In the midst of the global pandemic, shortages and hording abound. One of the critical shortages is face masks. Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Seattle asked the public to sew masks for their staff. The N-95 masks were reserved for those staff members treating COVID-19 patients.
The outpouring from the community was tremendous. In two days they were distributing masks to other hospitals and first responders.
Pizza delivery is an essential service in almost every community with 'Shelter in Place' orders. I go to work. Work that brings me in contact with my dozen or so co-workers and 20 or more customers at their homes. I needed a mask. Some of my pizza buddies with poor immune systems needed masks. It would be more than a month before masks were available on Amazon. I reposted Providence Hospital's mask plans and asked for help. A friend of a friend sewed a few masks for me. The peace of mind she brought is immeasurable.
Along the way it was pointed out that cloth masks are about 4% effective. Hospital disposable masks, about 10% and N-95 masks 95%. I was doing little better than a handkerchief over my face.
Add a filter
In researching this I discovered what N-95 in a mask designation means. And that unless you are treating COVID-19 patients, you probably don't need that level of protection. The fit of a mask has a lot to do with the protection it really provides. You need to be breathing through the mask, not around the edges. And that vacuum cleaner bags are really good dust filters. Maybe providing 80% filtering.
Get a mask
This is the Providence St. Joseph Hospital mask page. There are instructions and templates on the page. https://www.providence.org/lp/100m-masks.
VLSADESIGNS An Etsy shop where I bought my masks. Esty.
What makes a good filter?