Wearing a face mask stops people from becoming infected in two ways:
1) By blocking most airborne droplets filled with virus from being inhaled
2) By stopping the wearer from touching their own mouths and noses.
Studies have shown that medical professional using surgical face masks correctly get 80% fewer infections than those who don’t.
So why the mixed messages?
First, because the protection only comes when the masks are used properly. They must be put on clean, taken off carefully, and paired with rigorous hand washing, and the discipline not to touch the face.
Second, because gaps around the masks and between fibers, even in commercial surgical masks, are too large to block all viruses. Sneeze and cough droplets are usually between 7 and 100 microns. Surgical masks and some cloth masks will block 7 micron particles. The COVID19 virus particles are 0.06 to 0.14 microns.
So why should you make your own face masks?
1) In the event you become sick, having a supply of masks at home will give some level of protection to friends and family while you seek medical advice. It will certainly be better than no mask at all (see research notes).
2) By making your own, and hopefully for family and friends, you will be decreasing demand on limited supplies of industrially manufactured, disposables, which are desperately needed by hospitals and nursing homes.
3) These comfortable, curved shaped masks rest closer to the face, with fewer gaps, than rectangular surgical masks.
4) Our homemade designs are washable, making them environmentally friendly.