Pandemic Preparation: Create Your Own Face Mask

Pandemic Preparation: Create Your Own Face Mask

( – With the number of Coronavirus cases growing rapidly around the world, people need to take necessary precautions in preventing themselves or others from contracting the virus. It’s no surprise that stores are running low on masks and other supplies. Once these masks are gone, the only option left may be to create your own.

Making your own mask may seem difficult at first glance, but it’s actually quite simple. Luckily, there are a few ways to create these masks. While they don’t offer full protection against the virus, something is better than nothing.

Making the Mask

You can make a DIY mask using some rubber bands, tape, tissue, and paper towels. Once done, this homemade mask resembles the design of a surgical mask.

To begin, you’ll need to wash your hands with soap and water. You don’t want to contaminate your mask before you use it.

Take two paper towels, placing one on top of the other, then add the tissue and tape the ends together. The tissue will go next to your face as it will be a bit more comfortable than the paper towels. Once you’ve done this, make holes for the rubber bands at each of the four corners (through the tape to reduce the risk of the mask tearing). This can be accomplished with a hole punch or even just a pointed object.

Finally, take the rubber bands and tie them to each corner; you can either use two or four rubber bands for this. If you’re going to use two, simply tie one to the top and bottom corner of each side. If using four rubber bands, tie one to each corner.

Then, put the mask on by holding it to your face and putting the rubber bands behind your ears. You can add in a piece of wire or thin metal to the top of the mask, so that you may contour the mask’s shape to your nose.

There are numerous ways to make this rudimentary, yet effective, mask. This YouTuber demonstrates how to make the same basic design with string and a stapler.

Alternative Solution

Another material you can use in place of paper towels is a clean furnace filter with a Micro-particulate Performance Rating (MPR) of 1900 and a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of 13. The higher these ratings are the thicker the filter will be; keep this in mind as it’ll make the mask harder to breathe through. Also, make sure the filter you choose is not made of fiberglass — you don’t want to inhale any particles from those filters.

This option will take a little work, as you’ll have to remove the paper from the metal wires that hold the filter’s shape and cut the material to size. Once you do though, you should have enough material for multiple masks. Use the same instructions outlined above but replace the paper towels with the filter paper.

This alternative will arguably provide more protection than the paper towel mask as the higher end filters are designed to capture viruses. The first mask will be much faster and easier to make in a pinch though.

In the face of the coronavirus, or any outbreak for that matter, make sure to take the necessary precautions. Do your best to avoid the illness by washing your hands, using a tissue to use handrails and elevator buttons, and avoid large crowds if possible. If you feel sick, stay home and see a doctor when you can.

Copyright 2020,