As more health-care workers treat those affected by the novel coronavirus, there are concerns around mask shortages. To help meet surging demand and offer protection, people are crafting their own masks at home, either for themselves or those on the frontlines.
But are homemade masks effective in protecting against COVID-19? According to experts, not really.
“They don’t really work,” said Dr. Sohail Gandhi, the president of the Ontario Medical Association.
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“They don’t have the ability to filter the virus particles because the virus particles are very, very small, and most homemade fabrics simply don’t have that ability to filter them.”
Dr. Craig Janes, director of the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo, echoed this, and said small droplets — like the ones spread through coughs or sneezes — can still easily get through DIY masks.
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“But having said that, masks can do other things other than just simply prevent direct aspiration of the virus. One is they may just keep you from touching your mouth.”
1:55Coronavirus reality check: physical distancing one week after new measures introduced
Coronavirus reality check: physical distancing one week after new measures introduced
While homemade masks are generally ineffective in hospital settings, Gandhi said if someone is sick,