If you’d like to pitch in to help stop COVID-19, we’ve just launched a new website called Everyone Gets a Mask! that has all the stuff you need to do these things:
- Organize a team project to make and distribute large numbers of high quality homemade cloth masks to everyone in YOUR community* (in coordination with other local groups as necessary), OR ……
- Find and join an existing group doing something similar, OR ……
- Make a few masks for you and your family.
Q: Why is NOW the right time for you to take action?
A: It is now clear that COVID-19 is often spread by people who feel fine and don’t even know they are infected — and who are simply breathing, talking, laughing or singing! None of us want to be unwitting spreaders. On April 3, the US Centers for Disease Control (the CDC) recommended a step-up in protection in areas where there is COVID-19 activity: wearing cloth face coverings when out and about (in addition to social distancing, hand-washing, surface-cleaning, and covering coughs and sneezes).
Q: What needs to happen?
A: Over the next few weeks, our country needs to get cloth masks on the faces of almost everyone in every community* affected by COVID-19. Some people can’t wear masks, so we’ll never get to 100%. Experts predict that when 60% to 80% of us are wearing masks, as well as doing the other preventive practices, we will be able to slow or even stop the pandemic.
Q: Why cloth face masks?
A: Homemade cloth masks provide a lot better protection than none at all! As long as there is a shortage of manufactured surgical masks and N95 respirators, they must be saved for healthcare and emergency response workers. High quality cloth face masks filter much more effectively than poor quality ones. Everyone Gets a Mask! has technical specifications to guide you.
Q: Can masks do more than prevent infection?
A: Yes. They are a visible signal of unity and good will — concrete evidence that the wearer is caring for others in these hard times: “I am protecting you; you are protecting me.”
If you like these ideas, please check out the Everyone Gets a Mask! website then help this concept go viral by passing it along to people of good will – in your community* AND all around the country. The website was created as a gift to you, your family and friends, and your community* by a three-person team: Claudia Hix DO, David Siktberg MBA, and me, Jennifer Christian, MD.
* When we say your community, think of everyone in it:
• All the people in your family, neighborhood, company, club, congregation, civic organization, town or even county, including those who will be heading back to work in the next few weeks;
• Plus those who come to work in your area — especially those who provide essential services (who work in healthcare facilities, public safety and emergency response, grocery stores and pharmacies, delivery services, utilities, etc.), as well those who will be heading back to work;
• And the elderly or other individuals with risk factors that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness.
Remember: Over the next few weeks, our country needs to get cloth masks on the faces of almost everyone in every community affected by COVID-19. So please pass along this posting — or just the link (Everyone Gets a Mask! or www.webility.md/masks) — to as many colleagues, friends, family and organizations as possible in communities around the country. This applies – to those in areas that are experiencing the full fury of COVID-19, and those where the curve is clearly rising or may still rise.
And please tell us if you see something that could be clarified or improved – or share a story about what you have done with the website or the kit itself! We’ve already made a lot of changes based in input from others. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org