Sewing Flu Masks for COVID 19

by Jessica Johannesen

We live in such strange times. The CDC advises all Americans to wear a mask. Basically, some protection is better than none. From what I’ve read, homemade masks are only an average of 70% effective, but I’d rather improve my chances of not getting it by 70% than go without.

There are two basic styles of masks. The masks above are a shaped dust mask style from Trend Patterns and below is the pleated surgical mask style, image from the tutorial by Sweet Red Poppy.

The Science

Before I go any farther as I look into the effectiveness of masks an abstract from one Pub Med article keeps coming up because it states that “none of the studies established a conclusive relationship between mask/respirator use and protection against influenza infection.”

However, if you read the rest of the sentence you will see that the authors do not say masks are useless.

None of the studies established a conclusive relationship between mask/respirator use and protection against influenza infection. Some evidence suggests that mask use is best undertaken as part of a package of personal protection especially hand hygiene. The effectiveness of masks and respirators is likely linked to early, consistent and correct usage.

We are not expecting masks to prevent all infection. As far as I know, abstinence is the best solution. Stay home. But since we all need to grocery shop, masks are a way to lower your exposure when you have to leave the house. And stop you from spreading it if you are a non-symptomatic carrier.

The pattern I’m going to use to make my masks is from Craft Passion. She has a great shaped mask tutorial that has a pocket for a nose shaping wire, and a great sewing tutorial to go with it.

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