People are relaxing their vigilance – washing hands less, moving closer to other people, putting their masks aside. Here in Nova Scotia we’re pretty safe! We’ve had mostly zero new cases each day for the past 10 weeks and the occasional new case has been linked to travel from outside the province. But with university students returning (and maybe self-isolating) and classes set to resume, we could be facing a surge in new cases over the next several weeks.
I thought I’d revisit an article I found very helpful for setting a reasonable tone about how to stay safe which I came across in early April – Saving Your Health One Mask At A Time by Peter Tippett.
He talks about “safe zones” – we’re not exposed to virus everywhere we turn. If we keep our homes and cars clean – they’re safe zones. Being outdoors with others is a relatively safe zone. The article turns down the panic level in a very useful way.
The whole article is worth reading but here are his “Key Takeaways”:
Social Distance—Stay six feet from people is a good thing. Ten feet is even better.
Safe Zone—For most folks, your house is a safe zone.
- For you, and for family living with you, your yard is likely a safe zone.
- When outside, and with no other people nearby, you are in a safe zone
- For most people, your car should be a safe zone.
Masks—The easiest, most reliable precaution you can take when out of your safe zone
- If you work with the public, you should absolutely be wearing a mask on the job.
- If you are in a safe place, a mask has low value, because the risk is already low.
- If you are going to put the same mask on and off, then treat the outside as contaminated and the inside as safe.
- If you handle the outside of your mask, then consider your hands as contaminated, and wash them.
- Don’t touch the inside of your mask with your hands or anything else dirty.
- Put the cloth mask in the laundry at least daily. (or wash with warm water and soap).
- Have at least two masks so one can be in the wash and the other clean when needed
- Don’t bother boiling masks before you wear them. The detergent in your washing machine is easier, stronger, and more likely to succeed by far.
And above all—enjoy your safe zone with your family, friends, cat or dog.
I just thought the idea of “safe zone” worth revisiting as we are likely approaching another surge in cases. The interesting thing is, if we keep up the preventive measures, we’re much less likely to pick up flu this season (I’m still planning on getting my annual flu shot), or even getting a cold. All that hand washing/sanitizing can’t help but reduce transmission of our usual respiratory viruses.
This past week I’ve been making a batch of children’s masks – camouflage fabric for boys, rainbows, animals for girls. They’re quite a bit smaller than the adult size I’ve been making. I also came across little silicone sliding pieces that can be applied to the elastic to shorten or lengthen it so it fits around the ears more comfortably. I’m adding those to these masks.
I appreciate this reminder. I was at a retirement dinner last night and was a fair bit dismayed that a lot of people were so close together and many hugs were exchanged. We can NOT let pandemic fatigue get the better of us. If it’s ok I will link this post to the one I am going to do as it’s a good review about what to do.
I would LOVE to know (1) the beginning size of your cloth rectangle for kids masks. Also (2) the length of elastic you use. Also (3) your source for the silicone slides. I’ve been making masks for family members and kids’ are hard to get right!
Evonne, here are my measurements: I cut fabric 11.5″ long/7″ wide. Interfacing for inside/face side of mask 5.25″ x 7″; Elastic 6.5″; pipe cleaner 5″. Here are links to photos to show them on my cutting board: the pieces for the mask (add 1″ for the bottom seam to what you see)- https://wp.me/a1mI94-1MT; the front of the mask – https://wp.me/a1mI94-1MS; the back of the mask – https://wp.me/a1mI94-1MV. Silicone cord locks I bought on Amazon.ca (Search for: Cord Locks Silicone Toggles for Drawstrings Elastic Cord Adjuster…). They come in black and white. You need a bobby pin or a piece of wire to pull your elastic through – that doesn’t come with the toggles. Hope this helps.