experiencing much symptoms.

The virus is transmitted easily through respiratory droplets simply by either talking, laughing, sneezing, coughing and other forms of social contact. It can also be contacted through the eyes, as per latest findings.

How good is a face mask made of cloth?

According to researchers and faculty from Windsor medical school who have been working together in fighting the corona virus, A face mask made of cloth isn’t necessarily a safe bet in terms of being a protection measure.

Such a mask should have another important layer to physical protection when being used in conjunction with hand hygiene and social spacing.

However, not many N95 medical masks are available for everyone everywhere. Thus, those who are caring for those infected with the coronavirus need to have them and must be saved for them. However, new masks having features of a military style gas mask are best for them.

It does not come as any surprise that the demand for cloth face mask is rising exponentially in meeting the demand. The science behind what makes a really good cloth face mask is not tat complicated. Here are some things that can make a really good face mask:

Sewing or no sewing – which one to choose?

Both options are fine when correctly used. They should be based on the wearer’s preference. If they are always on the move, a no sew option is best. If they have a penchant for craftiness and something that looks good, they are then free to make their mask at home.

Alternatively, these masks can be ordered online easily. Reliable designs, especially those recommended by the Center for Disease Control, should be chosen. Another option is checking the website of local hospitals in this regard.

Using multiple layers of fabric

The best cloth masks use 2 layers of cotton fabric well woven. Those who are looking for such masks should be looking for a higher thread count as this acts as a filter blocking respiratory droplets while allowing them to breathe comfortably.

Adding filters

Some masks will have a space where a filter can be slipped in to create additional protection. The CDC recommends addition of coffee filters to homemade masks. Also, a lot of online videos where people have been experimenting with a lot of things are present and they are:

  • Paper towels.
  • Bra pads.
  • Cutouts from reusable grocery bags made of polypropylene non-woven fibers.
  • Nylon fabrics from a panty hose.
  • Kitchen towels.

There is not much to go on here in this matter, hence common sense is much needed. Is a filter worth adding in when considering safety and usability, common sense dictates it should be? The filter must be dense enough to block tiny, moist particles while making breathing comfortable for people.

Another thing that should be kept in mind is prevention of inhalation of toxic materials, especially high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters as they have fiberglass. This is dangerous to inhale. Hence, people should do proper research to be abreast with the latest information.

It should be comfortable

It is obvious that the mask must fit comfortably so it doesn’t slip off the face nor should it leave marks. It should fit in snugly from the nose to under the chin, with the straps going back to the ears. If there are gaps that are letting the air in, then it is useless.



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