You may be required by law to wear a mask where you live. Or perhaps a business you frequent recently added a “No mask, no service” sign. Indeed, research has shown that wearing face masks in public can really make a difference in preventing the spread of the virus causing coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19.
Masks may be particularly important because the 6-foot (2-meter) social-distancing recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is based on research from the 1930s. That’s before researchers had the technology to detect submicron aerosols that can come from speaking, coughing, and sneezing. Those smaller particles can travel much further and take much longer to settle to the ground. Though universal masking “results in the least exposure,” a public rush to buy medical face masks can make it difficult for the medical professionals we all rely upon to acquire them.
So what’s a person to do? It turns out that masks made from most common fabrics are sufficient, but leakages around the mask area dramatically reduce their effectiveness. So, especially if your store-bought mask doesn’t fit, consider making your own!
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