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Masking the Issue


Ever since the coronavirus crisis became a part of our daily lives there has been conflicting advice regarding the wearing of masks. While some countries fully endorse the wearing of masks, others including the UK have doubted their effectiveness.

As reported on the BBC the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control medical face masks need to be prioritized for healthcare workers. Ministers had previously expressed concerns that recommending face masks would result in a rush to buy up medical masks that our healthcare industry desperately needs. There were further worries that the masks might give people a false sense of security making them more gung-ho on social distancing, hand washing and face touching.

But what about non-surgical, homemade masks? The #Masks4All campaign states that: ‘the scientific evidence and global consensus is clear: homemade masks can slow the spread of COVID-19.’ Coronavirus is spread by droplets that can spray into the air when those infected talk, cough and sneeze. These can enter the body through the eyes, nose and mouth, either directly or after touching a contaminated object.

“The big mistake in the U.S. and Europe, in my opinion, is that people aren’t wearing masks. This virus is transmitted by droplets and close contact. Droplets play a very important role—you’ve got to wear a mask, because when you speak, there are always droplets coming out of your mouth. Many people have asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections. If they are wearing face masks, it can prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others.”China’s CDC Director 

Despite being one of the most densely populated cities in the world Hong Kong’s figures of confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 have been relatively low. This is a city where mask wearing has been adopted by all and a wake up call for the rest of us.

Homemade cloth masks do provide a degree of protection which is better than no protection at all. Making your own cloth mask is simple, please watch our short You Tube video with tutor Ana on ‘How to Stitch a Fabric Mask. These masks can be sterilised by steaming for 10 minutes and hung up to dry.

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