Over the last two months, we have been faced with a pandemic that is shutting down whole nations and economies. Because of these homemade face masks and N95 respirators have become a trending topic of discussion.
We know that the latter is not available to the general public. This is why many people ask if the former can offer any form of protection against coronavirus. These masks are mostly made from elastic and cotton and according to the CDC, they should be safe.
In this post, we will take a look at this along with several other key issues surrounding these masks. And if you have any demand for surgical face masks and N95 respirators, welcome to visit Trendebut.
Who needs these masks?
With each passing day, the number of people needing surgical face masks (know more) is on the increase. This means that in many countries, there is already a scarcity of surgical masks. As a result, medical centers and hospitals are going for non-conventional methods to restock.
In some parts of the world, regular protective equipment is already depleted. This is forcing the hands of medical personnel to go against the rules of science to use homemade face masks. Many of these hospitals are already prescribing their designs. Their personnel is also being instructed to use these masks with utmost caution.
Many individuals outside the confines of medicine are also beginning to see these masks as a way of protection. The CDC hasn’t approved as to the use of these masks so using one is at your discretion.
Homemade masks: Elastic and Cotton
Yes, you can make a facemask at home. Of course, we only suggest you resort to this if it is absolutely necessary. The new movement comes with specific instructions and patterns that dictate the kind of materials to use. For now, the instructions suggest that you use elastic bands, a couple of layers of cotton, and regular thread.
This mask is created as a replica of the traditional surgical face mask. So as you can guess, it has simple folds and the elastic straps help to fit the mask over the ears. In some cases, the masks have contours that make them assume the shape of an N95 respirator. Some individuals take it further by adding pockets where you can insert filter media.
The people who add filters believe that the filters will guarantee protection against the transmission of the virus. It is possible that this is true but it is yet to be proven scientifically. Where the problem lies is that we are not completely sure that these masks will conform to your face tightly. Without the required tightness, protection cannot be guaranteed.
The original use of homemade masks
Homemade masks have been in existence for a long time before we ever heard of COVID-19. When they were first created, their function revolved around protecting from large particles while making the wearer look fashionable. Such particles include pollen, car exhaust fumes, air pollution, and other particles that may trigger allergies.
This is why we warn that a homemade mask should not be chosen over a surgical mask when it is available. Surgical masks have been tested and proven to provide a level of protection, the same as an N95 respirator. Homemade masks are simply make-shift equipment to offer protection where there is a dearth of traditional medical masks.
The stance of the Center for Disease Control
As we all know, the Center for Disease Control works in conjunction with the World Health Organization to set medical guidelines. These guidelines are instructions that the medical community should follow and they cover all medical activities. It is very possible that the position of the CDC concerning the use of homemade face masks may change.
For now, the body has come to terms with the fact that there is a scarcity of traditional medical masks. As a result of this, it has presented suggestions to health care personnel who don’t have access to regular medical masks. The CDC suggests that when regular masks aren’t available health care providers may use homemade masks. In this case, it should be noted that it is a decision based on last resort.
However, the CDC has reiterated over and over that homemade masks are not protective equipment or PPE. The reason for this is that these masks haven’t passed through any scientific testing process. Therefore, if you have to use these masks, you should be very cautious and if possible use them with a face shield.
Why you should be wary of homemade masks
Besides the fact that homemade masks are not tested, there are a couple of reasons to be wary of them. The major difference between these masks and the known brands is sterilization. In medical science, sterilization is very important and cannot be overlooked.
There is no guarantee that the homemade masks are free from germs or the virus itself. This is why you have to thoroughly wash the mask if you have to use it. An unsterilized mask is even more dangerous than no mask at all.
Where the danger lies
If you desire to put your hands to work by making your masks at home, it is fine. At least, you made it with your hands so you have some confidence that it is not contaminated. However, you must know where to draw the line.
Making your face mask is not a guarantee of protection, especially if you engage in risky behavior. This means you shouldn’t even go to crowded areas because you are not as protected as you think. Older individuals should stick to medically proven methods. This way, they will not only be safe, but they will keep their loved ones safe.
It is a fact that our world is being ravaged by COVID-19 and there is a shortage of traditional medical masks. This has given rise to the use of homemade face masks as protective equipment. Note that these masks are not proven to protect you and the CDC does not recommend them. Only use them when it is absolutely necessary, and when you do, avoid risky behavior.