A few weeks ago, a friend ordered a box of N95 disposable masks from China; I was pretty impressed! She offered me some, but I demurred. Seems like a lot of trouble.
Americans are spooked by surgical masks, it’s a cultural fear. The Surgeon General all-caps tweeted to stop buying masks because they don’t work for the general public, but health care providers (HCPs) need them, but they don’t prevent the public from infection. Honestly it’s a strange message, saying that it works for HCPs but not for us; the general public is not smart enough to use them correctly. Of course, he’s trying to prevent a shortage at this point. I wish they would just go back in time to February and put American industry and manufacturing to work. Alas.
So Americans cultural fear of masks goes so far that people will deny any benefit and all that masks may serve.. They’ll even imagine that masks put you at greater risk, but you can see how they backpedal and qualify. True, wearing a mask won’t stop aerosolized viruses; however, even homemade cloth masks will stop a droplet. Stopping droplets is not good enough for intubating COVID patients, but it’s probably good enough for essential grocery shopping during a shelter-in-place order.
That’s why hospitals have started asking for volunteers to start sewing masks. Individual Americans, are stepping up to sew them which doesn’t contribute to the shortage for HCPs. Honestly, hand washing and quarantining feel like chores, but sewing.. sewing feels like fighting!
I mean, not me, I can’t sew. My sister once told me to sew my own damn button, and when I tried as hard as I could, she yelled at me, “What did you do?” The Japanese teacher told me later, just tell me next time you need to sew a button, I like to sew things. Whimper.
Luckily, my sister and mama CAN sew. Both of them are sewing masks, right now. My sister follows this pattern, using an adjustable bra strap for the top strap, and a wide ribbon for the bottom. I can take it off one-handed and drop it in the laundry without touching the outside.
Of course, wash your hands before and after removing the mask. I asked if I could have one with a rhino horn, she said, “sure.”
Yasss, rhino horn!