No mask? Make on of your own!
No mask? Make on of your own! JENS SCHLUETER / GETTY IMAGES

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), all Americans should wear a protective face mask when going out in public.

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While wearing a mask is no replacement for social distancing, at this point, every little thing we do helps, right? BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CURRENT LACK OF MASKS IN AMERICA? Shouldn't they be reserved for our frontline workers and medical professionals? YES, THEY SHOULD. Which is why it's up to all of us to do what we can... and if we can? LET'S MAKE OUR OWN MASKS. And better yet, make enough to donate to others who may need them!

Though your homemade mask may not offer all the protection that frontline medical workers need, they can be used to cover existing N95 surgical masks (thereby extending their usage), as well as providing protection to support staff (receptionists, cleaning crews, stockroom, etc) so that N95 masks will be saved for those who need them most. Your masks can also be used by neighbors who may not be able to secure their own.

SO, YOU WANT TO MAKE SOME MASKS? Here's how you do it:

Cascadia Behavioral Health has provided clear "Make a Mask" instructions— just use this PDF!

• Need visual directions? Try this! (OMIGOD those masks are so cute. Which isn't the point, I know, but still!)

• The fine folks at JOANN (the greatest craft/fabric chain in the nation, Michael's and Hobby Lobby can go to hell) also have a very clear tutorial.

Joann is also offering free tools and supplies via curbside pickup for your mask making project—just be sure to call your local store to see if they're open and participating. They are accepting face mask donations, so check their site and your nearest location for more info.

• You can also help by making hospital gowns and scrub caps for donation. Here's a good pattern.

• Can't sew? Here's a super clever face mask hack!

• Know a good make-a-mask video? Drop it in the comments.


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