WATCH — How to make a DIY face mask

Isabel DeRoy-Olson
Story by Isabel DeRoy-Olson • CBC Kids News • Published 2020-04-30 11:16

Consider wearing a mask if physical distancing isn’t possible

We’re seeing more and more people wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

At first, Canada’s top doctor, Dr. Theresa Tam, wasn’t recommending them, but now, she says there is evidence that they could help when physical distancing isn’t possible.

“Wearing a non-medical mask, even if you have no symptoms, is an additional measure that you can take to protect others around you,” Tam said on April 6.

That’s because there are a lot of people who have the coronavirus but don’t have symptoms, so they could be spreading it without even knowing they have it.

Staying home is the best way to keep everyone safe, but if you have to go out in public and you will be closer than two metres from someone, the government says you could “consider wearing a non-medical mask or homemade face covering.”

A girl in Germany sews face masks after the country announced that everyone should wear masks in stores and on public transit. (Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

A lot of people are making their own masks, which gives you the opportunity to be creative and original.

So crack open your sewing machine or simply do as CBC Kids News contributor Isabel DeRoy-Olson did and grab some elastics, a bandana and a paper towel.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re making your own mask, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention:

A woman sewing and images of women wearing masks

Toronto fashion designer Hilary MacMillan has temporarily stopped creating her womenswear line and is making masks that she donates to grocery store staff, pharmacy workers and in-home personal support workers. (Ted Belton/Hilary MacMillan)

Here are a few more things to consider

Clean your mask by washing it in the machine regularly.

When you take the mask off, don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth and always wash your hands immediately after removing it.

And remember that wearing a mask doesn’t mean you can ignore physical distancing since these masks don’t provide complete protection from the virus.

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About the Contributor

Isabel DeRoy-Olson
Isabel DeRoy-Olson
CBC Kids News Contributor
Isabel DeRoy-Olson is 15 and lives in North Vancouver on Tsleil Waututh territory. She is a citizen of the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation from the Yukon territory and Annishabe from Manitoba. Isabel is passionate about acting and dancing and loves to learn more about Indigenous identity, gender and social justice. She is excited about the opportunity to start these conversations and more with kids across Canada.

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