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How To Make an Improvised Coronavirus Mask:

As the outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus (CoVid-19) continues to spread largely unabated,
including far outside the borders of China, it is becoming obvious that taking appropriate
precautions for you and your family is now of the essence.

One way you can do that, if you haven’t already purchased a bunch of masks from the
dwindling commercial supplies, is to make your own medical face masks at home.

Supplies of masks are starting to dry up, as people wake up and see that this thing probably
isn’t going away anytime soon. And the more serious it gets, the quicker you’re likely to see
medical face masks disappear entirely, or get jacked up in price due to high demand.

The following do-it-yourself method is a simple and effective way for ordinary people to help
protect themselves against not just the Wuhan coronavirus (CoVid-19) but also any other
respiratory “bugs” that enter and infect the body through the nose and mouth.

Testing has determined that the following improvised mask design provides almost the same
level of protection as commercial medical face masks. They are 80 to 90 percent as effective
as professional N95 surgical masks, in terms of their ability to filter out aerosols and droplets.

These homemade masks can act as an alternative for those who don’t have better gear, but
still need to protect themselves from infection.
Even if you don’t end up even needing to use them for this current outbreak, these homemade
face masks will still serve you well as part of your preparedness and survival strategy,
because you’ll have them available when a crisis hits, or at least know how to make them.

There’s no such thing as being too prepared, after all. So, let’s get started.

Materials: You need at least one roll of paper towels, some tissue paper (Kleenex), elastic
bands, a hole punch, paper tape, scissors, some reasonably stiff wire, a pair of glasses, clear
plastic file folders, and some small binder clips, as pictured below.

The mask is just one square of paper towel cut in half (or if you buy the “split sheets” style
from Walmart like I do, then it is two of the split sheets), with one standard Kleenex
sandwiched between them.

(The paper towel sections may have to be trimmed a bit, so they are same size as the
Kleenex.)
Then you use paper tape (masking tape) to seal the four edges of the mask, by folding strips
of tape over each edge.

Then use a hand-held hole punch to make a hole in each corner, and put a rubber band in
each hole (medium rubber bands work best, not thin ones, and not heavy duty ones).

Cut a length of reasonably stiff wire, that is the same width as the mask, and tape it across the
top ( this lets you form the mask to your face, just like commercially-made masks).

Now use some cordage to tie the top two rubber bands together, and another length to tie the
bottom two rubber bands together (the exact length can be adjusted, for best fit).
This lets you position the lower set behind your head below the ears, and the upper set behind
your head above your ears, providing a much better seal than other mask designs that just
loop over each ear.

Then use both hands to form the mask to your face, and the wire will keep it that shape.

The face shield is made from one half of a clear (or almost clear) plastic paper file folder, and
these are available at dollar stores, or Walmarts.
To make the shield, take a clear folder and cut the two halves apart, and then just trim one half
at the corners, to round them off.

Get some mini binder clips (also at dollar stores, etc), and put a pair of glasses on the sheet,
and mark it with a sharpie so that you can cut a slit on each side, for the binder clips to go
through, and clip onto each ear piece.

The face shield can be washed and sanitized as often as desired, and re-used, and but you
should make several masks, so you can change to a new mask whenever they become damp
from your breath, or after close contact with infected people.
If you have heard that a virus is too small to be stopped by a mask, that is misleading – the
mask catches the micro-droplets of liquid from coughs and sneezes, which is how the virus
actually travels through air.

Infected people also spray droplets into the air just by talking, and also just by breathing (this
is exactly the same as the “breath fog” you see during cold weather, only invisible, and each
micro-droplet of that fog has the virus suspended inside).

The mask also catches the micro-droplets of water that are sprayed into the air every time a
toilet is flushed (and the virus has been found in the waste of infected people). This means
that every public toilet may be full of an invisible contaminated mist cloud, from the last
infected person who flushed (so it is best to avoid public toilets altogether, if possible).

The face shield blocks droplets from landing on your face and eyes, and also reduces the
number of droplets that land on your mask (this is why I prefer the full-face style of shield).

And if you want even more protection, you can add a clear plastic poncho with hood to keep
the droplets out of your hair (or a nylon hooded wind breaker, or the rain bonnets used to
protect women’s hairdos, or you can improvise headcovers from plastic bags).
As I mentioned, actual tests determined that this design is 80 to 90 percent effective at
blocking droplets, so it is much better than no protection, while mask shortages and / or high
prices for masks continue.

Since the materials to make these improvised masks are very inexpensive, you can easily
afford to make enough for everyone you care about, and lots of spare masks so that you can
change to a clean mask whenever you current mask becomes damp, or after using it for a trip
to the store for supplies, or any other contact with people.

Making your own masks is fun and easy, so don’t wait for outside help, protect yourself now !