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Need a Face Mask?


Crochet Face Mask

As the Covid-19 pandemic is making its way across the globe we are all still trying to adjust to staying at home 24/7 for the foreseeable future. Here in Arkansas we just received word that we will be home schooling our kids until at least April 17. That means 30 more days of me trying to remember who the president was during World War 1 and adding fractions while showing my work! (Yay! eye-roll)


With everything happening so quickly we are seeing a mass panic among some people that is causing shortages in disposable medical face masks and many other things like toilet paper, hand wipes and sanitizers. Let’s all remember to think of our neighbors in these times, as we all were taught many years ago – sharing is caring!


With all of these things happening I have seen several makers wanting to crochet their own (masks that is). So last night I sat down and made one up. However, before I decided to release it, I wanted to do a little bit of research on truly how effective they would be.

So here is what I found, the bottom line is something is better than nothing.


Why you might ask? Masks work!


It is true that surgical face masks or the N95 respirators are the best, but with the shortage these really should be reserved for medical personnel only because they are at a higher risk of contracting infections than the general public. These brave souls are on the front lines everyday facing exposure with every patient. Left to wonder every shift if today is the day they become infected and bring it home to their families. Our medical professionals are still going to work every day caring for our nation’s sick and elderly. It is our duty during these scary times to make sure they have the needed materials to continue to do their jobs as safely as possible.


We all have heard conflicting information on whether you should even wear a mask or not. Some say yes, some say only if you are sick, some look at you like you are crazy if you do wear one. But if you look to our brothers and sisters around the world one of the first things, they do is reach for the face masks when they start seeing outbreaks of air born viruses. There is a reason they do this because they work! Doing this does not completely stop the spread of whatever it is, but it does help in keeping it from spreading quicker than it could. If you absolutely must leave the house, wearing a face mask is encouraged. We as Americans should follow suit


The safest thing we can do at times like this is stay home and do as much social distancing as possible. However, that simply isn’t realistic some of us have to work, we still need the essential supplies and as humans we may just want to take a walk around the block! Whether you are sick or not, wearing a mask does help. If you’re sick it is to prevent you from spreading the illness as this disease is air born. If you are healthy it is to keep you that way as the mask should help prevent you from breathing in harmful particles.


As of March 20, 2020, there are now 14,366 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in the US alone with 217 deaths. As we all know when it comes to going to the doctor none of us go as often as we should even when we are sick. That means there could be hundreds if not thousands more cases that are yet to be tested and confirmed.


Let me be clear homemade face masks are less effective than surgical masks (no brainier there), but they are better than nothing at all. They both can help reduce the number of microorganisms expelled when you sneeze or cough but homemade masks are 3 times less effective in blocking transmission than a traditional surgical grade mask but again with the shortages, we are facing anything will help!


Another thing to consider is that masks force you to abide by the “don’t touch your face” rule. While homemade masks may be less effective, they do keep you from touching your face as often. People touch their faces every 2 to 3 minutes for no reason at all. It is one of the first habits we picked up in the womb and it is a habit that you will not stop overnight. Most of the time you don’t even realize you are touching your face. (How many times have you touched your face reading this paragraph?) So, wearing any type of covering will make you aware of how often your hands make their way up to touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.


Non-medical masks will not protect you if someone coughs or sneezes on you. But with the 6-foot rule we should all be following with the social distancing let’s hope that does not happen. But they do protect you from a much bigger threat… Your very own hands!


So, the conclusion I came to is - I would rather deal with all the strange looks I will receive wearing a homemade face mask if I do need to go out for any reason.


There is no doubt that it is going to get worse before it gets better. Every morning we are told of how many new cases in the country, state or even our own hometowns. As a nation and in our communities, we have started taking the right steps to help slow the dangers of Covid-19, but we need to be prepared for this to take several weeks or months before we can resume “normal” day to day activities.


Personally, I am immune compromised due to medications I have to take for my psoriasis. I have read several articles that say I would probably be fine, and some that say that I am at a huge risk. Either way I decided I would rather have some protection than none at all



So on to why you are here. The free pattern



Materials

Worsted weight yarn (I used acrylic but cotton would be better)

E crochet hook

Yarn needle



Pattern notes: In this pattern I used the turning sc technique at the end of every row you can visit my YouTube channel for instructions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch5FWSb1gfM&t=16s

You can use the standard ch 1 turn if that is what you are more comfortable with



Ch 11,

Row 1 – Sc in the second ch from the hk and across.

Row 2 – Sc across

Row 3 – Sc increase. Sc across. Sc increase.

Row 4 – Sc in each sc across

Row 5 – 12 – Repeat rows 3 & 4

Row 13 – 30 – Repeat row 4

Row 31 – Decrease sc. Sc across. Decrease sc

Row 32 – Sc across

Row 33 – 40 – Repeat rows 31 & 32

Working across the bottom evenly work 20 sc

Sl st in the first sc on the side. Ch 30 (or the amount that will fit around your ears comfortably) sk next 8 slst in next sc

Working across the top evenly work 40 sc

Sl st in the first sc on the side. Ch 30 (or the amount that will fit around your ears comfortably) sk next 8 slst in next sc.

F/O and sew in the ends.






I hope you all enjoy working up this face mask

And stay safe out there guys


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