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"My mask protects you, your mask protects me."

How to make a DIY mask

The coronavirus pandemic has changed our everyday life, but it doesn't need to change who we are. So, in addition to our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus, OnMilwaukee will continue to report on cool, fun, inspiring and strange stories from our city and beyond. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay informed and stay joyful. We're all in this together. #InThisTogetherMKE

Even though just a month ago Americans were told by experts that wearing a mask was not effective or necessary to stopping the spread of coronavirus unless in direct contact with an infected person, public health orders have changed and wearing a mask is now strongly recommended. Allegedly, the CDC will soon make an announcement supporting this information.

Although covering the face with a cloth mask or a bandanna does not provide protection from infection with the virus, it limits the amount of respiratory droplets emitted by the person wearing the mask which serves as a protection to others. Many people are coronavirus carriers and unaware they are infected, so if they cover their face it further insures they won't unknowingly spread the virus.

In short, my mask protects you and your mask protects me.

Wearing a mask might seem over-paranoid or ominous to Americans because culturally and historically we have not worn protective health masks in public. But for the health of our communities, country and the world, it's important we let go of outdated, preconceived notions and do the right thing.

Remember, when wearing a mask, do not to touch the mask just like you wouldn't touch your face. When you return home after an outing, the mask is considered contaminated and must be washed or tossed.

The easiest, no-sew way to make a mask is with a piece of cloth – a bandana or a scrap from a T-shirt – and two rubber bands (hair bands work particularly well). Here is a video of this style created by Milwaukee's Julie Krawczyk who uses an 88.9 Radio Milwaukee bandana:

For a slightly more involved mask-making design from the New York Times, but still uses common household items, click here.

For mask designs that include sewing, check out this website from the Masked Sewists from SE Wisconsin which launched this morning. They are also on Facebook. This group of volunteers is making masks for individuals as well as on a much larger scale for frontline workers. You can also request masks from this group. Go here for more information.

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