In general, influenza surveys are more consistent with current advice about prioritizing hand washing. Whereas most influenza studies are consistent about handwashing being good, they are somewhat inconsistent about face mask being helpful. Most studies inside the above-linked influenza review found face masks to become useful protection against influenza, even though the following two studies had contrasting results.
Otherwise, medical professionals decide to make requests on social media marketing. Masks for Heroes uses an Instagram account to publish PPE requests from healthcare workers. It says some hospitals have given permission to deliver the requests, but other posts from individual employees could possibly be anonymous. The U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health is also compiling lists of hospitals by the state that are accepting homemade masks, including instructions for dropping them off. On top of that, clothing subscription service Wantable gives you a totally free label to send them your masks, which they will distribute to hospitals and first responders.
The bottom line, experts say, is that masks can assist keep people with COVID-19 from unknowingly passing down the virus. But the evidence for that efficacy of surgical or homemade masks is restricted, and masks are not the main protection up against the coronavirus.
Surgical masks will be the next step down, offering protection against large droplets. This is the sort of mask CDC currently recommends for the majority of medical workers, caregivers, and people who are sick. In recent weeks, a wave of hospitals in Boston, San Francisco, and Providence, along with other US cities, have started requiring their healthcare workers to wear these.
If you are looking for a no-sew version to wear yourself, check out Amanda’s quick and easy DIY instructions using supplies you already have at home. Otherwise, here is her step-by-step help guide sewing medical markers, including a fabric pattern you’ll be able to print in your own home.
These are also in short supply and will supply only by medical workers. Sometimes called surgical masks or procedure masks, these masks are those rectangular shaped coverings (often pleated) that are included with elastic ear loops. Medical masks are constructed with a paper-like nonwoven material, and so are often provided to a coughing patient waiting to see a physician. Compared to the N95 mask, a medical mask filters about 60 to 80 percent of particles and, in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration, mostly blocks “large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays, or splatter that may contain germs.”