Homemade Masks

STCi Project Ideas Series

Kindness will not be cancelled

With the on-going COVID-19 world-wide crisis we are starting a new series of helpful projects. During this time these will be projects that can be done individually, and of course once life begins to return to normal we’ll share ideas for groups to serve their cities in ways that will help us all recover. Make it #GoThrival.

Homemade Masks

Our first suggested project is one that can help anyone going out in public. Below are a number of tutorials and instructions on how to make your own mask which will protect against coughing, spit, and dropletsthey are not medically valid, and the Coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can still be spread even when wearing “N95” masks, which have 3 microns of space between fibers, the virus is only 1 micron in size. Nonetheless, experts say that masks still help to prevent the spread caused by sneezing, coughing, etc. In some locations with the outbreak it is required to cover your nose and mouth, so these homemade masks can help.

Start asking who in your network have sewing machines. Many places are actually asking residents and volunteers to make as many masks as possible, such as in Brussels. Organize your teams to get the fabric and supplies and perhaps organize online tutorial sessions. Make a call to action on social media and let your volunteer network know how they can help.

The general consensus about wearing masks during this pandemic is that the medically certified masks need to be saved and used by medical professionals, and those that are most at risk and vulnerable. Healthy people should not be using or buying medical grade masks, as this will cause a shortage for those that these masks actually help. Instead, to protect yourself, and to prevent the spread in public places, from sneezing, coughing, and preventing the spread when you have no symptoms, these homemade  masks will suffice when combined with social and physical distancing

Here are some recommended sources for instructions, templates, and information to use when communicating with volunteers:
Some suggested tips from our volunteer network:
  • Add a filter on the skin-side of the mask made from a vacuum cleaner bag.
  • Always wash these masks in HOT water between uses.

Thanks to our incredible teams from around the world who gave input into this project and may we all continue to #SpreadKindness and make it #GoThrival during this unprecedented time!

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