Don’t despair: In just 45 seconds, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams demonstrates how to make your own cloth facemask.
It’s lo-tech. You can use a T-shirt, hand towel, or bandana. The only other thing you need is rubber bands.
That’s because a “significant portion of people” — perhaps as much as one in four people — who are infected won’t show any coronavirus symptoms. So wearing a cloth mask is particularly important for the many folks who don’t know they’re coronavirus carriers, but could spread the well-adapted microbe in crowded settings.
The virus can be spread even by talking.
“It’s not a decision to try to protect me from getting coronavirus,” CDC director Robert Redfield told Stat News. “It’s to help modify spreading. And there is scientific data to show that when you aerosolized virus through a cloth barrier, you have a reduction in the amount of virus that gets through the other side.”
Critically, the CDC emphasizes that cloth face masks should be used by the general public to conserve surgical masks or N-95 respirators for medical workers. These medical-grade masks are in woefully short supply.