Saturday, April 4, 2020

Covid-19 Shutdown Diary Day 20: Homemade face masks & donating PPE

I continue to be appalled at this country's inability to provide PPE and testing during this pandemic. I get that this situation is unprecedented in modern times yet look at how the country has been mobilized to produce weapons of war. This is a war and we aren't winning when the VP notes that the trajectory of the disease here is the same as in Italy and governors, health care workers and others are begging the public to donate lifesaving materials. Appalled is too polite but I'll go with it.

So we are to the point of trying to make our own face masks. Although it is acknowledged that they aren't great at keeping the virus out and that people will use them wrong and therefore potentially contaminate themselves, I think of it simply being the best we can do right now since it is vital that health professionals have the real personal protective equipment. I do understand that it will help those who are infected, but don't know it from spreading the virus so far in the air and may prevent some transmission that way. It is something to try at least.

I found this NPR article that now only explains what is known and unknown about homemade mask effectiveness, but also has links for how to make them and where to donate locally any N95 or true surgical masks and other PPE that you may have at home or at your business. California has set up a website for those with larger quantities of supplies available or that they could manufacture to send in the info so it can be coordinated.

We have one package of industrial N95 masks from the last wildfire episode. There is now a place I can donate them here according to their search function. I can buy more masks when they are back in the home improvement stores. Wish I had more to donate.

Connecting while Distancing - I am blessed with the friends I have made since moving. One friend who is a great crafts person offered to make us masks and I am taking her up on it. Her husband will do a porch delivery of them.

I also found that we have two 100% cotton pillowcases that we don't often use so I may try making tie masks from them and then share them myself if it works out.

Carrying On - Today was laundry day which includes changing the bed and towels. Had a very fitful night so took a nap and read. Hubby has really limited his intake of the news and commentary which is a good thing. I think we are both mildly depressed while at the same time fully accepting that this is the new normal and doing what we can.


  1. I have found that the depression comes and goes. I had two terribly down days in a row, then felt the depression lift, finally, thankfully. It is a horrible feeling when in it's midst- lethargy and sadness.

    I am currently focused on creating a plan for each day. The first day I did so was yesterday, and I actually ran out of time before completing my list. That is the first time that has happened since we entered into Shelter In Place!

    Admit I'm a bit down about being 'laid off' from our volunteer positions at a large food bank. Delivery drops only, no physical contact, and it provided a sense of purpose during this awful time. Alas, they established an age range cut off for volunteers of 55 years of age, and I just missed it. 😕

    Looking at five or so days in a row of upcoming rain here in California is going to be yet another new challenge. Hang in there, Juhli, at least we are all in this together.

    1. Bouncing back and forth between the different stages of grief or experiencing them all at once is very normal. I find that simply noting how one feels and that this too will pass (at least most of the time but sometimes help is needed) is what works for me. We need the rain but not looking forward to it either.

  2. The homemade masks might or might not do a lot to prevent the spread of the virus BUT the do remind people to social distance when you're at the grocery store, so for that reason alone I think they are a good idea.

    1. I agree and also think the lost opportunity to have started preparing for this the minute is broke out in China is a travesty.

    2. Today I am having a down day. This is the first Palm Sunday that I have not been at Mass since Harvey and I started dating. So strange.

      I have made some of the facemasks and have fabric cut for two more. I plan on getting those done early tomorrow.

      God bless.

    3. I hope tomorrow is better for you.

  3. Thursdays seem to be my worst day. The only reason I can figure is that I usually look forward to the upcoming weekend but now weekends and weekdays are all one big blur of the same nothingness.
    I ordered some cloth masks on Etsy. They aren't medically approved but I am going to put some filters in them and hope for the best. In listening to the task force speak today, it seems that we are going to wind up with a stockpile of extra ventilators, masks which I hope we can keep in preparation for the next pandemic. Praying something can be done about the wet markets for many reasons.


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