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The CDC Is Now Recommending People Wear Face Masks In Public, So I Made One That's Going Viral On TikTok

Per the CDC's recommendation to wear cloth masks outside.

Recently, the CDC has recommended that all people begin wearing cloth face masks in public spaces to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Rike_ / Getty Images

Currently, there is little data on how protective cloth face masks are for the people wearing them. But health experts agree they can help stop the spread of the coronavirus by preventing you from unwittingly spreading your own germs, especially if you happen to be asymptomatic.

And as always, TikTok is here to save the day. People on the app have been creating DIY face masks with just a bandana and two hair ties.

Since being posted, this TikTok has gotten more than 13 million views.

Here's another one that breaks down the process step-by-step.

@brittany.xavier

this isn’t my typical content but I feel v strong about this 🏥 link in bio for how to help ##diy ##facemask ##tutorial

♬ Can We Kiss Forever? - Kina

It actually seems pretty simple!

http://@brittany.xavier / Via tiktok.com

I was a little curious about whether or not this hack would actually work, and if it met the CDC's recommendations for a helpful homemade mask.

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According to their website, DIY cloth masks must "fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction, and be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape."

And as luck would have it, I recently had to leave the house for a dental emergency and just happened to have the supplies, so I decided to try it for myself!

NBC

I grabbed my bandana and hair ties, folded the bandana as shown in the TikToks...

Shelby Heinrich/BuzzFeed

...put the hair ties on either side...

Shelby Heinrich/BuzzFeed

...and tucked the edges into the center.

Shelby Heinrich/BuzzFeed

And voilà!!! I had my very own cloth face mask.

Shelby Heinrich/BuzzFeed

Much to my surprise, the mask actually seemed to work pretty well! It was easy to breathe in, and the hair ties allowed it to fit snugly around my ears and face, per the CDC's recommendations. I could also feel that there were multiple layers of fabric thanks to the folding. And while the CDC hasn't weighed in on this hack, it does seem to meet their basic qualifications if you're in a pinch.

Shelby Heinrich/BuzzFeed

One aspect I really liked was that the hair ties made the mask adjustable, so you could tighten it or loosen it against your face based on your needs. I was able to wear it comfortably to and from the dentist!

Overall, this hack seems like a great option to use if you're waiting to receive a cloth mask in the mail or would simply like to use household items. Just make sure to wash your masks frequently based on use, and check out the CDC's website for more guidance and tutorials.*

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*And please, don't buy surgical masks or N95 respirators. Save those for the healthcare workers who need them.

Stay safe out there!

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