It’s a strange time now. Nothing is normal and we do not know how long it will last. Taking a walk in the fresh air is good for both body and soul, but it is also important that we protect ourselves and each other.
Here in London we are in lockdown. Schools and nurseries are closed. Everyone who can, must work from home. Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes are closed, only allowing take away. All stores that are not considered essential are closed, only grocery stores, post offices and pharmacies keep open. There are strict rules for how many people can shop at the same time and people are queuing, two meters apart, to get inside.
We are allowed to go out and shop food and the like, exercise outside, alone, once a day and travel to work for those who need to. Otherwise, we have to stay home. We required to use masks when out, but some choose to do so.
Protective masks have been difficult to find, but fortunately, you can make them yourself.
As a small plus, self-made masks provide an opportunity to retain some of ones own personality, as the mass-produced, disposable mouthpieces are very anonymous.
There are many tips on how to sew masks yourself, but not everyone has access to a sewing machine. Fortunately, there are plenty of smart people on the internet providing options that require no sewing.
This is the easiest version.
All you need is a square scarf and two elastic bands. Hair ties are most comfortable, but rubber bands do the job. The scarf must not be too large, because then the mask becomes too thick. I have used one that is about 40×40 cm. You can also use t-shirts or bedding and cut out several fabric squares. An old duvet cover can be made into several masks
Here are step-by-step pictures.
Note, they do not provide 100% protection, hand washing and physical distance are important even when using a mask.
Place the scarf or fabric face down.
Fold from the top to the bottom to the middle.
Fold the two sides.
Thread an elastic band on each side, about ¼ in.
Fold in the outer edges.
Thread the hairbands around the ears and adjust the mouthpiece. Large sunglasses provide extra protection and keep the mouthpiece in place.