Home Creativity Stop the Spittle Spread: Why I’m Making Fabric Face Masks to Curb COVID-19

Stop the Spittle Spread: Why I’m Making Fabric Face Masks to Curb COVID-19

by Weegee Sachtjen

I couldn’t make you a quilt or stitch together a shirt. My sewing talents could be labeled as “Amateur, but can get stuff done if needed.” Well, we hit the “get stuff done if needed” part when COVID-19 made its way to the Sunshine Coast BC.

As a business owner and volunteer, I do deliveries and pick-ups for customers and for a vulnerable part of the population on the Sunshine Coast. I wear gloves but I worry about transmission.

COVID-19 isn’t transferred through the air but rather the spit and spray that naturally occurs in our method of communication. We touch surfaces that have been contaminated and then our faces and, well, transmission complete.

It is why we are asked to stand six feet away from people and to be diligent in washing our hands. Spittle spray is everywhere.

My husband and I have decided to take the stance that we are infected. We aren’t displaying any symptoms and feel fine, but what if we are just carriers? How do we protect the ones we love and the community we have come to adore while picking up groceries or dropping off coffee orders?

That’s when I saw a post from a local sewing shop about fabric face masks. Research shows that 100% cotton 2 layer masks offer up to 60-65% protection.  They stop the spittle and spray effect short term — long enough to get groceries or do a drop at a customer’s house. Perfect.

Did you read the first paragraph? Yeah, still an issue. However, fabric face masks are super easy to make. There are numerous patterns on the Internet (shared links to some of the ones people have shared with me below). However, all you really need is two pieces of fabric 9 inches by 6 inches, needle and thread, and ribbons/elastic or even shoelaces.

I stitched the two fabric pieces together (adding pleats but even this isn’t necessary) and sewed on pieces of ribbon that can be tied around the ears. Voila.

Since the first ones, I have run out of ribbon and elastics. I have started sewing simple straps out of cloth fabric (I am making some for immune-comprised friends, the assessment clinic and front-line workers).

“It won’t stop you from getting it.”

Again, this is a short-term preventative measure. It is to protect those around you and reduce the chance of spittle spread transmission. It isn’t water-proof (unless you use a shower curtain) and not hospital-grade.

It’s about protecting others.

An ounce of prevention, or in this case the use of a fabric face mask, goes a long way to slowing COVID-19.

Plus, we make this look good!


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