Fully masked

25 comments on Fully masked
2 minutes

I found my stash of face masks in the garage. I was surprised to find that they are N95 masks. Healthcare workers need those way more than we do. A family friend is a nurse and she wants them, so I’ll send them to her today.

I figured I wouldn’t be able to buy any sort of face mask on Amazon, but I checked anyway. I was mostly right: some blue surgical masks are available, but wouldn’t ship until mid-late May. I searched for instructions to make my own mask, but they all involve sewing. Not my forte.

Then I saw on Ann Althouse’s blog this video for making a mask out of a handkerchief and two hair ties, no sewing.

I ordered some cotton handkerchiefs from Amazon and borrowed two hair ties from my daughter. My head is way bigger than the person’s in the video, so I had to fold mine a lot wider than she did. But it worked, even if it does look dorky on me. Safe >> dorky.

I’ll wear mine whenever I need to go out into crowds, such as the store, for as long as this lasts. I have six handkerchiefs, which ought to last me through the week fine. Each time I need to wear one I’ll put it in the laundry when I’m done.

By the way, if you like my T-shirt, you can get one from United State of Indiana here. Proceeds go to two Indiana charities.

I was reading Fred Wilson’s blog the other day in which he pointed out that lots of Etsy sellers are making and selling face masks. I went there and searched for “face mask” and glory be, there were plenty of options.


25 responses to “Fully masked”

  1. Lone Primate Avatar

    That’s an awesomely clever shirt, by the way. :) I suppose Ohio’s version next door would be a little less cheerful. :)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      OH, I don’t know…

  2. Victor Villaseñor Avatar
    Victor Villaseñor


    Stay safe Jim!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks – same to you!

  3. analogphotobug Avatar

    I had some head scarfs with elastic that made nice face masks. Ordered some from Europe (which means I will disinfect them as soon as they arrive).

    Great that you are giving those N95 to a nurse friend…..

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I wore my homemade mask to Mejier for the first time today. Other than the fact it got mighty warm under there, it worked great!

  4. tbm3fan Avatar

    This is a good article explaining the ins and outs of making your own mask and what it can and cannot filter. The batik fabric caught my eye. When I was in Singapore, in 1991, I brought home several 4×8′ pieces of colorful Indonesian batik to make some wall coverings that I never got around to. Two layers of that and it is hard for light to pass through.


    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That was a useful article. Thanks for sharing it!

  5. Read.Count.Craft Avatar

    someone suggested placing a coffee filter inside which maybe has some merit..

    1. tbm3fan Avatar

      Coffee filters. Isn’t that great and now we will have a run on those also. Now how exactly am I, who uses drip filters, to make my daily coffee when they disappear off the shelf?

      1. Jim Grey Avatar

        True. My coffeemaker came with one of those foil-metal permanent filters and I would have to find out if it actually works.

        1. Keith Walker Avatar
          Keith Walker

          Yes it does, I have one although I usuallly make my coffee in a plunger pot, I have several different sizes from one to four cups. My filter maxhine can make 10 cups if need be but that is too much for my son and me who live together

          Your biggest problem is that there is no national decisiion on what to do and that is why you are in such a serious mess, complete and total lack of leadership, Covid 19 was ignored for far too long, money making was far more important than people’s lives and wellbeing and it seems to me, it still is, You have lost your moral compass – not you personally my friend but your governments

        2. Jim Grey Avatar

          I agree that we are a country that is unwell. This disease began well before our current President; he is merely a manifestation of our national malaise.

          I also agree that our national government’s leadership waited too long to take action on this.

          However, it was always going to be a state-by-state decision on what to do because of states’ rights. It would have been an extraordinary measure, one that I believe would have met with immediate lawsuits from states, if the national government had directed what to do.

    2. Jim Grey Avatar

      The NYT article linked in a comment above mentioned them too

  6. Keith Walker Avatar
    Keith Walker

    Keep AT LEAST 2 metres (6 feet) space from literally EVERYONE else, Pay by contactless (Paywave), and was your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds when you get home

    Here in New Zealand we closed our borders right at the start to all but returning NZ citizens and residents, all arrivals now MUST stay 14 days in govt supplied iisolation before they are allowed to go home

    As at yesterday (Good Friday( we have 44 new caeas, a total of 1283, 2 deaths and 373 are recovered

    We are in the 3rd week of total lockdown, only essential services and the emergency services are open, that is supermarkets, pharmacies, petrol stations. All those who can are working from home by internet or phone Everyone MUST stay in their ‘bubble’ at home although you can go for a walk locally for exercise,You can use your vehicle ONLY to go to the essential servies or by essential workers going to or from work, you must not nave anyone in the cehicle other than members of your own bubble. Only one person in a bubble can do the shopping, all over 79s MUST stay home

    Our govt moved very hard and very fast right at the beginiining and it is paying off

    We are mainly two large islands in the South Pacific with a very wide ‘moat’ so isolating ourselves is relatively easy.. We are a small country of 4.7 million in a landmass larger than the British Isles.

    I wish you well, what I read of what is happening with you guys is fightening, thank goodness we moved when we did at the start of all this

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s challenging to keep 6 feet from everybody as there are always those who don’t seem to care and you can’t back up enough to avoid them. Contactless pay hasn’t fully caught on here yet. I have only one card that lets me tap to pay, and less than half of places have tap-to-pay terminals. We are surprisingly behind the curve here on payment.

  7. brandib1977 Avatar

    I’m planning to do this with a red bandana. If I have to wear a mask I want to at least look like I’m about to rob a train. ;)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Excellent. Be sure to wear a black hat too!

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        I’m smart thinking! And I do have a couple of good options!

  8. J P Avatar

    I found a single package of 2 N95 marks bought long ago for a project that never got off the ground. I figured 2 would not be a significant help to health workers, but would be perfect for my Mrs and me. At least for awhile since we seldom venture out.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I saw a few people wearing N95 masks at Meijer yesterday. It’s a personal choice.

      This article gives a pretty good explanation of why a mask is like underwear: wear it once and you either need to wash it (if washable) or throw it away.


      1. J P Avatar

        Hmmm – face masks and underwear – an analogy I could have done without. :)

        From the reading I did, and with the kind of use I give it, wearing it for 30 minutes in a store then hanging it from the mirror of my car for the next 5 days or so before I even think about going out again should allow it to last for awhile.

        1. nicholasquirkewas Avatar

          8 hours protection apparently.

  9. nicholasquirkewas Avatar

    I find myself in China at this time and there are now face masks readily available. I am sending home to my family in the Uk. But I do feel guilty at putting their safety ahead of the health workers. Very noble of you. Maybe my family will follow your lead when they receive them.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      We were just going to burn through those N95 masks in a couple of weeks. My homemade masks are launderable, and so will last for the duration of this. So there you go.

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