Everyone Evolving on Masks

It's a slow and painful process, especially when the powers that be spun the line that masks really don't do anything for you because you don't know how to put it on and it will do nothing to protect you from covid 19. Oh, and there are nowhere near enough for docs and nurses.

kardashian.jpg One of the women above is Courtney Kardashian which I guess is a celebrity, in fairness she probably doesn't know who I am either.

Of course most of Asia has been wearing them forever, and they have infection rates to envy. The paper of record, has been sensing the shift in the wind for a few days and what better way to get out in front without committing than by letting someone else make the point in an op ed.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/opinion/trump-coronavirus-masks.html

The mask yes/no divide didn't necessarily fall into the predictable left/right split. Of course there was, and is, rancorous partisanship, I mean every issue under the sun can boil down to either you are with us or you are Hitler. All with links to this or that authoritative study. And now the orange outrage himself and the CDC recommends. Who next? Zoro?

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/03/8262198...

Today our governor gave his press conference wearing a mask, he said he is working on getting enough masks of "medical grade" for every health care worker in the state, (to wear more than one disposable a day I'm hoping) and he wants every single person in the state to wear one also. He has thousands of volunteers sewing and also companies mass producing them. Says when you are out of the house you should wear a mask at all times, says we need to develop a "mask culture"

https://www.cpr.org/2020/04/03/gov-polis-calls-on-colorado-to-adopt-a-st...

Homemade masks are fine, any old piece of cloth will filter out most bad things and stop you from spreading even more things. Look at what they wear in Asia. They mostly have the really cheap rectangular soft cotton types. Make two. Wash one with soap, wear the other. Soap melts down the protective covering of the covid virus. Kills it! (virus are dead already Wink

My wife works for a surgeon that is the top of the heap for his specialty around here. Loves his work, loves explaining to patients exactly what he is doing, handles all the tough ones the other surgeons don't want to do. He volunteered to work with covid 19 patients while he is rescheduling electives way out into May and June. When he understood the mask situation back in mid February he flipped out. Ranted and raved. He's a very selfless guy who loves his work but doesn't want to endanger himself or his nurses.

So we googled until we found a mask designed by an MD and manufactured by her seamstress husband. Went to Walmart and found a filter material to sandwich between layers that exceeds N95 specs. It's contoured to fit over the nose, cup the chin, and lay flat along the cheeks, three sizes. My wife sewed and I helped with less skilled parts. She started cranking out 50 masks a day. Enough for everyone in her building who wanted one. Is it approved by OSHA or the CDC or anyone else? No. Does it work? as good as the industrial grade respirator I wear for work. Does wonders for my looks.

thumb_IMG_1611.jpg

This week Trump and the CDC have changed their recommendations, very soon I think people will evolve like they did in calling the covid pandemic no worse than the flu. They were worried about hoarding, which is what happened anyway. Now they want to nock back the infection rate another few percentage points without welding shut people's doors.

Share
up
24 users have voted.

Comments

Watched your videos but didn’t see what your wife made with filter material from Walmart.
Can you please describe and give us a template?

I would also like to make some, hopefully the best possible DIY for family, friends and neighbors.

Thanks.
Sirena

PS. I also have read vacuum filters are second best to NR95’s but hard to breath thru.
Any comments?

up
11 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture

@Sirena
You'll only know how hard to breath through when you try one. We don't have an issue.
The only downside is you can't wash them to clean because the material breaks down.
167F for 30 minutes in the oven is what they recommend.

up
11 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@Sirena The breathing through is important. N95s can be hard if worn for a full shift. Some take a break for oxygen out of the bottle. Not sure the name of the filter in Walmart, Hobby lobby had some too, 3 different thicknesses that we ran into. The strands are not woven, even though it is fabric, more like they are randomly pressed together. One can pull it apart, but with effort. Now making them with no filters, just 2 layers of quality cotton.

Lots of texts this evening about masks. Also 2 docs with symptoms, but no fever. Scary, everyone is on edge. Both surgeons are young middle aged with young kids. I'll look for link to template which I posted about before elsewhere, should be able to find it. Back sometime this eve.

up
16 users have voted.

@Sirena Can't find the directions and pattern I was looking for but this one has many similar https://www.craftpassion.com/face-mask-sewing-pattern/?fbclid=IwAR0kQ6JT... They are all two layerd and to finish them you turn them inside out. We were making many small cuts along the curved edge to help make a smooth cup. Patterns start a ways down the page.

I was reading an interesting comment by a doc who'd worked a lot in refugee camps in Burma where they had absolutely nothing. He wasn't dealing with covid but rather simple infection, said he make a simple mask from a T shirt cut to make straps to tie also, and adding toilet paper as a filter. Washing every night and new toilet paper every day.

I've noticed they are popular in April which is the height of the hot season when slash and burn is at it's worst but I personally never bothered much. Now for covid I wear it any time it's possible to come near anyone or to the post office which I visit late to get our mail.

Stay safe.

up
12 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

We already took the ones for France and now....

More USA exceptionalism huh?

But if everyone is supposed to wear one now where will they get them and what if they can't make them or afford to? They have been in short supply lately.

up
17 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

@snoopydawg
Or did we land troops?

Or (more likely) did Thailand seize them at US request?

up
3 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

CB's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness
"We hit 3M hard today after seeing what they were doing with their Masks. 'P Act' all the way.' Big surprise to many in government as to what they were doing - will have a big price to pay!" Trump Twitter (Apr 03, 2020).

Shipments to France and Canada have also been diverted/denied. This Act made it illegal for 3M to sell masks to anyone but the US government. What happened to the much touted Free Market that the US swears by?

Historically, the 3M plant in China manufactured for the Chinese market - that's why the company opened it's huge plant in Shanghai. They had been selling millions of masks in China while using cheap Chinese labor and taking the profits home to US stock investors for well over a decade. Luckily, China has other mask manufacturers and they want America back on it's feet and buying more to raise their GDP and standard of living. Don't bitch - the Chinese learned this trick from the grand master - the US of A.

BTW, many of the US companies (like GM) that are manufacturing assembling ventilators in America rely on Chinese made parts. Watch them bitch it is China's fault if these US companies can't get them out fast enough. Keep in mind that most of the US multinationals that Trump brags about making the materiel for combating the pandemic are actually dependent on China for raw material and labor.

The US has forgotten how to tie it's own shoes in the last three plus decades and now has to get other countries to do it for them, sometimes at the point of a (financial) bayonet.

It's going to be a new world after this is all over. The US has been exposed as the bully and war monger it is for the entire world to see.

up
10 users have voted.

@CB
by the USA at an airport in Bangkok.
That's a lot different from ordering the company not to ship them.
According to that report we seized them on Thai soil. Yes, that is either piracy or an act of war.

Addendum:
A US ship is American soil. A US airplane is not unless it is a government airplane, i.e. USAF or USN.

up
3 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

CB's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness
Security State. It's nose is so far up the US's ass, it can only take a breath when the US farts.

up
2 users have voted.

cloth ones from a nurse down the street who is making and selling for not too much. Beats having me try a DIY here or have to go buy a sewing machine and learn sewing. Prefer to leave that to someone else.

ON the masks, they won't of course prevent you from getting the virus as the virus particles are too small and will penetrate through the cloth.

But since the gov't authorities seem to be going in the direction of soon perhaps requiring masks in public, I might as well get ready.

up
10 users have voted.

@wokkamile

ON the masks, they won't of course prevent you from getting the virus as the virus particles are too small and will penetrate through the cloth.

ArsTechnica has a decent article on just how effective masks of varying types actually are. One study breaks it down as such:

In one 2014 study, researchers compared the effectiveness of 44 masks, including N95 equivalent respirators, surgical and dental masks, general cotton masks, and handkerchiefs. They used particle penetration tests similar to those used by NIOSH and the European Union.

They found that the N95 equivalent mask blocked more than 95 percent of all particles, as expected. The surgical mask was around 40 percent effective, with the dental masks coming in at around 60 percent. Cotton masks were around 30 percent effective and cotton handkerchiefs ranged from 2 percent (one layer) to 13 percent (four layers).

Deep Dive into Mask Data (ArsTechnica)

They do have *some* effectiveness. Maybe just not a ton for cloth masks.

up
14 users have voted.

@apenultimate @apenultimate pre-Covid19. This virus, from what I've read, is smaller than viruses previously known, and so will penetrate all but the N95 and hazmat respirator masks.

We plan on soon having both washable cloth and disposable masks but I'm under no illusion they can prevent getting the virus, but will be worn in public to prevent the wearer's coughs, sneezes and aerosolized breathing from getting into other's breathing space, and to comply with any imminent gov't mandates.

eta: The N95 and surgical or similar medical masks are in short supply, and Amazon is not allowing 3d party sellers to sell them to the general public. That pretty much leaves most people with cloth reusable and paper disposable DIY types, of limited effectiveness.

The CDC and other medical authorities are now doing something of a 180 on public wearing of masks, as they spent the first 2.5 months of the virus outbreak not recommending general public wearing except for those with symptoms. So now there is not an adequate supply available of medical-grade, wearable masks to meet the overwhelming demand and everyone is scrambling to make do. It's a bit of a disaster due mainly to federal officials.

up
6 users have voted.

@wokkamile
not the viruses, but the water droplets that carry the virus.

up
9 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

My daughter found the following link and sent it to me--she knows me too well I think; she knows I can sew but also knows I am unlikely to get the contraption out of the closet and do it.

So for all of us non-sewers or (grumble) those that might be perceived as unlikely to sew or otherwise lazy-ass folks:

http://blog.japanesecreations.com/no-sew-face-mask-with-handkerchief-and...

And a note, go to the end if you don't want to use hair ties. Any elastic will do and something less than a hair tie in my opinion is better.

I think the bottom line is that, of course, a simple cotton or whatever mask will not keep you completely safe from Covid. BUT, there is some evidence that the "dose" of virus you might get infected with matters (many front line workers, who are healthy and would probably not normally succumb to the disease, are nonetheless dying, it is thought that mayhaps limiting the initial inoculation might result in a better outcome--perhaps it is a balance between giving your immune system a chance to respond, I don't know).

So, maybe even a simple mask can "catch" the large particles that contain a lot of virus particles, and, even though you might get sick, your initial inoculation is of a low virus titer. There is speculation, as I think you said, that the low infectivity of Covid as seen in e.g. Japan might be related the fact that wearing masks is the norm in populous regions in Asia in general.

It can't hurt, that is certain. Either way, a mask makes you aware of not touching your face! This training might be as important as anything to prevent infection.

up
12 users have voted.

@peachcreek may cause some to touch their face more often, as they adjust it for comfort. May also give a false sense of security as they see it as full protection and so spend more time out and about than they would w/o one. Sort of like wearing sunscreen when out at the beach.

A mixed bag. Of course, with fed or state gov't mandates looking likely soon, there's no choice but to get some masks and comply.

Note: What hasn't been discussed here is the virus getting on non-face areas, clothing. Touch your clothing after it's been exposed to the virus and then touch your face during the day, and you run a risk.

Iow, to be fully protected in public, you would need a full hazmat suit with the respirator.

I prefer to approach all this by carefully limiting exposure to non-household persons. That will be the primary focus, the main line of defense.

up
6 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

but she didn't cover her nose and barely her mouth. This gives people a false sense of security and she wasn't the only one I've seen not wearing them correctly.

But if the particulars hang in the air then a mask won't protect your eyes from them. Correct?

up
7 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

lotlizard's picture

but even in Calvinball, there was a hard-and-fast rule that “no one can question the masks.” Wink

up
10 users have voted.
magiamma's picture

up
8 users have voted.

Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

Roy Blakeley's picture

@magiamma The MOA article accurately summarizes information from two very useful papers, one in Science and one in Nature. Thanks Magiamma.

up
2 users have voted.

Looking for autobody respirators I saw this https://www.amazon.com/Yolococa-Respirator-Replaceable-Reusable-Included...

It's kind of pricy but it looks like you can cut and put in your own filter material.

up
4 users have voted.

came up with a strip of thin aluminum
to bridge the nose, tighten up the fabric
then, self stick thin foam to attach
found a stash of medical type ice pouches
already stitched two ply woven
just stuff around the house / shop

may dowel the ear edges
then figure out rubber bands or
other elastic strips

share your ideas!
thx

up
4 users have voted.

May we be united and strong -- laurel

@QMS

started with a bandana and rubber bands with a paper towel insert

IMG_2459.JPG

then found ice bags with ties and bent aluminum strips

IMG_2460.JPG

found some roofing washers and took a straw to give a breather tube

IMG_2461.JPG
IMG_1921.jpg

then came up with clothes pins to tighten the sides and a tissue for the trachea tube
heading into Rube Goldberg territory
may not be safe for work

up
4 users have voted.

May we be united and strong -- laurel

@QMS @QMS does the breather tube supply you you with unfiltered air? Looks great though. Ought to be some kind of contest.

up
1 user has voted.

@ban nock

on the straw, but didn't have any laying about
a condom might work
doubles as a ventilator

may try to adapt some scuba gear
as this experiment develops...

up
1 user has voted.

May we be united and strong -- laurel

on issues of public health and medical treatments. I'm also generally indifferent to mega (USG)-conspiracy conjectures. However, in this case, NIH/CDC have been so wrong and/or so slow that incompetence alone doesn't quire cut it for me. (I've never been a Fauci fan; power and public acclaim has always seemed to come first for him and at his elderly age, there is surely someone much better for his job.)

I direct others to the 20 January 2020 KCDC (Korea CDC) press release:KCDC. This concerned the first detected case of novel coronavirus in Korea. It included a public advisory:

Public should keep practice preventing infection including hand washing, cough etiquette, and wearing mask if you have respiratory symptoms. Let health provider know your travel history. If you develop any respiratory symptoms within 14 days after returning to Korea, call the KCDC Call Center at 1339.

Update: 21 Jan 2020 KCDC press release

According to the investigation, there are 44 contacts who are either passengers or airport staff. Out of 44 contacts, nine of them have left the country and the rest are under active monitoring through local health facilities. They will be monitored for 14 days from the last day of contact with the patient and receive a call from health authority on first, second, and seventh day for fever or respiratory symptoms. If showing any signs or symptoms of illness, they will be isolated and tested.

So, KCDC recognized the value to the general public and health care workers for anyone that was ill to wear a mask and the importance of isolation/quarantine for those with CoV19 and contact tracing.

Compare that with:
21 Jan 2020 CDC press release.
a) "Developing a test" -- although the CDC and Korea were able to test as of that date
b) Claimed that screening was being done at SFO, JFK, and LAX -- reports from passengers saw no evidence of screening long after 21 Jan.
c) "The confirmation that some limited person-to-person spread with this virus is occurring in Asia raises the level of concern about this virus, but CDC continues to believe the risk of 2019-nCoV to the American public at large remains low at this time."

Not even the minimal public guidance of "If you're sick, wear a mask when seeking medical attention." No precautionary principal from HHS. Medically, they couldn't possibly have been that incompetent within a couple of weeks from that first case, particularly in light of China locking down Wuhan/Hubei on 23 Jan.

Any half-assed bean counter could quickly have figured out that the world supply/production of face masks was far too small to quickly respond to a total mask-up now order. Apparently China couldn't even manage that for Wuhan. Plus any such order would result in panics, hoarding, and price gouging. (Hong Kong actually banned face masks in response to its overthrow protests.) So, the advisories were limited to hand washing (resulting in runs and price gouging on hand sanitizers) and social distancing, and when that was insufficient, lock-downs (with the spread concentrated within homes). And face-masks (except in health care facilities) are of no value which was a lie and they knew it.

There was no reason not to enlist the public to make face masks during the early stages of the epidemic/pandemic. Even if they weren't as protective as the corporate manufactured but unavailable versions. Learning how to make, wear, and use such masks would have helped to "flatten the damn curve." Contributing whatever one can during an emergency is also good for societies.

up
2 users have voted.
mhagle's picture

I am studying everything I find and then will assess all of the materials in my house. I have plenty of appropriate fabric. My husband has a massive shop - wood, metal, welding, automotive. My next-door neighbor literally has a fabric store's volume of fabric and a sewing room with about 8 machines. I have 3. We ought to be able to crank out something.

@ban knock Do you have written instructions for the masks you and your wife are making? They look much better than many of the patterns I have seen. I don't know if yours are complicated, but many seem way too complicated and time-consuming. Sergers, French seams, alternating back and forth between the two. Yikes!

Thanks again for your efforts and info!

up
3 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

@mhagle Sorry to reply so late, been busy and not on 99 percent. My wife is now sewing them for the people of the town as we have a statewide mandatory mask rule now, well, not a rule, but a strong request. Anyway. . The pattern is simple and now we don't put in filter as people don't like them as much, all we had left was the thick filter. Cotton seems to do almost the entire job if they are fitted close so most air is filtered. Used a variation of one of these. Two layers, sew them together, little cuts along the curve perpendicular to the cloth to facilitate the curve, turn inside out, sew along edges again attaching elastic.
https://www.craftpassion.com/face-mask-sewing-pattern/#face-mask-top

up
0 users have voted.

an instruction video on making a face mask.

CDC - diy face mask

up
3 users have voted.
CB's picture

@Marie
That horse is long gone from the barn.

up
3 users have voted.

@CB to make him appear more credible? Technically, the Surgeon General has no duties, responsibility, or anything else. A title without a portfolio. Ivanka may have delegated her DIY face mask video assignment to him.

up
4 users have voted.