COVID-19 can be spread when someone coughs or sneezes. And some who have the virus may not show symptoms. Taking extra precautions while in public - like at the grocery store - is something to consider.
When used alongside hand-washing and social-distancing, covering your face with a mask is one such precaution you can take. However, there is a shortage of surgical masks, which are in need by healthcare providers.
Thankfully, you can craft your own mask from common, household items. Below are step-by-step instructions for how to make a disposable face mask out of paper towels and napkins.
Step 1: First, wash your hands! Then, gather two sheets of paper towels or 2 strong paper napkins and fold them one inside of the other to make a four-layered stack.
Step 2: Open one of the napkins and place the other inside of it so that it’s a four layer thick rectangle. This picture would be 2 different masks. One using 2 paper towels and the other using 2 paper napkins.
Step 3: Make V-shaped, horizontal folds in the four-layered stack as seen below, similar to how you would craft a homemade paper fan.
Step 4: Pinch the ends of the four-layered stack with your fingers
Step 5: Make a rubber band tie by pinching a rubber band at the center to form two loops. Feed one loop through the other loop and pull to make a new loop. Repeat this process to form rubber-band ties.
Pull one end of the 4-layered stack through the new loop of one rubber band tie, and then pull the rubber band to tighten. Repeat for the other end with the second rubber band loop.
Bend the 4-layered stack together so that the rubber bands touch.
Step 6: Now you have a face mask!
Step 7: Feed your ears through the rubber band tie loops to secure the mask to your face. The folded side of the stack should be at your chin.
Step 8: The mask should totally cover your nose and mouth. Once on your face, don’t touch the mask to avoid contamination.
Step 9: Remove the mask by gently pulling the rubber bands from your ears. Save the rubber bands for future use, and throw out the paper towels and napkins. Wash your hands, and go about your day!