Do Masks for Viruses Help Stop COVID-19?
Yes! But, masks are not magic. How well a mask protects you from viruses, depends on how disciplined you are on your hygiene habits. You cannot touch your face to adjust your mask frequently. You cannot wear a mask that is soiled. If you wear a mask with thin fabric or loose weave, droplets from a cough or sneeze can get through.
Masks are not just for pandemics. It is clinically proven that wearing masks is effective in reducing not just “viral load,” but also filtering out air pollutants from cars and pollens. This NIH study shows that even a cotton handkerchief blocks 25% of airborne pollutants. See the results in the chart below from a Cambridge study that reveals there is approximately a 70% reduction in virus transmission achieved by a few layers of cotton-polyester blend shirt fabric turned into a mask.
Bottom line is that you and your family should wear masks when you leave the house. While masks rated “N95” are best, and if you do not have these, buy other types that help more than wearing nothing, or see dozens of tutorials on how to make DIY masks.
This site is updated frequently. See recent articles for carefully researched and current information about DIY masks for viruses and face shields, pandemic and disaster preparedness, germ prevention, and more.
- See dozens of patterns and tutorials to make DIY masks
- See dozens of patterns and tutorials to make DIY face shields
- Read our “Contagion Cleaning Checklist” and share with everyone
Three Tragic Reasons for the USA’s Rapid Spread of COVID-19:
Though widely known since early January 2020 that a highly contagious virus was headed to or already in the US, the CDC was very late to get accurate COVID-19 tests into place. They were slow to become available and the first tests were unusable. The current version is trickling out, too late to help stop the spread as seen in Iceland.
The federal government did not kick-start into producing extra supplies of masks when they were informed of the coming pandemic. Because of this, there are not enough masks for viruses to protect front-line healthcare workers from infected patients. If you have tried to purchase any, you know there are few masks rated for viruses available to keep the untested-sick from sharing the disease.
Since there is no federal level plan for fighting this pandemic, widespread social distancing was not practiced early. Some Governors and Mayors took measures to stop the spread early, many states reacted slowly with mandates to stay home. As a result, healthcare workers are so short on masks for viruses that they are wearing wearing diapers on their faces.