Make A Mask – It’s A Fun Family Task – Better Than Government Issue

I’ve advocated we all make our own masks. They won’t give you the protection of a medical mask but they do provide up to 83% of that protection according to tests. The best protectors are the ones made from dish towels. Those made from cotton or cotton blend material such as undershirts give around 69% or more protection compared to the medical mask. The tests showed that making more layers do not add significantly to the protection.

There are many skeptics out there who pooh-poohed my suggestion. But one of them is not the Government. I read this is in Monday‘s New York Times: “Anderson Warlick, the chief executive of the textile company Parkdale Mills, said Mr. Navarro had called him early last week to ask what the company could make. By Saturday, Parkdale Mills joined Hanes, Fruit of the Loom and other companies in announcing a coalition to produce masks.  But they are not the kind hospitals most need. The new masks will be made of a three-ply underwear fabric, and do not provide the level of protection given by the N95 masks that health care workers need for intubation and other procedures. “It’s not something you’re going to wear in the operating room,” Mr. Warlick said of the companies’ mask. “But you’ve got people out there today — it’s kind of pitiful — wearing bandannas and everything else.”

Peter Navarro, the White House trade adviser, is playing a leading role in dealing with this crises. The government is having these companies make masks which we can make at home and do them better (by using dish towels) than what the government does. Thinking of the old expression “put your money where your mouth is” I set off to make a mask. While doing it I thought that this could be a great family project involving all the kids. Not only could they make them they could put their own designs on them.

Before I begin I should set out my qualifications. I watched other people sew. When I was a kid I used to thread a needle for my mother. I know my wife’s sister Nadja and know a woman called Martha who could make clothes with the machine. My wife can do some things with it like make kids clothes. How a sewing machine works totally baffles me.

I’ve seen those envelopes that contain patterns and seen how people use them. I learned to sew a little when I was in the Marine Corps because we had to sew buttons back on if they fell off our shirts. In other words I know how to thread a needle and sew buttons. Beyond that everything is mysterious.

I thought if I can make a mask so can everyone else. I thought that doctors, nurses, and other health care workers would not be wearing masks (when they can get them) if they are not effective. Isn’t 60% to 90% protection from other masks better than no protection. If you were going into combat and the only bullet proof vests you could obtain offered you only 90% of the protection the best bullet proof vests offered would you turn them down?

In our homes we can better protect ourselves with our homemade masks than the government made masks if we use dish towels rather than the “three-ply underwear fabric.”  The result of my first attempt as a sewing neophyte is shown above. Imagine what a person with a tiny bit more skill could do to protect his or her family. I’ll show you the steps in a later post.

12 thoughts on “Make A Mask – It’s A Fun Family Task – Better Than Government Issue

  1. Mayor Marty Walsh today said: “Every life is worth saving.” (except life in the womb, the unborn, the littlest human beings.) Marty’s pro-choice. Wouldn’t lift his finger, his pen or his voice to save one pre-born human being.

    1. Mayor Marty Walsh criticized the President’s “mixed message”, Trump’s desire to get Americans back to work. Marty said, “our focus should be on public health.” He doesn’t understand that widespread unemployment and sudden widespread financial losses are public health problems, leading to excess depression, anxiety, alcoholism, drug abuse, suicides, broken families and homelessness. Disease follows impoverishment. March 25 WSJ has a great editorial documenting this fact.

    2. Didn’t he wear blackface in 1968 at a school costume party? Shame!

      Defending the church against people like Cardinal Petrucci is a hot topic. Why don’t you jump over there while your careening through this blog? After all, he was a Catholic Cardinal and he wanted to poison The Pope!

      Stay on point, will ya, Bill.

  2. Adversity reveals human character as light defines an object. A plague sure does the trick. Glorious Leader couldn’t be more exposed. President Cuomo, on the other hand, looks inspiring. There’s the deep state for ya. Glad of it.

    1. Latest Gallup Poll: 60% of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. Most think Trump and his team V.P Pence, Doctor Fauci, Doctor Birz, etc, are doing a good job.

  3. Hi Matt — A bit of advice, don’t walk into a bank looking like that. At least, for your own protection, take off the scally.

  4. Matt:

    You also must social distance even between beloved children and grandchildren. For the time being, visits should be discouraged.

    “Dr. Debroah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator noted the possibility that children under the age of 20 may be “a group that is potentially asymptomatic and spreading the virus.”

    “Bottom line, experts still don’t know if children are major carriers of COVID-19, and they may not know for sometime to come. At the moment, experts say it’s best to act on the assumption children could be key transmitters of the virus, and to keep them away from others, especially those like grandparents and others with chronic health conditions that are most vulnerable to the illness.”

  5. Masks work two ways. They protect you from airborne particles (both viral and bacterial) and hold back particles that you may discharge as you exhale, sneeze, cough or talk. They should cover both the mouth and nostrils and fit well without gaps at the top because of the projection of your nose from your face.

    More important is that you wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water. This disrupts the outer capsule of virus particles and the membrane walls of bacteria, washing away the debris down the drain. Do not touch your face, reducing the transfer of particles to the eyes, nose and mouth.

  6. Matt:

    A faceless society?

    Taking a bit of joy out of life, aren’t we?

    CDC and WHO say they’re not necessary for healthy people, don’t they?

    THE GOOD NEWS: In Italy, for the past three days, the death rate and rate of new cases has decreased. Hope!

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