Facemasks. Big topic right now.
Some folks say that we should be wearing them all of the time. It's not a law or anything. At least not yet. But it's probably the smart thing to do.
The thing is, they are hard to come by. And in all honesty, people who are immuno-compromised and medical personnel should absolutely get first pick when any masks show up in stores.
So what is an average person supposed to do? Especially an ordinary average person with no sewing ability. A person, very much, like me.
Well that person would figure out a way to make their own dang face mask. That's what!
So naturally I turned to You Tube tutorials because I didn't have a single solitary clue of where to start. As it turns out, there are roughly a zillion or so You Tube Mask Making Videos out there just waiting to be watched. I had to peruse quite a few before landing on anything remotely helpful.
Some of the rejected ones required that I have, on hand, things like a glue gun. I do not. Or some sort of two sided iron-on strip that adheres both sides of fabric. I also do not that that. However, there was one promising video that only required a bandanna and a pair of scissors. I do have scissors but not a bandanna. I do however, own scarves. Multiples of them.
So it seemed to me that a scarf would serve. I would just have to cut it down to bandanna size. Simple, right?
Step one was determining which scarf I was willing to sacrifice for the cause. I chose a gold one because I was pretty sure that Tim wouldn't want to wear a face mask that was either pink or floral. Gold is a non gender specific colour and yes I know that really should not matter. But gold is simple, a neutral really. It goes with almost everything. I will confess to a wee bit of sparkle in the fabric too but don't tell Tim I said that. Here is the scarf I chose.
Side Note: You will notice that in any photos with me in them that I've posted since this entire Great Quarantine began I am wearing Zero make-up. I'm not certain why that is but it is a fact. I haven't put on so much as a swipe of mascara since this all started. I won't apologize but I will acknowledge it as fact. Back to the story.
So I watched the video a number of times then googled the size of a bandanna. Turns out to be 22 inches square. So I measured, marked and carefully cut out a 22 inch square of fabric from my scarf.
Then, once again, carefully following the video instructions, I put hair bands, one on either end of the folded "bandanna" sized scarf and put it on. It was too big. I was a LOT too big. I was almost engulfed in fabric. Ok second try. I cut it down a little smaller, I folded it more carefully, put the band back on the ends and tried again. It was................................................better. Not great.
I suppose it would work in a pinch, but it was not ideal. For several reasons. Sooo much fabric is heavy. It drooped and I had to keep pulling it up. That's not good. Also it was hot under that mass of fabric. Way Too Hot. My cheeks were flushed and I was sweating in less than a minute. Then too, the hair band fasteners that looped over my ears kept tangling with my hearing aids and knocking them off. Annoying. And then of course the worst part, my claustrophobia kicked in.
I hadn't thought about that. I know I was breathing because I didn't keel over on the floor unconscious while wearing it. But in my head I kept thinking that I couldn't breathe. It's stupid I know. And yes, I totally agree, beating back a panic attack brought on my claustrophobia is still better than getting sick from COVID-19. Not even a question. But! Maybe there is a better solution out there somewhere.
I talked to Tim about it and he had heard of a different self-made, no sewing required face mask that involved a tee-shirt sleeve. Intrigued, I checked it out. Yes that did look much better! Lighter, smaller, no ear loops. Ok.
This time Tim sacrificed several of his tee-shirts for me to use. And once again, I relied upon You Tube video's to learn how to do this. It seemed simple enough. Cut off the sleeves of the tee-shirt, Cut strips off the bottom of the shirt to secure the mask in place and voila! Face Mask.
I cut up the black tee-shirt first because it was on the top of the pile. Cutting off the sleeves was no problem at all. Cutting even strips off the bottom was a wee bit more problematic. Cutting a straight line for me is a challenging as drawing one. But I did the best I could.
But when I went to try it on, I had difficulty making the strips stay in place. The one at the top of my head just slid right down my hair making the front of the mask also slide down. I tried again, tying it more tightly. It lasted longer, but ultimately it still just slid right down the back of my hair. Dang!
As it turns out, I didn't need the strips of fabric tied. The sleeve just parks itself perfectly fine on the face with no ties whatsoever. For once my big schnozz came in handy! Cool! The second go 'round went much better than the first. The claustrophobia is still very real however. So my plan is, if I am in a situation where I have to wear the mask, I will put it on at the very last moment possible, be in public the shortest amount of time that I can manage and then I will remove the mask at the earliest safe opportunity.
I had it on for just a very short time in the house and when I removed it, I ended up hyperventilating in my desire to "recover" from not having any air ........idiot. And it doesn't matter how many times the intelligent part of my brain reminds me that I already AM breathing, the freaked out claustrophobic side says, "No way!"
But anyway, this is what I look like wearing the tee-shirt sleeve mask before I got all light-headed from hyperventilating. I look like a bank-robber.
But it works! AND I feel very very VERY anonymous.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.