With DORSCON Orange, Singaporeans are getting increasingly desperate for more masks of their own.
So much so that they’re getting scammed on Carousell.
But in the midst of the crazy rush for masks, a doctor from Taiwan, Dr Chen, came forward with an innovative solution.
A Completely DIY Cloth Mask Design
And it’s not just any old piece of cloth mask.
It’s one that follows the principles of the surgical masks doctors use today closely.
A typical surgical mask is of a 3-layer structure:
- Waterproof non-woven layer (front)
- Microfibre melt-blown non-woken fabric (middle)
- Ordinary non-woven fabric (back)
How He Did It:
There are four simple steps to his genius DIY design:
- Get cloth
- Bring it to a tailor to make into the shape of the mask
- Bring along a surgical mask as sample for the tailor
- Use a non-woven cloth for the air filter
The mask also requires an opening where you can place (and replace) the filters in the middle regularly.
In his case, he used dried wet tissue. It’s said that toilet paper can also be used.
Do note that the cloth you use for the filters should be new.
Myanmar-Thai Border Hospitals Often Use Them
This concept isn’t anything new.
Dr Chen noted that hospitals at the Thai-Myanmar border used them too to avoid overly-excessive medical waste.
Normal People Don’t Need Mask, People With Heart Diseases Must Never Wear Them
However, he also wanted to highlight that healthy people do not need to wear masks.
The coronavirus, he says, is transmitted via respiratory droplets. The purpose of masks is to ensure that unwell individuals’ respiratory droplets (saliva from when you cough or sneeze) do not get into the environment.
So if you’re healthy, you don’t have to wear them.
In addition, he also said that individuals with heart diseases must never wear them as it could lead to breathing difficulties.
Washing Hands More Important
Rather than chionging for masks, he emphasises the importance of washing your hands to prevent transmission.
The coronavirus has shown the ability to survive on surfaces for a period on time.
When you touch the surfaces, then touch your face with said hands, the coronavirus have a chance of entering your body via your eyes, nose or mouth.
So make sure you frequently wash your hands with soap and try (as best as you can) not to touch your face anyhowly, yeah?
Leave The Surgical Masks For Healthcare Workers
The world is facing a global shortage of surgical masks for healthcare workers.
These people are the ones fighting against Covid-19 on the frontlines. Which means they are at higher risk of getting infected.
Then doesn’t it make sense that they get the best possible protective equipment against the enemy?
Yet with people hoarding, panic-buying and profiteering from the sales of surgical masks, these people might be sent into the battlefield with subpar (or inadequate equipment).
So take good care of yourself, don’t increase their workload, give them a smile and don’t ostracise them when you see them outside.
And most importantly, don’t hoard important resources.
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