When Seattle had its first coronavirus death three weeks ago – yes three – and it rapidly became impossible to procure medical masks, one of my first thoughts was, I’ll just make some out of fabric. In fact, I thought, I’ll make enough for everyone in Isla’s and Briony’s classes.
Then I did some research. In short, cloth masks don’t work. Not only do they not work, they can even be worse than not wearing a mask at all.
Now, all over my quilting Insta, people are talking about making lots of cloth masks. Does no one use Google? Or am I missing something?
Furthermore, I find the anti-paper mask rhetoric in the US irritating. Paper masks do help prevent contagion, which is why Asian governments recommend them, including China and Korea, the only countries so far to actually control this thing. My Korean friend is completely mystified by the anti-mask perspective in the US. Buying them now may not make sense since medical personnel need them more, but I’m skeptical about whether medical personnel can just wear any old paper mask. Furthermore, many, many people already own masks in their homes which they could wear. We, for example, have open boxes of masks from when S was in the hospital and H and I had colds. We wore a mask whenever we held her. And, she didn’t catch our cold.
Edited to add link. I think you can make a case for non-medical personnel to wear cloth masks. (1) They stop you touching your face and (2) they scare people into giving you space.