I Made My Own Face Mask From a Bra (Coronavirus Protection)
Need for face mask
Face masks have long been used by the common folks in China and other countries for various purposes such as air pollution. With the onset of the coronavirus, the face masks have reached other countries as well. Here in the Netherlands, face masks are not popular. You don't see people outside wearing masks even in confined places such as a supermarket. The government did not encourage wearing of face masks with the reason that a face mask does not provide complete protection from the virus and it just gives a false sense of security. Moreover, it could be detrimental if people are not using it properly.
Since the start of the lockdown, I have stayed indoors as much as I could. I even did my groceries online. When I got fed up with online shopping, I decided to make my own face mask. A face mask is not a substitute for social distancing. However, I prefer to wear a face mask in a confined space such as a grocery store since the risk of virus spread is much higher than in an open space. Also, social distancing is not always possible in a small space. I have also read of incidents where people just spit or cough at other people. There have been cases where people died of coronavirus after they have been spit or coughed at. I decided against buying face masks since they have become scarce and I don't want to deprive the health/medical personnel of the much needed face masks. Furthermore, the prices of face masks in online stores have skyrocketed. I looked for resources I could find at home to make my own face mask. I discovered that a bra is perfect for the purpose because of its cupped shape and soft but firm material. Also it is made of foam that is thick enough for protection.
Following the easing of lockdown, the Netherlands have come up with a mandate of wearing face masks when using the public transport such as bus, tram, subway and train. This will be effective first of June 2020. No problem, I already have my own homemade mask.
How to make the mask
- Choose a bra that you don't use anymore but one that is still firm.
- Cut out one cup and cut also the shoulder straps loose.
- Determine the upper and lower ends of the bra. I use the narrow end for my nose (upper part) and the wider end for the mouth and chin (lower part). Fasten one shoulder strap on both sides of upper part of the bra. Fasten the other shoulder strap on both sides of the lower part of the bra.
- Try on your face to fit and adjust. The straps should fit over the crown of your head. The upper strap can rest by the ear loops and secured at the back of your head. The lower strap will be fastened at the nape of your neck.
- You can sew a thin white cloth over the outer side of the bra if you don't want it to be conspicuous.
- Wash the finished mask in hot soapy water and hang it to dry thoroughly in a well ventilated room.
- Store the mask in a clean carry-on so you can carry it with you when you go out.
Proper Use of the Face Mask
- Remember that a face mask does not replace proper hygiene and social distancing.
- Wash and dry your hands thoroughly when you go out and disinfect them before putting on the mask.
- Adjust the mask so that it covers your nose, mouth and chin.
- Avoid touching the mask while wearing. Otherwise, disinfect your hands before and after touching.
- Wash or disinfect your hands before taking off the mask.
- When taking off the mask, hold on to the straps. Don't touch the outer part of the mask as it may contain germs, virus and dirt.
- Fold the mask inside out to avoid touching the outer part and immediately place it back in its container.
- Disinfect your hands if there's no water/soap available. When reaching home, immediately wash and dry your hands thoroughly.
- Wash the mask in hot soapy water and hang it dry. Also wash and dry the carry-on container.