On Air Now
The Capital Evening Show with Jimmy Hill 7pm - 10pm
31 March 2020, 16:16
People around the globe are sewing face masks for staff at the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic.
As the entire world battles the coronavirus pandemic, many hospitals are running short of vital medical supplies across the globe, as well as here in the UK, as frontline staff race to ease the effects of the developing virus.
Those at the forefront of the battle are in need of PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) to ensure they can safely confront the pandemic, including face masks, gloves, and even their uniform.
This is why a number of people across the world currently in lockdown are taking it upon themselves to make face masks for those who need them, and they’ve been sharing the results on social media.
A number of sewing experts have also been training volunteers how to make the masks and advising which materials to use, meaning there’s now a whole army of creatives out there helping supply medical staff with the necessities.
Some whose long-term hobby has been to sew are using their leftover fabrics to make the masks, while others are making use of materials they no longer require in their home, such as denim, bedsheets, and thick shirts.
Wow, what we’ve come to. I’m feeling a kinship with all of the women sewing gauze masks in the Spanish Flu pandemic. pic.twitter.com/2fsLulXjOT— Anna Crawford (@MatushkaAnna) March 28, 2020
my friend @rev_darst has started her own sewing business! She lovingly handmade me this dress that I adore! she's also making masks for the local women's hospital, so all the extra fabric from her upcoming commissions will go towards that! here's her link! https://t.co/jQojzoQxje pic.twitter.com/bkQWGHVGi3— Beverly (@stillemagnolias) March 29, 2020
While homemade masks aren’t as effective as surgical masks and N95 masks, they are proving to be very helpful in the major shortage currently going on.
Dr Shawn Nasseri told Express.co.uk: "They help keep the area clean and clear, so it is better than wearing nothing."
In these stressful times it feels good to contribute. Here’s my amateur sewing skills (and pandemic hair) making masks for use at my local hospital. You can too! Find info at #MGH1000MASKS pic.twitter.com/wt7tkinQp4— Lisa Kelly (@UniforWomen) March 29, 2020
What is @JLLubbock? We are trained volunteers dedicated to serving our community & developing the potential of women. We see a need & work together to solve it. We trained each other through videos, found materials, and are now sewing masks for our first responders. #JLLProud pic.twitter.com/KVjInxmh8p— Victoria Whitehead (@victoriarosetx) March 31, 2020
He also advised makers use tightly wove, 100 per cent cotton fabric.
The health expert continued: “To make an effective mask, layers and a tight fight are the most important parts as these can stop particles.
"Masks with a silky outer layer (if possible), middle layer of a thick, tightly woven material like nylon or cotton, and then a comfortable cotton on the inside are ideal."
Although it’s usually recommended people don’t wear face masks to protect themselves from coronavirus, those on the frontline require the masks when dealing with patients who have COVID-19.
For members of the public, regular hand-washing and practicing social-distancing is strongly advised instead of wearing the masks when going out for essentials, as they tend to be fairly loose-fitting and putting them on and taking them off repeatedly means your hands are constantly touching them.