Wearing a mask when you go out is an effective way you can contribute to controlling the spread of COVID19 and ending this pandemic sooner.

In times of crisis, doing your best with what you have is called for. Your physicians at Natura Health and Wellness agree that there is enough evidence, both direct and extrapolated, to support the use of masks, including home-made masks, by the general public at this time.

Data from all over the world is demonstrating that wherever the general public are wearing masks, the impact of COVID19 is significantly less.

Who is Making Masks in Missoula?

Three examples of how the Missoula community has been responding to the need for cloth masks. Similar efforts are under way in MANY Montana towns. If you don’t have an effort in your town, start one up!

1. Crafters Against COVID-19 MISSOULA!

2. Jax Hats! 

3. Starbucks employees! 

Great tutorials for sewing cloth masks at home:

Here is how Dr. Dunne made a mask without a sewing machine:

Materials: a 20 in cylinder of woven fabric; in this case brandname “Buff” neck/head-piece; a filter (see below regarding filters), about 3 1/2 in x 6 1/2 in.

+ Fold the cylinder in half
+ Slide the 3 1/2 in x 6 1/2 inch piece of filter between the layers of fabric, pushing the long edge up against the fold on the inside of the cylinder. Friction holds it there.
+ Put the cylinder over your head, around your neck suck that you pull the fabric containing the filter up over your nose and mouth. Different size faces might use a larger or smaller filter
Adaptation: include sliding a light flexible piece of metal over your nose; I wrap 2 pipe cleaners or twist ties in a masking tape package, push it to the fold wear you want it and hand-stitch around it to hold in place.
Adaptation: Use a longer cylinder of fabric, to accommodate a beard

Ideally you will wash your fabric in warm soapy water after being outside. Non-paper filters can be sprayed with alcohol or other evaporating virucidal.  Another disinfecting process is to put the non-paper filter in the over at 158 degrees for thirty minutes. This is an extrapolation from the protocol that is effective for N95 masks.

Filters for Home made masks:
It’s a bit controversial, based on the fact none of these materials has been tested for this type use. Paper towels have been used and are probably the safest in terms of potential toxicity. People are also using #13 furnace filters, (pictured below) and filters cut from HVAC vacuum cleaners.

In summary, here are the three main ways mask wearing works:
This virus can be spread by people who are infected but have no symptoms yet. The mask traps virus particles on the inside, preventing significant amounts of the virus particles becoming airborne. 
Protect others. Masks decrease new infections. The mask prevents significant amounts of airborne virus particles being inhaled by people not yet infected. 
Protect yourself. Limiting hand to face contact. The mask puts a physical barrier between contaminated hands infecting your respiratory tract. 
Protecting yourself protects others.
Wearing a mask is not ALL we need to do.

WE STILL NEED TO STAY HOME. Physical distancing is the most effective avoidance.We need to use masks effectively; that means understanding they are contaminated after being worn outside your home.
HAND WASHING after handling any possibly contaminated surface, including your mask, IS ESSENTIAL!