If you can’t find a N95/medical mask, this might help. If you don’t have a sewing machine nor care to sew your own mask, this might help.
Bandana + Hair Ties – if you can’t pull off the full outlaw look OR want a tighter fitting mask OR want to add an insert, try this fold and tie method. Fold inward diagonally making layers, secure one side with a hair tie, secure the other side with a hair tie and tie the bandana around your face. Easily adjustable for great fit. It needs to cover your mouth and nose. In case you didn’t read that properly. . . it needs to cover your mouth and nose.
Remember face masks are as much for others as they are for you. A face mask reminds you not to touch your nose or mouth. If you sneeze or cough, a face mask keeps it contained. I’ve read an epidemiologist report that a strong sneeze can travel 27 feet, they are saying 6 feet because the heavy dangerous particles can be shared within that distance . . . . . that and the grocery stores aren’t big enough for 27 foot social distances.
If you want to insert something like copper mesh or a thicker piece of fabric, etc. you can easily add that in the folds of the bandana. I’m not saying you need to, I’m not saying you don’t need to. Keep it as dry as possible while wearing it and wash in hot water with soap and water after every use. You want to make sure your mouth and nose are covered, oh I said that already. Probably not the best idea to share your bandana with others so guard it like your phone.
Please note this should not replace medical advice, if you can get your hands on a legitimate mask, do so. Check out the CDC site for their thoughts on using a bandana, it seems logical that a tighter fitting, folded one is more effective.
Don’t have a bandana? Find an alternative cloth. Don’t have hair ties, rubber bands will do.
Funny factoid about face masks, they are like seatbelts and helmets, they do not work unless you wear them. Wearing them down around your neck doesn’t do a darn thing.
Now that we’ve covered the two major entry points, let’s discuss eyes. The virus can enter through your eyes, read up on how pink eye can be an indicator that the virus is present. If you wear contacts, you might consider wearing your glasses If you don’t wear glasses, sunglasses? I don’t know that might get too weird. Do what you can.
And, finally . . . . let’s talk etiquette. . . don’t shame people with masks on and don’t shame people without masks on, just go about your business. If you want to be friendly, remember you can smile with your eyes and we all need smiles so while you are out at essential businesses let’s be kind to each other, make a little eye contact and “eye smile”.
I don’t mean to make light of a very serious situation but if this helps someone feeling anxiety find a mask alternative then good has been done.
Worth repeating, this could work in a pinch and not to be deemed as medical advice. Check out the NIH or CDC websites for all the latest direction on face masks, who should wear them, when to wear them, how to wear them, what to wear, etc.