As we learn more about the novel coronavirus and how it spreads, researchers' findings are leading the CDC to change its recommendations about face masks to prioritize public safety.
First, a bit about why the CDC pivoted. More insight into the coronavirus revealed two key factors about the spread: One is that research has indicated that people can transmit the virus asymptomatically, meaning people exhibiting no symptoms can, in fact, spread it.
The other factor is that the coronavirus can be spread by people who are in close proximity, such as just speaking to each other.
While there is still very little research on how much protection cloth face masks give to people wearing them, many health experts now agree they are better than nothing — especially since they may stop people from spreading the virus if they don't know they have it.
So here's what else you might be wondering about how to buy, make, and use face masks:
1. This is all well and good, but I keep hearing masks are in super-short supply. Where do I fit into this?
2. I don't have a mask right now. What can I use?
3. Where *can* I buy a mask, though?
4. How can I make my own mask?
An extremely fun fact is that you don't need a sewing machine or, truly, any crafting skills to make your own mask at home! Here are a few tutorials to get you started.
The CDC also uploaded a video showing people how to make masks, where US Surgeon General Jerome Adams showed how to make them using cloth from a T-shirt, scarf, or hand towel with two rubber bands.
BuzzFeed also has a Nifty video for DIY face masks that breaks down the sewing process step-by-step to ease you through it.
Even TikTokers are sharing DIY videos: After dropping a popular TikTok about the scarcity of resources for health care professionals, model Marc Sebastian dropped *another* TikTok with a very quick tutorial involving a sewing machine (you will def have to hit pause).
That home ec course in middle school is finally coming in handy, y'all.